Copyright Â© 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 57, Volume 19, Number 3 Published by Duke University Press 23 Camera Obscura construction of Haynesâs authority as it emerged from the material practices that produced and surrounded Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (US, 1987), a ï¬lm biography cowritten with Cynthia Schneider of the singer Karen Carpenter, who died of anorexia nervosa in 1983 at age thirty-two. This forty-three-minute, 16mm ï¬lm using dolls to enact the life of the 1970s singing star was not Haynesâs ï¬rst work, but it was the one that authorized him as a promising director of alternative cinema. Film festivals and critical reviews, in sites ranging from local city newspapers to Artforum and the Village Voice, served as the vehicles of Haynesâs ascension as director. But his decision to shape the narrative around the placement of a number of Carpenters songs also resulted in a legal battle (lost by Haynes) with A & M Records and the Carpenter family over the question of who was authorized to represent Karenâs life and her voice. Deï¬ning Haynesâs emerging authority at this time only in the contexts of his trajectory to critical fame or of his legal troubles with
Camera Obscura – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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