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The free public film series The Screening Room: Classics, Crowd-Pleasers, Cult Favorites and Neglected Gems continues at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, with a memorial screening of the biographical drama THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE (2006) at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, located at 350 N. Wood Ave. in downtown Florence.

Director Mary Harron’s incisive and affectionate portrait of Page features actress Gretchen Mol (3:10 TO YUMA, LIFE ON MARS) in her uncanny portrayal of America’s controversial pinup queen. A native of Nashville, the religiously conservative but physically uninhibited Page became the unwitting focus of a 1955 Senate inquiry into the effects of sexually provocative material on adolescents and juveniles.

Combining black-and-white and color, THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE explores the myth, mystery, sadness and triumph that surrounded the model’s topsy-turvy life. Although she became a pop-culture icon, Page lived in quiet seclusion in her later years and refused to be photographed for fear of destroying the mystique of her classic public image. She died last month at the age of 85.

In addition to Mol (who earned a Satellite Award nomination for her performance as the contradictory sex symbol), THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE also stars Chris Bauer, David Strathairn, Lili Taylor, Sarah Paulson, John Cullum, Jared Harris, Austin Pendleton and Dallas Roberts. The film received an R rating for nudity, sexual content and some adult language.

The Screening Room is co-sponsored by the library and Pillar of Fire. The series is hosted by film historian and Pillar of Fire founder Terry Pace, who teaches English at the University of North Alabama. Screenings are free and open to the public.

For more information, call the library at (256) 764-6564 or Pillar of Fire at (256) 366-4512, or e-mail pillaroffire@bellsouth.net.

“God gave me the talent to pose for pictures, and it seems to make people happy.
That can’t be a bad thing, can it?” – Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol) in THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE (2006)
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