A short seven years after graduating from Georgia State, Mark Mori (B.A.’82) co-produced and co-directed his first documentary film, “Building Bombs.” Nominated for an Academy Award, the documentary put a spotlight on a nuclear weapons factory that contaminated aquifers in four states with radioactive waste.
Since then, Mori has built an impressive career making politically charged investigative documentaries for film and TV, snagging a second Oscar nomination and an Emmy Award along the way.
And now he’s in the news again — this time for his documentary on the jet black-haired bombshell Bettie Page with her trademark bangs, one of America’s earliest pinup models and Playboy playmates.
This spring, “Bettie Page Reveals All” received the best documentary feature award at the annual CineKink film festival in New York. In this film, Mori lets the college-grad-turned-pinup tell her own story and examines how women today relate to her sexy photos decades later because they offer a more attainable vision of beauty.
Mori told the Wall Street Journal that the idea for this documentary came out of a 1996 lunch meeting with his entertainment attorney, who worked with Page’s attorney. The film itself was built around several hours of audio interviews Mori recorded with Page over a period of years. No new video of Page was shot.
“If she wasn’t a character, a personality, someone who could talk in an interesting way about her life,” Mr. Mori told the Wall Street Journal, “the movie wouldn’t work with her narrating.”
Page was listed among Forbes’ top-earning dead celebrities of 2012, bringing in more than George Harrison and Richard Rogers (of Rogers & Hammerstein fame), and Men’s Health magazine named her the No. 7 hottest woman of all time. Also in 2012, Time magazine included her as a “muse” in its list of most influential fashion icons.
Young women today “find in Bettie Page something that’s outside the mainstream culture that they can identify with,” Mori told GSU Magazine last year. “A woman that is confident, successful and sexy all at the same time.”
For more information on Mori’s recent documentary, visit www.bettiepagemovie.com. His other works include: “Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann” (nominated for an Academy Award in 1993); “Kent State, the Day the War Came Home” (which received an Emmy Award in 2001); and “Wayne Williams and the Atlanta Child Murders” for Court TV.