Yesterday it was announced that Daphne Barak, a bleach-blonde Israeli-American "interviewer" whose kooky website touts her "exclusive interviews with A-list celebs, Hollywood stars, royals and heads-of-state," is doing a documentary featuring Amy Winehouse and her family, "a truthful and revealing look at her complicated life." This is just sad.
Amy and her family will be the subject of a new documentary later this year from respected Israeli-American interviewer Daphne Barak whose subjects over the years have included celebrities, royalty, world leaders, and international personalities. The journalist spent time with Amy and her family recently on St. Lucia and in true honest to goodness Amy style the doc will be a truthful and revealing look at her complicated life.
My initial reaction to having read this was the following—-"Who are these people?" I mean really, where does one find such a family, a clan who, while one of its members' lives is in the midst of a years-long spiraling out of control session, comes together and all says, "Hey...let's film all of this!" Seriously, where do families like the Winehouses come from? Are they pod people sent here from another galaxy to slowly destroy us? I've known some fucked up families in my day, hell we all do, but I can't wrap my brain around this for the life of me. What are they hoping to achieve by showing the world the day to day struggles of a family member with horrendous addiction issues?
Over the weekend I was having drinks with a friend when the subject of the Farrah Fawcett cancer documentary that aired last Friday on NBC came up in conversation. I mentioned how initially I'd planned to watch it, but in the end decided not to, mainly because of all that I'd read about how seemingly everyone in her life was squabbling over the film—-Fighting over credits, money, airtime, etc.—-Having knowledge of all of this only served to make an already heartbreaking situation all the more heartbreaking, and I just couldn't bring myself to watch it.
I mentioned my belief that the whole Farrah dying of cancer thing was sort of a unique moment in the history of American pop culture, that her's will go do as arguably the most documented celebrity death to date. I mentioned my admiration for Farrah, a former pinup model and sex symbol, for having the courage to allow herself to be filmed during the final stages of human decay. It was then that my friend said something (Are you paying attention Maureen Dowd?) that really stuck with me, like I can't seem to get it out of my head, and it was this:
"Don't feel sorry for Farrah Fawcett...she's just another celebrity desperate for attention and this whole thing is just a way to get people talking about her again, now and long after she's gone. Same for all the people in her life...they see the gravy train about to run off the cliff and they're just trying to loot it for all its worth before it crashes."
Now, initially, I was sort of shocked at the extreme level of cynicism inherent in a comment like that, it struck me to the point of almost rendering me speechless, and I kind of refused to believe it, but as more and more time passed and I couldn't seem to get that thought out of my head, I found myself thinking that maybe there was some truth in what my friend had said.
And then I came across this Winehouse story and it really served to reinforce what my friend said over the weekend and also helped to accelerate my ever so slow conversion to her horribly cynical way of thinking. This situation reminded me so much of Farrah Fawcett's—-You really do almost get the feeling that her family and friends see the end coming and they want to get what they can out of her while they still can. I mean, if you love Amy Winehouse and really want to save her, then get to work fucking saving her! I can't imagine that there's any way having a documentary film crew around is going to enhance those efforts. Of course, this all could be a terribly misguided theory and their intentions may be for the best (What the fuck that is is anyone's guess!), but it sure just seems so plain wrong, not to mention sad beyond words.
If this sort of thing is that goes into being a celebrity in the modern world, why the fuck would anyone aspire to it? Complete anonymity and the human relationship pureness that it tends to bring sure seems to be such a more attractive life option, doesn't it?