by Jim Ridley
on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 12:04 PM
Here's some cheery Thanksgiving viewing. In honor of Todd Haynes' experimental Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, which opens today at the Belcourt, check out the first nine minutes of Haynes' notorious 1987 film Superstar—a 43-minute biopic of the late Karen Carpenter staged with Barbie dolls. It's remarkably similar to the Dylan film in tone, approach and style: what are Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, etc., but action figures in Haynes' big doll house?
Superstar is one of the most heavily bootlegged cult items around. It will probably never get a commercial release because of the music rights, and most copies are so many generations old that they look like pirate transmissions. It starts as a curio, sure, but its effect goes beyond novelty: it is without question one of the most haunting and disturbing films I've ever seen. If you want to see the rest, other installments are up at YouTube.