Phil Cox – Betty: They Say I’m Different #SYSF2018

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11 min. and 48 sec.

Betty Davis was a sensation, a gigantic performer. She was married to Miles Davis and then she disappeared all of a sudden. Now we know why.

Play Podcast
11 min. and 48 sec.

PODCAST| Angelo Acerbi interviews Phil Cox, director of the film Betty: They Say I’m Different.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Phil Cox worked for 5 years on the project, two years just to locate Betty Davis, who has been living secluded for years. She was a rebel, a pioneer of female rock funk performers and she paid a huge price for her freedom. She could have been huge, but she was far too ahead of the times. As Miles Davis said she was “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince”.

Betty: They Say I’m Different: Betty Davis was an icon of music, style and feminism. She grew up on a farm in Carolina, then among the steelworks in Pittsburgh. At the age of sixteen, she moved to New York, where she began working as a model and she had the opportunity to meet famous musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. She was married for a year to Miles Davis, who described her as the forerunner of Madonna and Prince. Her funk debut album, Betty Davis, challenged the male chauvinism of 1973 with its explicitly provocative energy, especially on sexual themes. For this reason her career was never a commercial success; however, she gained the cult status of a Black Power Goddess, before retiring in 1979. Phil Cox’s documentary goes back through Betty’s life, analysing the way she influenced modern music: from soul to pop and rock, revealing all the personal challenges she had to overcome during the thirty-five years of her almost invisible career.

SEEYOUSOUND International Music Film Festival 2018, the first festival in Italy dedicated to international cinema with a musical theme, returns with the fourth edition, which will be held in Turin from 26 January to 4 February 2018, at the Cinema Massimo of the National Cinema Museum. There are 62 films scheduled in the 10 days of the festival, divided into 4 competitive sections, 2 out-of-competition reviews and 1 retrospective, accompanied by panels, meetings and events. With 1 international preview and 1 European preview and 27 Italian premieres, the festival increasingly aims to establish itself internationally, in the light of a path that has lasted four years and which, with passion and constancy, has led to the construction of a dense network of reports on the territory.

  • Reporter
    Angelo Acerbi
  • Guest
    Phil Cox
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Betty: They Say I'm Different
  • Festival section
    Into The Groove
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