Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story: classic or what?

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On the one hand, it screams "student film." On the other hand, it screams "BEST STUDENT FILM EVER."

Douglas, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Ah, so you're making all of us copies or telling us where we can download it, yes? :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:09 (nineteen years ago) link

I have always wanted to see this but I'm too cheap to buy it off of ebay.

Nicole (Nicole), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:12 (nineteen years ago) link

Don't tease us like that! Send us copies now!

j.lu (j.lu), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:21 (nineteen years ago) link

My ex-bf had a copy. I felt like killing myself when it was over. Eerie and sad as hell.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 03:30 (nineteen years ago) link

It's cute when you see it the first time. Stick to the full-length feature work.

jm (jtm), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 04:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Todd Haynes directed that, right? If that's the case, those heading for the full-length feature work unaware of his ouevre should avoid _Velvet Goldmine_ like the plague.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 05:37 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm sorry, I think you mean to say, "...should watch this wonderful movie time and again."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 05:39 (nineteen years ago) link

I found Velvet Goldmine visually appealing but problematic as a movie. Safe is really excellent. I can't wait to see Haynes' new one.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 05:41 (nineteen years ago) link

Velvet Goldmine has stunning shots, but it summed up to much ado about nothing. It is easy to miss the shot if your target is the definitive Kane on popular culture.Hopefully Haynes' pretensions are a bit more modest this time, without losing his instinct for visual grandeur

arantxa, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 07:57 (nineteen years ago) link

Poison, you're posion running through my veins

Queen G (Queeng), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 09:09 (nineteen years ago) link

Superstar is very disturbing -- the way Karen Barbie's face has been shaved with a knife to make her thinner, or how her parents' faces are aged by melting the plastic. There was also an implied incestuous relationship between the sibs, if I recall correctly. An excellent movie (and I hate everything else that he has done).

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 16:28 (nineteen years ago) link

I liked 'Safe', but that's the only thing by him I've seen.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 16:35 (nineteen years ago) link

Bloody hell, it must be 13 years since I saw this. Very good film, very original.

And probably had an impact on the credibility of the Carpenters' music as well. Wasn't it shortly after Superstar that Sonic Youth started playing them in between songs and everybody realised 'Close to me' was magic?

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 16:40 (nineteen years ago) link

i saw it in burning lights in van about two years ago- a total underground thing, no posters- apparently mattel was more pissed off then the carpenter estate.

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:20 (nineteen years ago) link

anthony, you're right, it was mattel that scotched it in the first place.

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:29 (nineteen years ago) link

that confused me, why mattel ?

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:31 (nineteen years ago) link

The Barbie dolls.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Cos they make Barbie and thought the film didn't portray her in a manner they approved of. (The obvious implications about female body self-image etc, but probably even more so the 'alterations' mentioned by Yanc3y above.)

James Ball (James Ball), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:35 (nineteen years ago) link

i know that, i meant you figure karens family would be the first to say no, this isnt right, as opposed to mattel.

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:42 (nineteen years ago) link

I thought what canned it for good was the use of the Carpenters music without permission (that would make more sense).

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:53 (nineteen years ago) link

is it edible?

Chris V. (Chris V), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 17:56 (nineteen years ago) link

I saw it in the theater before it was withdrawn. Loved "Safe", liked "Velvet Goldmine" ok, can't wait to see "Far From Heaven", but it's only playin in one theater and I'm lazy. I did rent a couple Sirk films as background study, though.

Sean (Sean), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 18:02 (nineteen years ago) link

far from heaven is gender neblous and sucks the cock of douglas sirk in a really revernt way.

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 18:06 (nineteen years ago) link

Far From Heaven was a little hobbled by being too reverent, but it was still better than 97% of your average films.

j.lu (j.lu), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 21:03 (nineteen years ago) link

i'm pretty sure Richard was the first to naysay the release of the film due to various character attacks the film makes on his persona.

the beauty is (i'll get to this point in a paragraph) the STUNNING attention to detail that Haynes did to authenticize the studio and performance scenes. even the way the metal glimmers in the various lighting shifts was impeccably replicated.

i had a copy of Superstar (along with two other Haynes' shorts He Was Once and Dottie Gets Spanked) and followed by a Carpenters video anthology so you could compare and contrast and study the various scenes that Haynes set up in miniature for the film... this tape is no longer in my posession... :(

as it stands, i think the way the film is interspersed with the soundbites/interviews, that whole 70s edu-documentary feel, the commentary on sexism, self-image, etc. all very classic... a triumph.

gygax!, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 22:27 (nineteen years ago) link

maybe you gotta love sirk, but i enjoyed the revernce, one auter to another.

anthony, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 22:58 (nineteen years ago) link

maybe you gotta love sirk, but i enjoyed the revernce, one auter to another.

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 10 December 2002 22:58 (nineteen years ago) link

far from heaven : sirk :: black dice beaches and canyons : boredoms

gygax!, Tuesday, 10 December 2002 23:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Ahem:

http://www.illegal-art.org/video/index.html#superstar

In windows media and real formats.

J (Jay), Wednesday, 11 December 2002 02:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Thanks for that link. This film should be shown in HealthEd classes in every high school around the frikin' nation.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 11 December 2002 23:21 (nineteen years ago) link

haha, i wrote "authenticize" up there... lordy...

gygax!, Wednesday, 11 December 2002 23:53 (nineteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
as i recall: "dottie gets spanked" was a realtime human live action film supposed to incorporate the elements of claymation (cf: gumby, davy and goliath) via manipulations of the stop/start speed/effect on the camera, the vinylization of the characters hair and skin, and the "dubbed in" voice approach (cf: pippi lockingstocking). i really would like to watch it again.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 7 November 2003 21:35 (eighteen years ago) link

The irony is that Richard Carpenter gets the film suppressed, and then ends up directing a live-action TV-movie about his sister that, in its few decent moments, completely rips off of Haynes.

Girolamo Savonarola, Friday, 7 November 2003 22:05 (eighteen years ago) link

nine months pass...
hi adam.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 15:22 (seventeen years ago) link

bloody scots.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 16:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Huh. Funny that you revived this, Sarah was asking me about it the other day and I told her how much you liked it.

adam. (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 16:46 (seventeen years ago) link

we need a movie night.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes - Will call you when I get back.

adam. (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:12 (seventeen years ago) link

no, NOW

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:17 (seventeen years ago) link

I am at WORK!

adam. (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:21 (seventeen years ago) link

classic even projected from an nth generation vhs dub in a smoky student lounge

amateur!!st, Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:22 (seventeen years ago) link

After a while, I had to walk out and sit in the hall when this was screened in class. I just couldn't take it.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Wednesday, 1 September 2004 17:24 (seventeen years ago) link

six months pass...
Okay, I finally saw this last week. If that's the best student film ever, the rest must be pretty goddamm dire (which I can believe). Even if the murkiness is supposed to make a point about the longing for invisibility I and other women have felt while subject to the male gaze.

j.lu (j.lu), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 16:39 (seventeen years ago) link

the subjective ipecac-downing shots!

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link

soooooooo classic

j blount (papa la bas), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 19:57 (seventeen years ago) link

really really really great.

f--gg (gcannon), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:19 (seventeen years ago) link

are you sure the "murkiness" wasn't from watching an nth-generation video dub recorded in ep mode or something?

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:21 (seventeen years ago) link

If that's the best student film ever, the rest must be pretty goddamm dire (which I can believe).

Believe it.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:22 (seventeen years ago) link

i liked it. not as good as dottie gets spanked though. but i guess superstar would fall under the "juvenilia" category.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:22 (seventeen years ago) link

One word: montage!

The camera angles, lighting, and sets are amazing. And thematic use of the songs is tremendous. The story arc is totally played through the music selection. "Masquerade" at the party was especially brilliant.

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 23:48 (seventeen years ago) link

are you sure the "murkiness" wasn't from watching an nth-generation video dub recorded in ep mode or something?

This was from the Illegal Art DVD, and it seemed to be a relatively clean copy. (It was screened as one organization's response to National Copyright Week.)

j.lu (j.lu), Thursday, 24 March 2005 00:10 (seventeen years ago) link

five years pass...

This is up on google video now, btw. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=622130510713940545#

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 08:28 (eleven years ago) link

I'm just watching it for the first time.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 08:28 (eleven years ago) link

It was neither as good as made out to be in this thread nor as bad. I appreciate what Haynes put into it, though. And yes, it was dark. I had no idea going in that it was going to be so serious. I thought it was going to be sarcastic, and am kind of relieved that it wasn't.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:21 (eleven years ago) link

you didn't find any sarcasm inherent in the use of barbie dolls to represent all the characters in the film?

sarahel, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:24 (eleven years ago) link

I thought it would be that way going in, but the dolls were actually treated with an odd reverence.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:35 (eleven years ago) link

sure - there was ambivalence, it was a bit challenging

sarahel, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:43 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rACJWPd3VnI

turds (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 20 January 2013 10:56 (nine years ago) link

nine years pass...

Apparently a program of Todd Haynes "rarities" at UCLA this weekend included 4K restorations (with Sundance and UCLA support) of Superstar and Dottie Gets Spanked. (Haynes' pandemic project?) Did anyone here see this program?

There are also rumblings of a Criterion edition of Velvet Goldmine. While Superstar would make a pretty sweet bonus/easter egg, the consensus is that this could NOT be done legally in the US.

Infanta Terrible (j.lu), Tuesday, 21 June 2022 18:04 (one week ago) link

Superstar exists better as a cult object/circulated tape tbrr


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