From unwilling celebrity to authored icon: reading Amy (Kapadia, 2015)

Andrews, Hannah (2017) From unwilling celebrity to authored icon: reading Amy (Kapadia, 2015). Celebrity Studies, 8 (2). pp. 351-354. ISSN 1939-2397

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From unwilling celebrity to authored icon: reading Amy (Kapadia, 2015)
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[Extract] reportage in the mid-2000s for many reasons: her self-destructive and sometimes bizarre
behaviour, her failure to conform to normative post-feminist femininity (Berkers and
Eeckelaer 2014), her controversial relationships, and her popularity as a somewhat
unlikely mainstream pop artist. Paparazzi intrusions on her privacy produced a constant
stream of images, the interpretation of which was frequently used for unsolicited
analysis of her physical and mental health. These images also provided material for a
series of quickly produced media obituaries to Winehouse after her death in July 2011,
such as Amy Winehouse: A Tribute (2011). In subsequent years, such fascination with
Winehouse continues, and audiovisual explorations of her life and death range from the
intimate, as in The Amy Winehouse Story (2013), to the ghoulish in Autopsy: Amy
Winehouse (2015). Hearsum and Inglis (2010, p. 240) argue that ‘obituary writing is
not … value-free, but acutely reveals public expressions of taste and value’. If so, what
do such audiovisual post-mortems of Winehouse tell us about the nature and framing of
contemporary fame? This article analyses Asif Kapadia’s cinematic biography Amy (2015)
in the light of this question.

Keywords:Film, Documentary film, Amy Winehouse, Celebrity, Obituary
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Film)
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ID Code:47782
Deposited On:04 Feb 2022 12:03

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