How Emmy-Nominated Docs on Britney Spears, Billie Eilish & More Artists Question the Problem of Celebrity

HBO’s Tina is at least the 4th examination of Tina Turner‘s life story (following her 1986 memoir I, Tina, the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Make With It and 2019’s Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, now up for 12 Tony Awards and set to resume on Broadway in October). However the movie does not merely rehash Turner’s story. Rather, it provides her own definitive take of the abuse she experienced while wed to musical partner Ike Turner by method of taking a look at, years after she left him and embarked on a solo career, how the trauma of that abuse still affects her today.

Turner’s return is among rock ‘n’ roll’s most outstanding successes, a feat that Tina underscores as it states her battles to make it on her own following her split from Ike. While Tina repeats that it’s difficult to discuss Turner’s success as a singer without recognizing her former other half’s influence on her profession, it also brings a brand-new point of view on what it implies to be a survivor. Turner’s divorce was finalized in 1978– and Ike Turner passed away in 2007– her identity will always be connected to that of her ex-husband’s. That Ike casts such a large shadow over her life (she reveals that even today, at age 81, simply discussing him can conjure up nightmares) states much of the need for her as a public figure. As we appreciate her for the challenges she overcame, we accidentally force her to experience them in all time.

HBO’s The Bee Gees: How Can You Heal a Broken Heart is another movie about reflection. Director Frank Marshall follows bros Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb as they accomplish early success as a folk group prior to finding the sound that would make them one of the very popular acts of all time. However as the documentary recommends, the bros’ individual relationships with one another were not constantly as unified as their singing voices; what could have been your typical sibling squabbles were only increased by fame and success. The ego clashes that occurred within the studio would remain long after the recording sessions ended.

However it’s at the start of the film that Barry, the last staying survivor, confesses that his own memory is one-sided; he informs the story of the Bee Gees– and the Gibb household– from his point of view, understanding that his brothers aren’t around to offer their variations. In that sense, the film feels more like a peek into the Gibb archives than it does a conventional music doc. It follows a familiar narrative trajectory– they discover extraordinary success, just to see their sound fall out of favor following the public reaction versus disco’s mainstream universality — however Marshall’s doc does more for the Gibb brothers than reframe their position as one of pop music’s crucial and influential groups. It insists the siblings never ever got their due as artists however locations more significance on the family bond that brought their talents together.

If these three docs are about looking back, then Apple TV ‘s Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Fuzzy has to do with looking forward. Director R.J. Cutler had the great foresight to follow the now-19- year-old singer, who in 2019 made her debut with the chart-topping album When All Of Us Go to sleep, Where Do We Go? when she was simply17 The World’s a Little Blurred follows Eilish as she tape-records the album with her bro, Finneas, in their bedrooms at their moms and dads’ house in Los Angeles, apparently aware that she’s on the cusp of superstardom.

Like How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, the Eilish doc also works as a family portrait with the vocalist’s bro and moms and dads included significantly; while Finneas serves as her co-songwriter and producer, her parents are caring role models as they prepare her– and themselves– for her frustrating success at a young age.

The movie likewise depicts Eilish’s relationship with celeb as her star rises. Her backstage conferences with Katy Perry (who provides unsolicited suggestions to the young singer) and Justin Bieber (on whom she still harbors an extreme teenage crush) show both sides of Eilish’s public personality: one that is too cool for school (literally– the homeschooled teen radiates an impressive maturity), the other refreshingly honest about her emotions and vulnerabilities.

Eilish’s self-awareness provides the sense that the cautionary tales at the center of Framing Britney Spears, Tina and How Can You Heal a Broken Heart may have currently influenced young celebs today. While Eilish is still at the beginning of her career (her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, dropped July 30), The World’s a Little Fuzzy uses a twinkle of hope that Eilish will not have to duplicate the errors of her pop forefathers. And hopefully we as customers also will discover that our pop icons are human, too, no matter how otherworldly their star status makes them appear.

This post was originally released by The Hollywood Press Reporter

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Post Author: Izabella Jaworska

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