Super Star: The Karen Carpenter Story

Carpenter's rise to stardom and untimely death from a heart attack due to anorexia and bulimia. Using Barbie dolls as characters, Karen's face is sanded and puttied to portray her weight loss, while faces of family members are similarly distorted to visualize the sinister family structure playing into Karen's illness. Video footage played through television backgrounds, and brilliant collisions of documentary and fiction, lend to the layered meanings of this film. Haynes juxtaposes this American dream gone wrong with the bubble gum soundtrack of the Carpenter's pop music. While this sing-along audio resonates in the viewer's mind, it ultimately led to litigation by the Carpenter family, preventing this film from ever being released.

Haynes Work