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Todd Haynes interview

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris Mills, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Todd Haynes was interviewed for the June issue of Attitude (UK), and was asked if Superstar, his Karen Carpenter biopic with Barbie dolls, would ever get an official release. Was the problem with Mattel?

    Todd: "It was never Mattel who had the problem, it was always Richard Carpenter. And if you've ever heard him give interviews or talk about Karen Carpenter you can tell that there's such anger there. There's such resentment. I think he's angry that she died and took his career with her, when he thought he was always the talanted one and the one who generated it all. Anyway, we haven't revisited it from a legal standpoint to see if he would be more amenable. I should probably give it another try"

    Richard would never authorize the use of Carpenters music for Todd's film, even if Todd had legally sought the use of Carpenters songs from the outset.
  2. Bruno

    Bruno Member

    It's a pity, SUPERSTAR doesn't get an official dvd release. It is the truest movie about the Carpenters family and how it destroyed Karen's soul. Gladly, we can watch the movie on youtube.

  3. song4u

    song4u Active Member

    "And if you've ever heard him give interviews or talk about Karen Carpenter you can tell that there's such anger there. There's such resentment. I think he's angry that she died and took his career with her, when he thought he was always the talanted one and the one who generated it all."

    I have never noticed this in Richard's interviews. Sometimes he seems sad, but I've never sensed anger or resentment toward her. :confused:
  4. Geographer

    Geographer Active Member

    You are right. That quote sums up the hope of the "Richard haters." He can do no right.
  5. Actorman

    Actorman Active Member

    If Todd really wanted to "give it another try" with Richard, he probably shouldn't have said such nasty things about him in an interview. If by some slight chance Richard was to a point where he might reconsider giving Todd permission to use the music, Todd probably just blew that chance with these comments.

    I've never seen this film but have always wanted to.
  6. song4u

    song4u Active Member

    I think it's available on Youtube.
  7. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    I have the DVD. Not sure where I got it. After reading "Little Girl Blue," the Haynes movie made more sense to me. The only part that confused me was the scene where K & R are arguing and BarbieKaren alluded to some 'secret' that Richard didn't want to get out. Not sure if it was the Quaalude thing... I need to watch it again.
  8. Dave60640

    Dave60640 Active Member

    The issue with the movie is that they never had legal clearance sought to use
    K&R's recordings but did so anyways. The response was immediate and non negotiable.
    Much more "drama" and tabloid speculation than fact, the movie is camp at best.
    And while Mr. Haynes told us ( in the beginning ) that this was a labor of love and affection for the duo and their music, that message of love never quite translated onto film.
  9. Geographer

    Geographer Active Member

    I seen it. It's terrible! I can't believe that it garners this much attention. People really think this is an actual representation of what really happened? Are you kidding me? It's a lame attempt to dramatize the shallow negative stereotypes surrounding Karen's death serves only to perpetuate the myth that the family "killed" Karen. To be taken as a serious, quality dramatization of the events is completely rediculous. I'm surprised Richard and his legal team even dignified this amatuerish effort with a response.
  10. aaflyer98

    aaflyer98 Well-Known Member

    Who really knows how and why it happened? In my opinion, the family played a part, even if only in Karen's mind.
  11. song4u

    song4u Active Member

    I just finished reading Randy Schmidt's new book "Yesterday Once More: the Carpenters Reader". On page 275 there is a section about Todd Haynes' movie "Superstar", along with an interview.

    I had never watched the movie, because of what I had read about it on line. After reading this interview I was curious enough to watch it on YouTube. I don't think it's as bad as some have made it out to be, but it's also not something I'd recommend. He seemed to use the TV movie "The Karen Carpenter Story" as his outline and embellished it from there.

    It did reach an audience that may not have been aware of Karen's story, and it did highlight that anorexia is an insidious disease. I can say that much for it.

    Randy's book is a great companion to "Little Girl Blue", as it contains interviews done with Karen during her career.
  12. close2u

    close2u Member

    Interestingly enough, the Haynes film was finished and playing art houses and little theaters all over the place BEFORE "The Karen Carpenter Story" was filmed... lots of similarities and use of music... "This Masquerade" at the wedding and so on...

  13. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    There are those close to the Carpenters that claimed the Barbie doll movie was more spot-on than the sanitized TV version.
  14. song4u

    song4u Active Member

    Randy - do you know if Todd Haynes had insider information, or did he just do his research well?
  15. byline

    byline Active Member

    While I have never been the biggest fan of some of Richard's quotes/interpretations after Karen's death, I tend to agree with you. For Haynes to claim that Richard's overwhelming emotion is anger based on jealousy of Karen is, IMO, a gross oversimplification of Richard's state of mind in an extremely complex situation. Yes, I'm sure that Richard was, and is still, angry at Karen for causing her own death through her anorexic behaviors. He even said as much, along with John Bettis, in the shock immediately following her death. Anger is a natural emotion to feel at someone who has taken his/her own life, which is effectively what happens with addictions (and anorexia/bulimia is a subsection of addictive behavior) that cause the addict's death. The powerlessness that loved ones feel to change that situation quite naturally leads to anger. The fact that one's career is directly and inextricably (a special problem with duos) tied to the other person only complicates the anger issues. To act like it's wrong for Richard to feel anger (as one emotion of many) is to completely misunderstand the grieving process.

    I think Haynes is trying to take the easy way out on this one and blame Richard for blocking Superstar's release, when in reality the real issue, as I understand it, is that Haynes tried to get the film released without permission to use the Carpenters' songs. That is outright copyright infringement, and he should have known better. Did he do that deliberately, to bring attention to himself and the film? Only he knows the answer to that question.
    Geographer likes this.
  16. RainyDays

    RainyDays Inactive

    The movie is very interesting and disturbing, but it has been overpraised over the years because most of it is by the numbers and routine as it continues. A cliched rise and fall tale. There is interesting subtext, but the surface is so one-dimensional and shallow.

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