I’m Always There

Musical biopics need a shake up. 

Anyone with an appetite for *some* creativity and novelty in their artistic diets should agree; at this point in the jukebox era, the genre has basically become defined by its tried, true, and beaten-blue fallback formulas and conventions.

So much so that any mild deviation from this norm tastes like manna from the pseudo-inventive heavens. Case in point: Aline’s decision to have 58-year-old Valerie Lemercier play the title character (read: Céline Dion) through every stage of her life, including childhood.

Which got me thinking: has a star ever played themselves in a biopic about themselves??

It’s not even a secret anymore (was it ever?) that the subjects of these biographies have a hand in the finished products. As such, they’re less an objective retelling of their careers, and more a self-stylized, late-stage recollection of their sperm to worm, with an eye towards cementing their mythologized legacies.

Which is fine! I ain’t hating!

But whether fact or fiction, the truth of what we’re watching resides in the subtextual interplay of their present self recalling their past selves.

So how about we turn this subtext into actual text?

By casting the current selves of these celebrities to play every version of their past selves depicted, their modern-day performance would act as a running commentary between now and then, in a “then through the now” relationship — already extant (subtextually) in these biopics — to be analyzed and explored and unpacked.

And for biopics about artists, imagine the artists themselves re-embodying their famous works of lore! Which would also overcome an obvious problem at the center of these projects:

Talent-wise, superstars tend to be one of ones; whatever distinguishes their greatness is probably the reason we’re even interested in a piece of art about them.

As such, how can anyone else hope to match their prowess?

One thought on “I’m Always There

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