Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987)

Short Feature Film
Director: Todd Haynes
Writers: Todd Haynes, Cynthia Schneider
Cinematographer: Barry Ellsworth
Cast: Merrill Gruver, Michael Edwards, Melissa Brown, Gwen Kraus, Rob LaBelle, Bruce Tuthill

Little seen (due to copyright infringement over the use of Carpenters’ songs), Haynes’s strangely moving film – an unflinching portrait, using Barbie dolls, of Karen Carpenter’s time in the public eye, detailing her battles with both anorexia nervosa and her domineering parents – is a remarkable work; tender and critical, reverent and irreverent, serious and silly; and all the more alluring for being somewhat illicit. Iain.Stott