Because I had a change of plans last night, when I was supposed to go to the movies with a friend (we’re now going later Sunday evening), I found myself at home, relaxing after a stressful week and watching Beyonce’s 90-minute vanity project documentary, Life is But a Dream – produced by Beyonce, co-directed by Beyonce, and all about Beyonce. Talk about Information Overload!
Funny, but a good chunk of the film features Beyonce talking into her web cam, trying to be all self-reflexive and “deep.” Instead, it came off very narcissistic, vapid, and annoying! Seriously, there were only like tiny little snippets of the other people who made up her life. You know, like her husband Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, her baby Blue Ivy, her old bandmates from Destiny’s Child, her father, Matthew Knowles, who managed the bulk of her career, and they barely get a word in edgewise, much less any camera time.
And the crazy thing about it is: I wanted more of them and less of Beyonce! Maybe because when they were featured, they seemed to be the most natural and organic part of the film, while Beyonce’s parts were so claustrophobic – seriously, extreme close-ups of Bey peering into her web cam to deliberate on her life and how “blessed” and “fortunate” she is to have her success just seemed like a whole lot of bragging.
I still have no idea who she is or what makes her tick! And isn’t that the point of a documentary? Heck, I still have no clue what goes into her musical process, even though we get some behind-the-scenes footage.
How sad that someone has been so controlled by image and is in so much control of her “image” that she couldn’t even let loose and really let us see the woman behind the image! I included the still from the film above because I wanted you to get a sense of how Beyonce actually expects us to believe she goes to bed looking all gorgeous just before going to sleep! Seriously!
(She also seriously had her mom put curlers in her hair just before she went into labor! Just… WOW!)
All that aside, it made me think if David would ever do a “self-revealing” documentary about himself. Lord knows there’s enough of a fan base who would crave it and eat it up (I know I would!). Fortunately, David would be far more introspective, less self-conscious about the image portrayed, and yes, I think he’d have the good sense to let someone else produce and direct it, and ask the tough questions.
He would also make sure it was less about “him” and all about the people who shaped who he is and what he has become: we would definitely get a sense of his family, his friends, his community, his crew and entourage. Even if he wanted to feature footage of himself talking to his webcam, he’d actually be talking to “us,” his audience, and not to himself!
I actually watched the entire 90-minutes of Life is But a Dream and wondered: “what was the point of that?” I didn’t get a thing from it, no new single, no new glimpse into her upcoming album, or even what she has in store for her upcoming world tour (at least Michael Jackson’s This Is It let you know what coulda, shoulda, and woulda happened!).
How sad that Beyonce felt this was necessary for her “brand” and still feel so uncomfortable exposing herself that she would rather come off as a “narcissist” than really let us know about the people in her world who helped shape what she has become.
Of course, now she’s made me long for a similar David-like Vanity Project, which we will never get because, thankfully, David doesn’t take himself that seriously!