Sunday, July 12, 2009

Britney Spears Saved My Life

I watched 'Britney Spears Saved My Life' yesterday (iplayer link here for UK watchers). It was a documentary about people who are huge fans of Britney Spears. It was kind of interesting, as the people followed in the documentary were quite diverse and the filmmakers did delve into their psyches a little, going behind their obsessive seeming shrines and actually finding out why they had latched onto this particular pop star so much.

This is a supercut of all the 'HAHA LOSRZ' parts of the video.

Each of these people had some sort of borderline insane thing about their love of Ms Spears- one had the receipt from buying one of her albums preserved in a scrapbook, others had dance routines worked out for each of her songs and every single one of her perfumes.

However, the people interviewed had genuine reasons for their love of this music. There was a boy who had been outcast by his friends at school and his religious family because he'd used Britney's music to get over the death of a friend, there was a girl who had been in hospital 'because she was sad', a gay guy who was 'lonely' and found solace in the music.
Of course there were also super camp* gay guys and ditsy girls who just loved her music and seemed not to have much of a psyche at all.

What irked me about the documentary was that the makers seemed to have really exploited the people they filmed, moreso than even regular 'crazy people who are weird' documentaries do. These people may have been 'crazy fans' but they each had a reason for being so into Britney Spears, mostly because they in some way related to her public struggles with their own lives. We're talking about a girl who was in hospital with depression who hinted that she may have attempted suicide, which is pretty powerful, yet the documentary seemed (to me) to denigrate them all with it's derisory tone. It kept the camera on them as they cried listening to her songs, the interviewer probed them when they were clearly trying not to 'go there' into revealing more about themselves than these clearly damaged people wanted to reveal.

It felt like they had looked at what they'd made at the end of filming and despite having these genuinely interesting stories, decided to go with a Heat Magazine 'HAHA LOOK FREAKZ' tone, which to my eyes did not suit the content of the show and was frankly insulting to the people interviewed, and to an extent, the viewer.

This got me to thinking about songs that have stuck with me in some way, that provoke an emotional response. There are way too many to list, and to list them would be pointless as the reasons behind my love of them are as diverse as the songs themselves. But I think it would be churlish to judge me solely on my to-the-grave cry-my-eyes-out love of 'Do You Know The Way To San José'.

*check the comments


katie said...

i love britney, despite all her troubles. love your blog as always.

disneykid1 said...

"...super gay guys and ditsy girls..."

So there are different levels of gay? What does it mean to act gay? Was there anything else that defined the guys except that they were gay?

wirrow said...

there are levels of campness. 'supergay' is like the opposite of a 'supermacho' guy. you can always dress in pink and adore judy garland and the other guys drink gallons of beer and fart and talk macho shit. neither is 'bad' and there are more depths to both as individual people OBVIOUSLY other than these traits they have.. but do we have to say that everytime we talk about someone who...happens to have a really big nose? 'yeah kevin..that guy with the big nose..of course i dont mean it defines him! i dont mean he acts like he has a big nose!'
but hey..he has a big nose. and he may just be super camp. and he may just be super macho.
yea there are levels.
but we can just pretend there arent :D

Paperlilies said...

@disneykid1 I didn't mean offence dude. And in the context of this documentary, the way the documentary makers made it, they kind of did just show them to be very camp one dimensional people. They probably even had their own labels for each person in this: 'religious freak', 'androgynous', 'disty blonde girl', 'fat gay', 'thin gay', suicidal girl', etc. If you saw the documentary you'd understand what I mean I think :/
Anyway I'm going to change the wording on the post cause you do have a point and I'm sorry if I seemed particularly insensitive.

Cadisawi said...

I keep trying to leave a comment but I can't seem to make one. I think it's unfair to portray people in a negative light because they really enjoy something. Still, I wonder if some of them don't need a little talking to. Like most of her songs though.