What do you keep in mind about Britney Spears? Watching the much-talked about documentary Framing Britney Spears, which debuts tonight on Sky and Now TV per week after touchdown within the US, makes you notice you’ve got been fed a story about Britney Spears’ life – even when you’re solely vaguely conscious of her two-plus a long time within the highlight.
A part of The New York Occasions Presents collection, this sympathetic documentary explores the methods wherein the gross celeb tabloid tradition of the ’00s tried its hardest to wreck Britney Spears: by following her round and obsessively photographing her most weak moments for revenue, and by controlling how occasions in her private life have been perceived by the general public. You may be hard-pressed to not really feel indignant after watching it.
Since 2008, Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship operated by Jamie Spears, her father – permitting him to manage her funds and different key elements of her life. It is one thing the documentary navigates by analyzing Britney’s current skilled profession, taking a look at court docket filings and speaking to the passionate followers that make up the #FreeBritney motion who oppose the conservatorship.
It does this after working by a timeline of occasions that led to the conservatorship within the first place, together with her private struggles in the direction of the tip of the ’00s.
The facility of Framing Britney Spears is in the way it recontextualizes Spears’ historical past within the highlight – together with her relationship and break-up with Justin Timberlake, how she was sexualized by the media even when was an adolescent, and the way unfunny late night time hosts made her the topic of jokes.
It is a highly effective reminder of how poisonous and omnipresent celeb tabloid tradition round younger ladies was within the ’00s, and the way figures like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan entered your cultural orbit even when you have been making an attempt your finest to close them out.
By merely presenting footage from the time, the documentary efficiently manages to make you query how Spears was really handled by media. A well-known Diane Sawyer interview from 2003 – rife with cynical moralistic nonsense about setting an instance for younger individuals – has aged like fantastic milk.
The documentary depicts Spears’ story as one crafted by tabloids, opportunists and even her ex-boyfriend – who all had one thing to realize at her expense. It is an all-encompassing piece of labor, and satisfies in simply how a lot of her profession it blitzes by in an hour and 20 minutes.
It additionally advantages from having sympathetic, perceptive perception from NYT’s personal speaking heads, like critic Wesley Morris – even when it lacks the participation of Spears or her household. Whereas the documentary clearly has good intentions, it is once more a model of Spears’ narrative that she would not get to ship herself.
Framing Britney Spears makes fame look like it is too heavy a worth to pay, at the least when you’re a younger lady. You’d hope that celeb tradition would not go away the identical affect as this clearly did all these years later – however who is aware of how we’ll really feel about this era of influencers, celebrities and prompt entry in 20 years?
A lot of what you are proven on this documentary will really feel like current historical past, relying in your age, and but our trendy attitudes to how Spears was handled really feel like they’ve progressed considerably since then.
In the end, you will simply finish Framing Britney Spears wishing that Spears might absolutely take management of her personal story once more. However whether or not you are a fan of her music or not, it is an interesting glimpse on the human worth of celeb tradition – and the truth that those that stand to profit pay no worth in any respect. Do not miss it.