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“For The Record”

"For The Record"

Its a crazy week here at indieWIRE. Between Sundance announcing its schedule, the Gothams, the Spirit nominations, and a ton of December planning, were scrambling, and I don’t have much time to do any significant blogging. And my New York days are numbered, so I’m trying to get in as much as possible in my free time before I head north for Christmas.

I did however, find time last night to watch the Britney Spears “documentary” For The Record (which says something about my priorities). Essentially a Hills-style hour long commercial for her new album and “new image”, For The Record, as orchestrated as it was, was occasionally quite fascinating. Because for moments here and there, the “documentarian” was not quite able to hide the troubled, mentally ill girl whose team of money hungry handlers so desperately want to cage. For a brief period there, we saw her for who she was: she had escaped from the cage and ran wild. And now she’s been medicated back to a pampered workhorse.

This recap articulated it better than I can:

The most terrifying sequence was one that seemed to display a sort of dueling personality: “I’m angry, I’m very angry, I’m horribly angry!” she said, while laughing. Then, “I’m going to get married next year and have babies!” And then “I’m sad!” she said, breaking into tears.

She does seem to be learning the impulse control she has famously lacked over the last years, but emotional life is still so overwhelming to her that she can’t help but display that on camera. One second there’s “no excitement, no passion, it’s like Groundhog Day every day.” The next? “It’s never gotten to the point where it isn’t fun!” She cannot make up her mind, and it doesn’t look good.

You can find another well-voiced recap here, which suggests some questions a more ballsy or, really, truth-seeking documentarian would have asked:

– Were you on drugs and what were they?
– Hey, how ’bout those schizophrenia rumors?
– Remember when you were speaking in a British accent? What was up with that?
– Parazzi-baiting (per Rolling Stone, Blender and The Atlantic): hobby or chore?
– No really, what drugs were you on when you collapsed at PURE?
– Was rehab as fun as it looks like on TV?
– What did you make of Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy and were you relieved to be the lesser Spears train wreck for a while?
– For the love of forward-thinking pop, why the fuck did you squander that Timbaland and Justin Timberlake collboration?
– Dog poop on dresses: fad or here to stay?
– It’s 60 minutes into your documentary: do you know where your mother is?
– You are aware that you don’t get to write your own obituary, right?
– How long do you honestly think you can keep this up?

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