Posted on Apr 2, 2021 at 6:00 AM
Britney Spears, “framed”
In the midst of a pandemic, the United States is going through a crucial electoral campaign and demonstrators waved signs shouting… “Free Britney”! The case is less trivial than it seems. Since “Baby, One More Time” in 1998, Britney Spears has had some of pop’s greatest hits. But, at 39, the idol has lived for more than ten years under the tutelage of a father who controls his finances and, it seems, every aspect of his daily life.
Journalists, fans, lawyers review the rise of a bright girl from Louisiana. From trestles erected in shopping malls to the stages of Las Vegas casinos, Britney Spears is built on her own. Then, slowly, she loses control of her image and finally of her life. Documentary produced by the “New York Times”, “Framing Britney Spears” studies this terrifying process which leads a young woman to find herself “framed”, like an icon or like a prisoner. A. G.
“Framing Britney Spears” by Samantha Stark. On Amazon Prime from April 5.
Taylor Swift, l’ex- « gentille »
Hard, hard to be a pop star … With more than ten years of career, Taylor Swift no longer has a taste for detours or compromises. “Throughout my career, label directors have shaped me to be this sweet little girl. The one who never imposes her opinions on others, who smiles and politely says thank you. I ended up becoming the person that was expected of me ”, confides the singer in “Miss Americana”. Throughout this documentary unveiled last year, the American diva, now very discreet in the media, evokes the misogyny of the music industry, media pressure and for the very first time her political commitment.
Once an idol of the Republican clan, the 30-year-old makes her voice heard in support of the Democratic Party, confident that she wants to finally be “On the good side of history”. A documentary that is both intimate and musical, mixing very personal images and studio sessions. A tasty dive into the moods of one of the most talented pop stars of his time. C. D.
“Miss Americana”, by Lana Wilson. On Netflix.
Lady Gaga, behind the mask
Far from artifices, fanciful clothes and flashes of brilliance, Lady Gaga unveils herself without make-up. Escaping glamor and glitter, the singer sketches throughout this documentary the outlines of a life full of faults, doubts, marked by her painful fight against illness. Suffering from fibromyalgia, the American reveals her daily care, the pains that often paralyze her, to the point of preventing her from taking the stage.
Between paranoia and anxiety, she gives herself up like never before, confiding her romantic pains as much as her joy to return to the studio while she is recording her fifth album, “Joanne”. A documentary all the more fascinating as it opens with a very special piece of news: a future role in the cinema in a film called… “A Star is Born”. The start of a rebirth that she could not guess, at the time, would lead her down the road to the Oscars. C. D.
« Gaga : Five Foot Two », de Chris Moukarbel. Sur Netflix.
Amy Winehouse, the jazz singer
Released in 2015, four years after her death, this multi-award-winning documentary traces Amy Winehouse’s short career, from her teenage years in London to her pathetic end, from her first steps in jazz, the music she revered from her childhood, to ‘to planetary glory and the descent into hell. Through the many testimonies of her relatives and a profusion of intimate images and videos, we discover a rebellious and full of life teenager, already with the voice of a Billie Holiday and an innate gift for transforming her experiences into great songs.
Behind eccentricity, bulimia, alcoholism, we also understand its flaws, between an absent mother and a father adored but unable to protect her, an unscrupulous manager and a husband, a notorious drug addict, who pushes her on the path of self-destruction. The media maelstrom generated by the album “Back to Black” will eventually engulf the one who just wanted to be a jazz singer … “Slow down Amy, you’re too important.” Life teaches you how to live it if you give it time ”Tony Bennett said at the end. She preferred to join the “club of 27”, planting the last nail in her legend. L. B.
“Amy”, by Asif Kapadia. In DV, Blu-Ray and VOD.
Bille Eilish, the tormented one
In “The World’s A Little Blurry”, released in February, RJ Cutler’s camera follows the young Californian star, on the eve of her 17th birthday, writing her first album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go ? », Writes in the bedroom of his brother (also co-author and producer), who will obtain no less than five Grammy Awards eighteen months later. Between large European scenes and small scenes of family life, this 2 hour 20 minute documentary evokes both the torments of artist Billie Eilish and her teenage concerns.
Interviews, tours and awards are followed by heartache and driving license exam.
The darkness of her lyrics – which her family sometimes worries about – contrasts with her reactions of a midinette to Justin Bieber, of whom she remains an unwavering fan. At just 18 years old, Billie Eilish will be invited to compose the music for the next James Bond. A life of contrasts, which she will sum up with a joke during the little party given in the modest family home in honor of her dedication to the Grammies: “I can’t believe I had five Grammies and still be in that rotten garden.” “M. R.
« Billie Eilish : The World’s a Little Blurry », de R.J. Cutler. Sur Apple TV.
The divas of yesterday: Whitney, Tina and Billie
Other divas in the past are the subject of documentaries to be found on DVD, Blu-Ray or VOD. They sometimes simply wear the first names of the stars they evoke. The chilling “Whitney” (Ed. ARP) by Kevin Macdonald traces the descent into hell of Whitney Houston, a superstar torn apart by abusive men and toxic substances. Announced at Universal for the summer, “Tina” will address the fate of the Tennessee lioness, the brutality of her mentor and husband Ike Turner and her triumphant tours. “Billie” (Ed. L’AtelierImages) looks back on the career of “Strange Fruit” singer Billie Holiday. Through the fate of “Lady Day”, James Erskine chronicles the open wounds of black history in America. We will remember this sentence from Tony Bennett: “Why do singers crack? Why, when they reach the top, does something tragic happen? “. A. G.