briefly

“Today, people think who you are is all about internal psychology and what your parents are like. But it’s also about your era and where you were born and your class, too, which American films hardly address at all.”
–Mary Harron

So an unofficial part of this residency is watching a lot of Killer Films’ movies (a pleasure, by the way). This week, I saw “Safe” for the first time, which I just think is really one a most upsetting
masterpiece, easily Todd Haynes’ bestAnd we just screened “The Notorious Bettie Page,” which I found quite moving. One of my fellow associates thought the film lacked conflict, that Bettie’s character wasn’t portrayed with enough depth. I thoroughly disagree.

I thought the film’s conflict was between a woman and her era; Bettie’s innate sex appeal and open sparkliness, in the time she lived in, reduced her options entirely, from her childhood onward. As I watched, I thought a lot about other beauties exploited for their sex appeal, Brigitte Bardot especially–I have this documentary of La Bardot which follows her TV variety specials, where she got to showcase her talents–as a singer, an entertainer, a ballerina. In one interview, Brigitte describes meeting Marilyn Monroe, how fragile and lovely she was, with a young child’s innocence–she talks about how the hungry world used and destroyed Marilyn, and you know she’s talking about herself.

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