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Monday, February 19, 2007


Todd Haynes: Superstar

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, the famous (infamous?) short film by Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes, is up on Google Video. Probably for a limited time. So if you'd like to see an inspired early effort by one of the world's great directors, this is your chance. From the bio at Google:

Two years after his graduation from Brown, openly gay experimental filmmaker Todd Haynes appeared with his 43-minute cult treasure "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987). Using Barbie and Ken dolls to sympathetically recount the story of the pop star's death from anorexia, he spent months making miniature dishes, chairs, costumes, Kleenex and Ex-Lax boxes and Carpenters' records to create the film's intricate, doll-size mise-en-scene. The result was both audacious and accomplished as the dolls seemingly ceased to be dolls leaving the audience weeping for the tragic singer. Unfortunately, Richard Carpenter's enmity for the film led to the serving of a "cease and desist" order in 1989, and despite the director's offer "to only show the film in clinics and schools, with all money going to the Karen Carpenter memorial fund for anorexia research," "Superstar" remains buried, one of the few films in modern America that cannot be seen by the general public.

If you're fascinated by Haynes as I am, you should definitely grab a copy of the fascinating book The Cinema of Todd Haynes: All That Heaven Allows, which includes a chapter on Velvet Goldmine written by blogger extraordinare Nick Davis. Yes, this officially concludes today's shout-out to Nick. (Hollah!)

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