Monday, February 9, 2009

Top of the World, Ma!


Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987)

Starring: Rod LaBelle, Gwen Kraus, Bruce Tuthill, Barbies

The Gist: Dirty and pared down Barbie dolls tell the tale of Karen Carpenter: her rise to fame, the seeming lack of control over her own life, her battle with anorexia and subsequent death as a result of the condition. A laugh riot then.

And then what happens?: I saw this Joss Stone promo video last night that was filmed in between the release of her first and second albums. She would have been about seventeen at the time. I don’t know if things have changed now that she’s come out of the bonkers closet but in this clip her eyes were cold and dead, almost black in fact. Which is odd cause that’s kind of how I feel about her voice. It’s a vague approximation of something she knows nothing about, being a normal person with a soul that is. She’s kind of like the fake soul-singing equivalent of Tom Cruise. Karen Carpenter’s voice on the other hand sounded like a deep, mournful dose of sadness even when she was singing the happy-clappy crap her creepy brother wrote for her. So yeah you kind of hope her life wasn’t as bad as all this, but no matter how you look at it it’s still depressing that she died.

See it for: The lack of subtlety is quite funny, in an extremely dark way. The scene where Karen and Richard go to A & M for a contract is edited like a horror film and ends with a blood-curdling scream and Holocaust footage of a woman’s body being thrown into a mass grave. Makes me wonder if maybe Joss Stone should see this. Britney Spears definitely should. Also it’s always good to see montages of dolls walking and driving about against old-school Hollywood rear projections.

Level of Crazy: 9. But it’s boo-hoo, not ha-ha so approach with caution.

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