The latest edition of The New York Times Presents, a series of standalone documentaries produced by the Times staff, revolves around Britney Spears, whose pop star is at times dwarfed by personal drama and family strife was framing Britney Spears revisiting the Ups I Did It Again and the Rise of the Circus Artist, from Charm at the Mickey Mouse Club to Appearance at the Boys Club of Early 2000s Pop Music In those days, “Girls Didn’t Sell,” as a speaking head notes But Spears achieved a commercial success seldom seen – she became the Princess Of Pop, selling tours and garnering legions of fans while also maintaining a carefully manicured image
As the public breakups and breakdowns began, that image collapsed, and the same tabloid photographers and reporters who once sought to capture Spears at their best were now even more anxious to document them at their lowest, framing Britney Spears investigating that shift in addition to the conservatory Spears has lived under for 14 years and the #FreeBritney movement that was born on social media, the documentary, directed by Samantha Stark, is full of familiar headlines – including allusions to Spears’ relationship with Justin Timberlake and his breakup with Justin Timberlake – and casual but dismaying admissions that the singer’s privacy would never be respected, while her personal struggles for tabloid business stayed good
Framing Britney Spears pays tribute to intrusive paparazzi and directors by photographers in magazines But as AV Club staff and Britney fans Danette Chavez and Shannon Miller watched the documentary They wondered if this investigative work followed suit. So they shared their feelings for the documentary and the questions it raises in this latest crosstalk
Shannon Miller: Danette, the last time we connected through another pop culture idol, you were kind enough to start things off on a well-received ‘whistle note’, “Considering that we are into one today meddle in serious chat with Britney Spears, do you mind if I start with a spirited, hopefully iconic, “HnnnYeaAah”?
Danette Chavez: I think we’d all be happy to hear a “HnnnYeaAah” “Indeed,” Gimme More “
SM: It’s pretty wild to think of the Princess Of Pop and her overwhelming influence on pop culture over the past two decades – any longer if you were a Mickey Mouse Club fan. Your previous work is also considered one of the defining ones Soundtracks of the Millennium Even if you’re not the most dedicated Britney fan, it would be very difficult not to somehow respond to a “baby one more time” or “oops! I’ve done it again. “They’re just moments now part of this popular pop culture lexicon Do you have a typical Britney track that keeps satisfying?
DC: I wish I could at least go for a deep cut here, but if I go with my stomach it’s “Oops! I did it againAs someone who was the target audience for Titanic and Spears’ second album ( Also called Oops! I Did It Again) In their respective releases in 1997 and 2000, you just couldn’t escape this song, video homage or dance. That doesn’t mean I haven’t delved into the Spears catalog: “Piece Of Me” and “Work, Bitch” are always in rotation and no less over loudspeakers (no earbuds required if you work from home) And I got a kick from RuPaul’s Drag Race ‘recent nod to the pop princess in a lip-sync to “If U Seek Amy” (a song title that took me way too long to write) But “Oops! I Did It Again “is almost portable for me and takes me back to the time of frosted tips, metallic eye make-up and the dominance of Spears
What is your Britney going to? Please don’t let me be the last to know (yes, I plan to keep doing this) and did you call up Spears tracks to prepare for the New York Times Presents’ framing Britney Spears rate or to accompany them?
SM: My favorite track is “Inside Out,” a sultry gift from their 2011 album Femme Fatale. I remember letting the song drag for a while after first listening to it and thinking, “Oh, yeah, she is absolutely back “How do you not feel unshakably sexy when it appears on your YouTube autoplay? It goes without saying!
I actually didn’t listen to anything in preparation for this documentary I hope you don’t hold it against hit (It took me far too long to land on it I don’t know how you do it Chavez) Honestly, I am not sure if anything could have adequately prepared me for those 75 minutes.It’s one thing to vaguely remember the many, many sides of the ongoing media relationship with Spears.It’s an entirely different experience to have those moments in a broader way decades later Linking timeline from the halcyon days of their debut to today, when we’re just beginning to grasp the details of their conservatory – which was originally overseen solely by their father, Jamie Spears – and the resulting #FreeBritney movement
Granted, I’m not even sure where to start when discussing this document.It does a pretty amazing job of showing how Spears’ outward image transitioned from the carefully crafted, folk girl to a woman who was seen as incapable of taking care of herself I think the most resonant for me was how much she got involved with her brand from an early age. In the past, I didn’t think there was enough media emphasis on how accurate she was with her appearances, her contracts and bypassed the appearances she approved. And based on the report from Adam Streisand, a lawyer she wanted to assist in the case against her father, she tried to maintain some level of autonomy even during the preservation process
DC: This can be difficult to verify, in part because so much of this information, including Spears’ marriage to Kevin Federline and the well-documented hair salon breakdown, has been available for years aside from a deep dive into Fan-led #FreeBritney movement makes you wonder what else director / producer Samantha Stark might discover.But seeing it all in its entirety – Spear’s breakup with Justin Timberlake, her abysmal treatment by the paparazzi, and even her own family – is one troubling memory of this culture chewing up and spitting out its idols And not to diminish what it’s been through, but can you imagine how much worse it would have been for Spears if she wasn’t a pretty young white woman? Despite being a survivor, Megan Thee Stallion has been scrutinized as closely as her alleged attacker Tory Lanez – she even felt like she had to produce evidence of her gunshot wound
As you mentioned earlier, we’ve talked in the past about the skill of contested pop stars and how and why some people might refuse to acknowledge their cunning, which always seems to have been the case with Britney Spears, their original image – or “framing” as the documentary puts it – was pure Lolita Public opinion was that Spears just went along or wasn’t even fully aware of how “hit me, baby, one more time” or “not so innocent” are interpreted Check out this MadTV parody of Spears:
As portrayed by Nicole Sullivan, Spears is being manipulated by her family and stared at by handlers on its surface, the sketch is almost sympathetic to Spears’ plight – she’s just a teenager, caught up in the plans and wishes of others but just like Lifetime -Film Britney Ever After, he disproves how confident Spears has always been, I don’t mean she was overly calculating or anything, but Spears knew or learned how to cross the line between desirable and achievable while at the same time maintaining her own vision for her career included
SM: It’s interesting that this sketch first aired in September 1999, not long after its debut. It’s been at least 19 years since I’ve seen this clip. And yet I can remember this parody word for word As if she’s been on the loop since then, it’s a pretty strong example of how various media sectors have viewed Spears as a comedy-ready character from the start, an instantly memorable presence before we even had the language, a “memorable” or sensation Furthermore, this comedy was largely rooted in the seriously uncomfortable aspects of her life, whether it was oversexualization from the moment she stepped on the scene, her custody battle with Federline, or the breakdown of her relationship with Timberlake I Promise , I don’t intend to let him overshadow this discussion, but my God, what an unfortunate, opportunistic, s aure footnote he became voluntarily in all of this
DC: I recall once again the wrongful decision by the judiciary that resulted in Timberlake becoming a thing, leaving JC Chasez mostly in the cold
In any case, I wish Stark had focused more on how these widespread imagery contributed to a collective failure to take their various pitfalls seriously. “If Britney can survive 2007, you can survive today” is often than fun, motivational nugget traded on t-shirts and coffee mugs – it’s really an Etsy subgenre of its own at this point – but if you’ve been online at all for the entire past decade, you most likely have the phrase with a particular image one bald, fiery Britney, often wrongly described as “wild” or “awkward” as an inferior favorite, who defends herself against the paparazzi who followed her without her consent (a detail suggested by videographer Daniel Ramos, who That evening the famous photos taken, with a startling lack of empathy or self-awareness revealed) It is a far verb horseback joke with insidious origins and probably the most popular of many Britney-related even fans passionate about Spears defense for the public – such as Chris Crocker, whose road to fame was originally paved by his taped “Leave Britney alone” plea – are in ridiculed certain areas of the internet internet culture and parody played a significant role in this, and I’m not sure there was enough focus on it for a documentary to explore its public making
Speaking of the lack of context, Danette, how did you feel about the lack of spears in framing Britney Spears? I think it brought back some memories of HBO’s Leaving Neverland where it left out a perspective, the only difference being that leaving Neverland had a wealth of personal accounts and not enough medical context Framing Britney Spears seemed to amass a generous supply of expert knowledge, however, and lacked the really intimate points of the main actors (although it was subsequently found that an attempt to invite Britney and the family was being made)
DC: I’m not surprised that the Spears family members declined to participate After taping old interviews with Bryan Spears, Britney’s brother, it’s safe to say that they wouldn’t have brought much to the documentary.Your family members are equally indebted to their own stories: your father will always see himself as a protector rather than an opportunist for your mother Lynn is revealed in the final moments of the documentary that she finally spoke out on behalf of Britney on behalf of the Conservatory, which is probably more beneficial to her image than being scrutinized by a journalist (Still, it would have been kind of cathartic to have her on camera to see squirm, no?)
But regarding the documentary’s other shortcomings, I wish Stark had pushed back Ramos ‘claims that Spears never really wanted to be left alone by the paparazzi.This exchange is especially bad given Spears’ tense Today interview with Matt Lauer in which she picks up when she ponders what it would be like if her privacy were respected. Flashing cameras have long been an occupational hazard to any type of public figure, let alone a platinum-rated pop artist, and as Ramos notes , there’s sort of a symbiotic relationship there – reporting builds reputation, which in turn requires more reporting. It’s a business for the likes of Brittain Stone – the photo director at Us Weekly, than “honest” footage as he puts it in the documentary were the order of the day – was that big business As the tabloids grew here in the USMillions of dollars in price tags have been posted on photo galleries, whether the pictures were bought by photographers or public figures auctioned off. Perhaps more dauntingly, the fact that Spears’ Conservatory – we learn their estate is worth $ 60 million and these funds are used to pay attorneys on both sides of the dispute – by the people who are supposed to be treated like a business, take care of them
That brings me back to the point you made earlier, Shannon, about your ambivalence in approaching the documentary. Will this project help or hinder Spears without highlighting the dangers of the conservatory? Is the framing team at Britney Spears, journalists themselves, just continuing the tradition of capitalizing on their personal tragedies?
SM: That’s the big question: who does it help? To his credit, it’s a hands-on introduction for those like me who have felt a little lost with the #FreeBritney campaign or, as you pointed out, the potential slippage of this kind of restrictive guardianship, but most of all, I have this ubiquitous flaw Emphasizes in accountability when it comes to how everyone contributed to this extremely difficult moment in the icon’s life, which is not particularly illuminating or useful if it fails to somehow shift the legal parameters it is working against / p>
DC: Framing Britney Spears concludes with the news that while her father is no longer the sole keeper of her estate (he has temporarily resigned as her keeper of the person), Spears remains a keeper I would never lack of degree or Hold a decent ending to a documentary because they’re often filmed and produced in the midst of ongoing events.But I don’t think Framing Britney Spears will ever really get what it’s set to do. The dual meaning of the title speaks for multiple intentions: Beats the Times documentary suggest that Spears was “framed” in the sense that it was founded by loved ones or some dehumanizing legal system in order to lose their rights? Or is the intention to put the singer in a new context that will restore the agency that has been lost in all the breathless and inappropriate reporting? This is never fully resolved by the end of the 75-minute runtime. Instead, Framing Britney Spears is in the same borderline state – “not so innocent”, “not yet a girl, not a woman yet” – that his world famous theme deals with much of hers Had to struggle for a lifetime
World News – CA – Is Framing Britney Spears Restoring or Undermining the Star’s Agency?