It's decidedly enthralling to pore over the minutia involved in presenting a big pop star to the public. That looks like the case in Katy Perry's July 5th movie release: "Katy Perry: Part of Me," which has received several nods in just a short period of time. Clearly, the elephant in the room regarding this film is Perry's personal life-specifically her divorce from comedian Russell Brand. After all, who wouldn't want to experience some of the intimate details involved in the "Teenage Dream" singer's whirlwind romance?
Pop marketing trends…
If this particular type of music/movie/branding marketing tool seems familiar, you would be correct. Justin Bieber introduced "Never Say Never" in 2011; but the L.A. Times branded his super-saturated affair a "bit of a mess." The obvious draw to this film was the notion that diehard fans will devour anything that has the singer's name on it. But with Bieber and Perry releasing their musical life stories, it's only natural to wonder who's next. Does this mean that we could soon find out just how Nicki Minaj transforms into hip-hop Barbie for her public appearances? Perhaps.
Pop Flick Beginnings…
Indeed, these kinds of films have been around for a long time. Madonna's behind-the-scenes 1990 concert film "Truth or Dare" was a tremendous hit. But even then, with nearly a decade under her belt, she was still considered enough of an enigma that following her around with cameras under any circumstances would have been fascinating. As a result, "Truth or Dare" still remains one of the biggest grossing documentaries ever.
You might think that these mega pop stars have merely taken the opportunity to fan the flames of their own pop stardom. But in light of "Part of Me's" mainly positive reviews on RottenTomatoes.com, you could be right. In essence, stars like Katy-who have few scandals to mar their personable public images, are likeable figures in the public eye. It's easy to market their stories. The "sweetness" of some of their stories on screen may seem slightly artificial. But at least fans get the chance to identify with celebs as human beings.
Documentaries = Reality Movies?
Television is already saturated with celebrity-based yarns of lore. The public is accustomed to stringing together the pieces of their lives, and consuming them with their daily meals. But reality TV has its restrictions. Music and movies go hand in hand; bigger budgets dictate more "creative license" in how the rich and famous choose to tell their stories. You've got to hand it to the big wigs; getting popular musicians into the movies with the biopic/concert angle is quite the savvy marketing tool. But the problem with clever marketing moves is that every other artist in the world usually attempts to cash in on the brilliance. These documentary films--while legitimate in their scope--have the potential to become little more than big screen reality shows…with plenty of room for the prequels and sequels that tend to annoy the American public. Will Katy's "Part of Me" success re-ignite the Pop Star Movie trend?
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