Friday, December 12, 2008

Camera Obscura: Goodbye Bettie Page; Best Film of '08; Nazi Zombies; New Terminator Trailer

Iconic sex symbol and famous Nashville native Bettie Page died yesterday at the age of 85. In the 1950s she was an underground sensation and by the 1980s she had become an American icon. She was hounded by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver in congressional hearings but something about the fame and infamy of her photos refused to go away.

An interview with her from 10 years ago has many details of her life and experiences and the odd days after her modeling career when bad things kept her constantly in trouble with authorities.

Why has her smile and her cheeky image been so popular?

Perhaps it was her seemingly joyous dismissal of the idea that nudity was immoral. Perhaps it is the enigmatic way she gazed at the camera, somewhat bold and somewhat carefree, nearly a parody of Hollywood glamour yet still a girl-next-door.

Her influence will last for many decades to come - she's even been the inspiration for George Lucas, who created a "Bettybot" for his epic movie series. Her official website has logged more than 600 million hits in the last five years, and items with her image are too numerous to mention.

Adios, Bettie. And thanks for that smile.


Some months back I wrote about a friend of mine, Mike Abbott, whose work in the movie "Shotgun Stories" got rave reviews. Add one more - film critic Roger Ebert placed to movie on his list of the year's best and urged movie fans to seek "Shotgun Stories" out:

You'll have to search for it, but worth it. In a "dead-ass town," three brothers find themselves in a feud with their four half-brothers. It's told like a revenge tragedy, but the hero doesn't believe the future is written by the past. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, it avoids the obvious and shows a deep understanding of the lives and minds of ordinary young people in a skirmish of the class war. The dialogue rings true, the camera is deeply observant. The film was the audience favorite at Ebertfest 2008."

Congrats, Mike!

The official movie website is here.

Oh and why not show off this pic he sent me of himself and another good friend who is currently working to create the entertainment you'll find at Disney's new theme park in Hong Kong:


What would this movie column be without a mention of zombies??

The brand new Norwegian movie, "Dead Snow", looks like a popcorn bucket o' fun! Nazis and Beethoven arrive about 1:45 into the trailer ....


Christian Bale moves from Batman to John Connor in the newest installment of The Terminator movie series. I've been watching the TV show "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" on FOX and like the show pretty well. Bale has signed on for two more Terminator movies -- we got us a big ol' franchise monster here.

Here's the preview trailer:


Be sure and check out two fine ... or make that creaky old horror flicks from Britain tonight on Turner Classic Movies Underground. The show starts promptly at 2:15 a.m. with a double bill of "Beyond The Fog" (originally released as "Tower of Evil") followed by "House of Horror".

Be there or be square, Daddy-O.


  1. Anonymous3:05 PM

    Page starred in a few mainstream movies too, didn't she?

  2. no she did not. she was in several burlesque movies which you can grab on DVD these days --

    and the 2005 "Notorious Bettie Page" is a fairly good bio-pic.

  3. Um, is Horton wearing his Geppetto costume? Seriously, the resemblance is uncanny.