They'd Only Just Begun

Washington U. gags on a plan to screen a controversial Karen Carpenter biopic

Richard Carpenter declined to comment for this story.

Upon its release in 1989, Superstarplayed the festival circuit and was featured at art galleries. Art and film critics alike praised director Haynes for his complex examination of beauty, fame and body image. "Superstardeftly turns the childhood game of playing Barbie into a vivid mini-drama," Caryn James wrote in the New York Times, calling the film "audacious" and "accomplished."

Haynes enjoyed further success with a string of feature films: Poison, Safe, Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven. Currently working on his next film, tentatively titled I'm Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan, he had no comment on the Washington University screening, according to a spokesman for his production company, Killer Films. In the past, however, the director has said that if Richard Carpenter would drop the injunction against the film, he would donate any proceeds to the Carpenter Family Foundation to promote the study and prevention of anorexia nervosa. "My final plea," he told Entertainment Weekly last November, "is just, please, Richard Carpenter, please let us show Superstar someday, legally."

In place of Superstar, on January 28 the Kemper will screen Safe,a 1995 Haynes feature starring Julianne Moore as a woman infected with a mysterious disease that gradually devours her.

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