Artistic Success/Todd Haynes

After crying all in the staff bathroom for about 10 minutes around 11:00 am today, I decided I had to go home for the rest of the day; besides the hurricane in my head, I got a cold last night and tried to get through the workday today, but Good God, No. I was embarrassed to ask if I could leave, worried (as I always am in these situations) that everyone will think I’m just faking it in order to go home.

I listened to Tunic in the car. It reminded me of something I wanted to see again. I feel pretty neutral about Todd Haynes’ studio films, because to me this student film he did in 1987 called ‘Superstar: the Karen Carpenter Story’ is so incredibly brilliant, so original and devastatingly expressive, incisive, and illuminating, that his other films just can’t compare. It’s hard to match the fearlessness and passion of a student film.

This is a very good encapsulation of it:

The whole thing (sorry it’s not very Friday-friendly material):

The first time I saw it on a bootleg vhs in the 1990’s, I thought it was mind-blowing & by the end, I deeply respected it from behind wet eyes and a choking throat. And I identified so much with it, even though Karen’s and my stories are different- some of it was exactly the same. It was dead on about what fuels eating disorders in a way I never saw represented in media. There’s still never been anything else like it.

Watching this film is a jarring experience, even though I’ve seen it before (Strap in, folks’), but results may vary. I’m really glad it’s on YouTube and more people can see it now. Watching it on the couch after going home sounds like it wouldn’t be a good idea, but it actually was. Watching it today made me feel somewhat less alone.

I love you. I don’t know what to do, but I love you.


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