Todd Haynes

Started by MacGuffin, November 20, 2003, 10:38:28 AM

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Quote from: wilder on July 01, 2022, 05:55:48 PM'Superstar': Todd Haynes Says His Banned Carpenters Movie May Finally Get An Official Release
The Playlist

What's Todd Haynes up to since his first documentary, "The Velvet Underground," about the iconic band, won over critics at Cannes last year and audiences on AppleTV+? He has "May December" on deck, announced at the virtual Cannes market last June, which reunites the director with Julianne Moore and will be his first time working with Natalie Portman. But Haynes may also have another film coming out soon too, and it's one that fans of the director have wanted for a long time.

In an interview with EW, Haynes disclosed that his short film, "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story," had recently been remastered, and he's hopeful about a future release. "It has been remastered by UCLA and Sundance a couple years ago," said Haynes, "and it looks so beautiful. Every time I see it now, I'm just like, Oh, man, I'm so lucky that we have this version out there." As for the movie's potential rerelease, Haynes said, "Yes, it'll happen. It's not something we're working on at the moment, but it's going to happen — it will happen, yeah."

So, why is a new release of "Superstar" so exciting? Well, the short is a holy grail for Todd Haynes fans. The experimental film uses Barbie dolls along with documentary footage to depict the last seventeen years of Karen's musical career as she struggles with both anorexia and the limelight of the pop music industry. But the movie's been banned from circulation since Richard Carpenter, Karen's brother and the other half of the musical group The Carpenters, filed a lawsuit against Haynes in 1990, which the director lost. Since then, the film has been next to impossible to see.

But now, Haynes thinks he can give the movie the release it deserves at some point. "There have been some legal opinions written about the film that seem favorable to a way through," he said. "But there's a lot more work that I need to do that I haven't had time to, which is annotate the film and provide all of the sources of information and so forth. It's been shown a couple of times, not announced publicly, and not for any fee, not for any ticket, under the terms of its cease and desist." 

It's nice to hear "Superstar" still has its secret screenings every now and then, as it feels very in line with Haynes' experimentalism and connection to underground cinema earlier in his career. But an official release of "Superstar" would also be a coup for Haynes, as critics see the short as a major touchstone in the director's career.

So, with any luck, Haynes will focus on "Superstar" after finishing work on "May December." The director's latest follows a married couple who buckles under the pressure when an actress comes to live with them to do research for a film about their notorious tabloid romance from twenty years before.

Oh, man, I hope Haynes gets to properly release that. For those in LA, Cinefile has a DVD (bootleg? can't recall where it was burned from) copy you can rent.


Yeah! I make the trek from Sherman Oaks, these dayz. And yeah unfortunately (fortunately?) any of the smoking has to happen outside on the corner now.  :-D



From his retrospective in Paris the other week


Joaquin Phoenix's Next Project Will Be an NC-17 Gay Love Story

Joaquin Phoenix is taking it up another notch after Ari Aster's "Beau Is Afraid," teaming up with Todd Haynes for an NC-17-rated gay romance film.

Haynes spoke to IndieWire at the Cannes Film Festival following the Saturday premiere of his romantic drama "May December," starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. In the interview, Haynes teased an upcoming project he co-developed with Phoenix.

"The next film is a feature that's an original script that I developed with Joaquin Phoenix based on some thoughts and ideas he brought to me," Haynes told IndieWire. "We basically wrote with him as a story writer. Me and Jon Raymond and Joaquin share the story credit. And we hope to be shooting it beginning early next year. It's a gay love story set in 1930s L.A."

Haynes added, "Joaquin was pushing me further and going, 'No, let's go further.' This will be an NC-17 film."

Phoenix is no stranger to intense roles that push past the expected limits of actors. As for Haynes, between "Carol," "Far From Heavens," "Poison, "Velvet Goldmine" and his latest, "May December," the director is no stranger to the romantic period drama, nor the queer film.

"All I can do is just keep hunkering down and committing to each project," Haynes said. "I have more features planned. I have also episodic projects coming that are planned, that are really exciting. I'm going back to work with Kate Winslet with something she brought me for HBO."

Hayne's latest project, "May December," is loosely based on the American scandal of Mary Kay Letourneau. In Variety's review, film critic Peter Debruge wrote: "Tone is everything in movies like this, and Haynes goes out of his way to avoid the sensationalism... Withholding moral judgment as best he can, Haynes keeps things more emotional than intellectual, trusting audiences to do that unpacking on their own."