Netflix’s “Britney vs. Spears” Tasteless Over Singer Scandals: TV Review

Say that for Netflixthe new documentary of “Britney vs. Spears”: It was certainly not done in order to please his fans.

The documentary, directed by Erin Lee Carr, is intended to explore the pop star’s current struggle to escape tutelage, led by her father, who is in control of her life. Along the way, however, there’s no side of Spears’ story that’s too uncomfortable or personal to describe. The doc spins his wheels as he mulls over Spears’ divorce from Kevin Federline and his time as an object of tabloids interest, with unflattering paparazzi video footage of Spears at one unsettled moment in 2007. The voices of Personalities from Spears ‘past, including former manager Sam Lutfi and ex paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, take precedence, and Spears’ text messages, provided to the production by Ghalib, play onscreen. At one point, we hear a late-night voicemail message Spears left with a lawyer in 2009 begging for help to make sure she doesn’t lose access to her children.

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This shapeless documentary seems too long at just over 90 minutes, as it’s unclear exactly what Carr and her collaborator Jenny Eliscu mean about Spears. Unlike the title of the film, the film’s focus sometimes seems to be Carr and Eliscu. The couple – an accomplished documentary filmmaker and a reporter who profiled Spears, respectively – both appear on camera, and their investigative work into Spears’ story is dramatized with footage of clicks in secret files or jamming in. paperwork. Eliscu in particular is clearly very emotionally involved with the Spears affair, but, more often than not, Carr and Eliscu’s interactions are so focused on the thrill of discovery that they lose sight of the human they try to lose sight of. help through their work.

But by making themselves characters in the story, the two reporters end up emphasizing the little new information they have. It might not be fair that, although they started working on this project years ago, they were beaten head-on by the newspaper produced by The New York Times. “Coach Britney Spears”, but this is the reality; The Times documentary, and a brutally effective follow-up dropped last weekend, have helped bring the story to the public eye, and Carr’s work as a result only amplifies or adds details to what has been known . In addition, “Framing Britney spears”Was done with exquisite sensitivity to the delicacy of Spears’ plight and with genuine insight into the ways she had been misused by culture even before her tenure as Curator. An exemplary moment in “Britney vs. Spears” comes when Eliscu expresses his disgust at Spears’ situation: “She gets an allowance, she has privileges and her father is in charge.” Carr’s response? “It’s patriarchy.”

It is certainly not wrong! But it’s also the first and most immediate thought one would have about a female superstar living under the thumb of her father. And the documentary’s willingness to settle for easy takeaways about Spears’ history means it underestimates the more difficult things – like what it means, for Spears, and for all of us, to discuss his lack of it. current freedom means, in the case of this project, that we must also look back in horror at the scandals of its past. (launches herself said this documentary coverage of her life makes her uncomfortable, which is not the only consideration of a journalist. Since these projects highlight the tone of trying to work for Spears ‘best interests, it should nonetheless be taken into consideration.) It seems somewhat ironic that this film plays Spears’ electric. testimony from the start of the year, in which she pleaded, “I just want my life back.” If this documentary is to play a role in accelerating this process, it also insists that the path to regaining his life is through Netflix, Carr and Eliscu who first take a bite out of it.

The temptation to dig deep into Spears’ downfall is understandable enough. Her story is doubly intriguing – both for the possibility that she suggests great glimpses of our culture as well as for the details of a very particularly charismatic, gifted and endlessly abused woman. Relying on what was done to Britney Spears means, perhaps, understanding that the two sons cannot be disentangled.

But the story, as it exists so far, had already been actually told. And watching the cultural industry try to find new ways to pack and profit from Spears’ humiliation and pain is very vividly reminiscent of her years 2007 and 2008, in which she was metabolized for more than content. ‘it was never clearly heard. (Many viewers and commentators were also well-meaning then.) Netflix added little to our understanding of Spears’ narrative – except for the renewed awareness, on the part of the viewer, that even after all that the we now know his fate, even the greatest media players can not help but try to squeeze some juice from his painful and inhuman saga. Does Netflix think we should free Britney? Sure. But only if we can use Britney first.

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