Saturday, May 14, 2011

"That's a great idea, mom, and it's very in-keeping with our image."

My review for Todd Haynes' vicious, bewildering, surprisingly emotional short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is now up at Cinelogue. An experimental docudrama of the life of late singer Karen Carpenter, Haynes' 43-minute film hits upon the inspired idea of using Barbie dolls instead of actors, making for blatantly symbolic implications on the commercial, pre-fab nature of the group's image and how everyone from label suits to her own family drove Karen to despair and eating disorders. This is one of Haynes' finest works and one of the best displays of an artist's rapidly-coalescing themes, motifs and identities in short film I've ever seen, up there with Scorsese's The Big Shave and Jane Campion's An Exercise in Discipline: Peel.

So have a look at my review and tell me what you think. Incidentally, the film, technically banned because of the Carpenter estate cracking down on illegal song usage, can be found in an instant simply by searching for the title. YouTube is swimming with bootlegs of this film. Please do watch it.

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