Sunday, January 08, 2017

BRIGHT LIGHTS

HBO showed a ninety minute film Saturday night (and I am sure it will be on demand there) that detailed the parasitic bond between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. The film was a tragic summary of their lives in that it more resembled a west coast version of Gray Gardens than a film about two successful women.

Much like the doc on Joan River and Elaine Stritch is was obsessed with painting these women as sad figures and little more. There was almost no discussion of their history or careers and instead we see both of them wandering around their eccentric houses, striking poses, singing half-songs. Yes, okay Carrie can sing, but boy she is better at writing or offering commentary on modern life. By constantly showing her singing it's as if the documentary wanted to paint her as a failed singer and not a successful novelist, scriptwriter, essayist, performer.

Perhaps Carrie is attached at the hip to Debbie. Perhaps Debbie turned both her children into hand-maidens but certainly there is much more to their story.

I especially found the long segment on Carrie signing autographs for $70 a piece annoying. Would they devote a segment to an athlete doing this? 

Why do film-makers need to shape the lives of older women into tragedies?I can't imagine such a pathetic rendering of the life of male performers. Okay, maybe Jerry Lewis.

13 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

My take away:

1. She was right to be concerned about Debbie as she looked very frail.
2. Did Carrie go five minutes without a cigarette, because if so I missed it.

Jackie also made the GREY GARDENS comparison.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Also the coke. The sugar killed her if the nicotine didn't.

Todd said...

"Well, you know, ya gotta make it so the girls [sic] won't resent them. They wanna know the tragedy." Hence, Lifetime, OWN and other defaults.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So disturbing to have their accomplishments pushed aside for their vices.

Charles Gramlich said...

Overall I think there is a tendency to try and make celebrity lives tragic. It's a very human trait.

Anonymous said...

Do they think $70 for an autograph is too much or too little?

Richard Robinson said...

Since I don't watch junk like this, I'm not subjected to such thoughts and questions.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think it is junk just a bad doc.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It had its moments. Jackie's favorite part was Carrie with Griffin Dunne in London. Also, they did show a certain amount of Debbie's career highlights, I thought.

Incidentally, if you didn't get the reference Catherine Hickland (Todd's wife) was making to KNIGHT RIDER and buying the car, she was married to David Hasselhoff at the time.

George said...

Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated. Clearly Debbie and Carrie had long-running problems. Capturing that on film would be tricky.

Richard Robinson said...

Okay, sorry for the term "junk", I used it as in "junk TV" but still, sorry. I just don't get the reason to even make this, except for the profit. But I suppose that's the reason all film is made.

On another note, has anyone seen ELLE?

Jerry House said...

Off topic and congrats to Megan. Stephen King posted on his Facebook page, ""YOU WILL KNOW ME, by Megan Abbott. What an excellent novel. Gave me the creeps ion the best possible way."

pattinase (abbott) said...

Quite a thrill for her, Jerry. Thanks!