Recently it has been revealed how many major icons of the celebrity media were being turned into biographical documentaries, but this time without the usual media sensationalism. Famous names like Vidal Sassoon, Joan Rivers and Jim Morrison, to name but a few, will have their public image restored after years of unfavourable press.
But does this really make for a better film, or do we prefer a bit of spin to spice things up a bit? It’s difficult to tell. These films look to repair their subjects’ damaged reputations, as with the biographical story of The Doors that uses a narrator going by the name of (you may have heard of this guy, I’m not sure myself) Johnny Depp. It’s a bit of a blow for sensationalist journalists, but could this spark a new era of honest biographies hitting the silver screen?
Personally, I’d like to see how film makers going to manage this. When you really think about it, there are a few major obstacles to overcome. First and foremost being how to accurately portray the lives and times of these mass-worshipped icons without making the footage seem boring. The second, of course, is how to ensure that the celebrities in question take this opportunity to repair any bad aspects of their reputation, and thirdly whether the press take to the films kindly.
The press are sensationalist – without being able to transport the reader into a wild, foreign world, there is nothing left to entertain audiences with. Film makers may find it difficult to make this more realistic and balanced approach work with little to no fiction. Without the wild car chases, the made-up affairs and the profanity, we may be left with a list of names who, in reality, were nowhere near as daring and deserving of the respect and awe that has become their due.