Girl With Black Balloons

If paired with "The Party in Taylor Mead's Kitchen," as it was at Doc NYC, where it won its category, "Girl With Black Balloons" could rise theatrically.

With:
With: Bettina.

Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter that threatens to get her evicted is in fact a treasure trove of unseen artwork. If paired with “The Party in Taylor Mead’s Kitchen,” as it was at Doc NYC, where it won its category, “Girl With Black Balloons” could rise theatrically.

Van der Borch, pitching in with other artistic Chelsea Hotel dwellers to organize Bettina’s space, uncovers a museum’s worth of highly individual, decades-spanning photographs and sculptures. Though Bettina is obviously inspired by her sharp eye for shapes and textures and by changing artistic and technological movements, her interaction remained one-way; a fire that destroyed her oeuvre set her creating feverishly, with little time to seek sales or exhibition. Bettina’s fate mirrors the helmer’s struggle to reconcile self-expression with distribution, while the docu offers Bettina’s work the showcase it never had.

Girl With Black Balloons

U.S.-Netherlands

Production: A Wondertime production. Produced by Corinne Van der Borch, Laura Minnear. Directed by Corinne Van der Borch. Written by Van der Borch, Laura Minnear.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Van der Borch; editor, Minnear; music, Andres Subercaseaux. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Nov. 29, 2011. (In Doc NYC.) Running time: 59 MIN.

With: With: Bettina.

More Film

  • 'Ethel & Ernest' Review

    Film Review: 'Ethel & Ernest'

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • 'The Thousand Faces of Dunjia' Review

    Film Review: 'The Thousand Faces of Dunjia'

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • 'Shape of Water,' 'I Tonya' Box

    Awards Contenders 'Shape of Water,' 'I, Tonya' Shine in Limited Release

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Hits $230 Million at International Box Office

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Captain Phasma

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Soars to $220 Million Opening Weekend

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    Initially, Corinne Van der Borch’s 59-minute docu about a woman known simply as Bettina seems like just another “Grey Gardens”-like portrait of an eccentric, secretive older diva holed up in nostalgia-crammed lodgings. But after the Dutch helmer penetrates her reclusive neighbor’s digs in Gotham’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, it slowly becomes clear that the floor-to-ceiling clutter […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content