'The Exotic Dances Of Bettie Page' (Blu-ray)
(Bettie Page, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2016 / Cult Epics)
Overview: Cult Epics presents its 25th Anniversary release THE EXOTIC DANCES OF BETTIE PAGE. Bettie Page, pin-up model of the 1950s, cult model of the 80s and 90s, gained mainstream recognition in the last few years of her life when she was immortalized in three major film productions, the first being Nico B’s BETTIE PAGE DARK ANGEL.
Blu-ray Verdict: For those not in the immediate know, Bettie Mae Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008) was an American model who gained a significant profile in the 1950s for her pin-up photos. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pinups", her jet black hair, blue eyes, and trademark bangs have influenced artists for generations.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Page lived in California in her early adult years before moving to New York City to pursue work as an actress. There, she began to find work as a pin-up model, and posed for dozens of photographers throughout the 1950s. Page was "Miss January 1955", one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine.
In 1959, Page converted to evangelical Christianity and worked for Billy Graham, studying at Bible colleges in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, with the intent of becoming a missionary. The latter part of Page's life was marked by depression and so much more negativity, so we should definitely embrace new documentaries such as 'The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page' for they show us the seductive, always smiling woman who captured many a heart - even in black and white.
Here on 'The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page' Irving Klaw (known as the “King of the Pin-ups”) filmed all three of these aforementioned short films. Indeed, they were also the first the young Bettie performed in on celluloid. These films have now been transferred from the original 8mm reels in a new High-definition transfer, including rare bonus Bettie Page “Kamera Club” films.
Having watched this now a couple of times, it's apparent that the 2K remastering of the old VHS tapes truly enhances the film, but it also, to my mind's eye, dulls it down also. Perhaps I should call it a more sepia tone, but the new 2K remaster is definitely an upgrade to the old,, wavy VHS tape version, sure, but perhaps takes a little too much of the actual once crispness of the black and white at the same time.
maybe it's just me, for the Digital clean up work is fabulous. Whether Bettie is showing us her exotic moves (mostly all in underwear) bent over backwards, over a chest, or a chair, or standing still (save for her hips and torso), this newly enhanced Page is a sight for sore eyes - still. That said, the first feature "Betty's Clown Dance" (and yes, her name is spelt that way for the film) is a little bit creepy, but Page still manages to work through that with/for us.
Page slinks onto the same staged area, or just "teases" her way on from a side curtain and instantly mesmerizes you. Sure her moves are, basically all the same, but that body of hers! Boy oh boy, that lithe body of hers is incredible, so much so that you wish you could see it in color.
So, if watching a woman dance in her underwear, nylon stockings with high heels and that world famous bra of hers, is what you still crave, well, have it here in abundance, my friends. The worldwide obsession with Bettie Page still continues onward in full force today, but it's shorts like these that rarely get seen by the fans - until now. Sure they don't add any real depth to her mystique, credibility, but what they most definitely do is showcase her burlesque talent like never before.
The release features a 1950s rock ‘n roll lounge soundtrack that, at times, hits perfect beat steps with what Page is doing on screen. But, after a while it becomes a little too much, too peppy, so you can always either lower it, or mute it, for it doesn't ruin the on screen entertainment if you choose to do so. This is a new 2K HD transfer (1.33:1) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
New 2K HD Transfer and Restoration (from original 8mm films)
Bettie Page Kamera Club Films (8mm films in HD)
Bettie Page/Irving Klaw HD Video photo gallery
Bettie Page Uncovered: The Private Life & Photographs
(Q&A with Ron Brem, nephew of Bettie Page) 2016, HD
Collectible Blu-ray O-ring silver embossed
Official 'The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page' Trailer