Film Screening & Discussion | BETTY – THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT
BETTY – THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT
A film by Phil Cox – Music Documentary – 52 min – United Kingdom/France 2017
Funk Queen Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She “was the first…” as former husband Miles Davis said. “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince”. An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles – startlingly turning him from jazz to funk on the album she named “Bitches Brew”. She then, despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself. Betty was a feminist pioneer, inspiring and intimidating in a manner like no woman before. Then suddenly – she vanished. Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.
The screening will be followed by a discussion and audience Q&A with Rickey Vincent and Femi Andrades.
Dr. Rickey Vincent is a Bay Area educator, writer, music producer and radio host. He is the author of Funk: The Music, the People and the Rhythm of The One, the definitive take on the musical phenomenon. He hosts “The History of Funk” on KPFA Radio Friday nights and has been playing and celebrating Betty Davis music since the 1970s. Dr. Vincent is Assistant Professor in Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts, is a Lecturer in African American Studies at San Francisco City College, and he teaches a Summer Session class in African American Studies at UC Berkeley titled “Black Music from Bebop to Hip Hop” that is open to the public.
Femi Andrades (stage name FEMI) is an Oakland, California native and an accomplished international recording and performing artist with over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Her debut solo album “Sweetwater Soul” released in 2008 on now-defunct San Francisco rock label Talking House Records garnered local success and international online streaming recognition. She followed that project up with a hard-hitting alter ego styled Sonic-Youth meets Funkadelic-inspired album called “REVOLUTION” with her partner Quincy Ramone who founded their band Punk Funk Mob. Vocalist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Executive Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Composer, Actress, Model, Educator, and Entrepreneur, her contribution to the art community is immeasurable. In partnering with international recording artist like Bill Ortiz (Santana), Sila & The Afro-Funk Experience (NAACP Image Award Winner), Ronkat Spearman (George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic) Levi Seacer (NPG/Prince) Femi continues to reflect her musical diversity and social complexities that is her life. FEMI has traveled and performed in the US & Europe and is currently recording and working on two new projects tentatively titled “The Gypsy Chronicles” and “Afro Girl Soul Presents”.