Subversive Cinema: Todd Haynes’ "Superstar" by Klax
I’m Not There (out now!) wasn’t director Todd Haynes’ first biopic. In 1987, he created a short 43 minute Karen Carpenter biopic using Barbie dolls.
The film has become a piece of “illegal art” unable to be properly released because of current zealous copyright laws.
Stay Free! magazine’s illegal art exhibit explains it:
“With Barbie dolls as the principal actors, Superstar portrays the life of Karen Carpenter and her battle with anorexia. Haynes never secured the rights to the Carpenters’ music he used in the movie, and Richard Carpenter filed an injunction that kept Superstar from public release. Even without Carpenter’s court order, the film would probably have been stopped by the notoriously litigious Mattel, the makers of Barbie.”
While most film prints were immediately recalled and destroyed, the Museum of Modern Art film archive holds a copy (although they’ve agreed to never show it).
Thanks to Stay Free! Magazine and other underground enthusiasts, you can download/view the entire film online. If you want your own DVD(-R) copy Stay Free! would also like to sell you one.
Streaming Google Video
Download at Stay Free! illegal art exhibit