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Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
Director: Todd Haynes, 1987.
United States, 44 minutes.
English.

A dark, strangely crafted documentary that divorces itself from typical documetary conventions to create something new and hideous. Banned and held in limbo from wider distribution by court order after court order, Superstar is a mystery that lives in the underground. Here, the life of Karen Carpenter of the brother/sister band, The Carpenters, is explored, with no actors so to speak, only barbie dolls, with plastic whittled away as the narrative progresses and Karen's gradual succumbing to anorexia unfolds. A strange exploration of power and control at the crux of family, fame, food, femininity, Superstar is shockingly relatable, despite any crudeness in its execution. Presented here for a limited run of 3 screenings.

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