Betty Davis Documentary on Prime Video

volumenvolumen 2,529 Posts
edited June 2020 in Strut Central
So apparently I missed this when it came out in 2017 or is it is just now released? Couldn’t find any discussions in the search here. Just popped up on my Prime Video over the weekend.

Regardless, pulled my account out of moth balls just so I could vent about how bad this was. Like some horrible student art film. They could have just interviewed Oliver Wang about Betty for an hour and it would have been 100 times better. The director tracked down Betty, the original band, and some close friends of Betty and I’d be amazed if they all had a total of 15 min screen time combined. The rest is awful stock photo/crappy sound effect collages and some homemade music video stylings with partial audio tracks and cut and paste video/pics of Betty. 

I can’t believe they didn’t get more in depth with the interview subjects, cover the recordings of the LPs, what the band did after she “retired”, let the live concert footage roll with out chopping it up etc etc etc 

So disappointing. Betty deserves so much better. One of a kind ground breaker that blew minds and disappeared into the ether. And anyone that wants to say she’s just some opportunistic groupie GTFOOHWTBS!


  • Jesus, I wonder if it was a "you've got an hour and a half to interview everybody" type situation. Or a "shit I dropped the hard drive with all the IVs" situation. Without having watched it my guess is it's 50/50 between extremely limited access to the talent ($$) and inept director, and probably also a lack of $ for live footage - some rightsholders will charge per second of footage used and are not cheap.
    I've worked on archive-and-interview docs before and there's so many things that can fuck them up - somebody uninvolved with the actual creation of the thing decides you only need to pay for 30 minutes sitting down with the subject of the film, or 10 minutes' worth of budget for old footage, or whatever, and you just have to deliver it anyway.
    Oddly you've piqued my interest to watch this terd. It's just a shame it doesn't do Betty justice.

  • volumenvolumen 2,529 Posts
    Yea anyone on here should watch it if you have Prime just for the few good parts. Given everyone in it is basically leading a normal life and seemed just as curious where she went I felt like they had plenty of time to give, the director just biffed it. The live footage part I could understand more and there was some good stuff but of course it’s never enough when you are into it.

    The Paul Williams Still Here doc was similar where the director was making it about him instead of Paul and just glossing over gem stories Paul was trying to tell only to get cut off by some self indulgent director. That guy seemed a little off and got lucky Paul even agreed to it I felt. 
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