Framing Britney Spears

Fails to probe particularly deeply into a lot of the conditions of celebrity culture in the mid-2000's that lead to the insatiable thirst for a kind of fetishistic voyeurism, the cynical tabloid-fuelled near-constant surveillance of the private lives of the rich and famous, that contributed to the kind of "frame" that surrounds Britney Spears even to this day. The doc rightfully hints at the powerful grip of cultural misogyny that made Britney Spears an ideal and easy target for all kinds of vultures - industry, personal, and of course those of us who remember snickering at one of the endless US Weekly cover photos, or perhaps clicked eagerly onto the latest TMZ bulletin - but doesn't fully extrapolate new commentary around it. As a piece of organizational journalism this mostly succeeds at tracing Spears' career highs and lows, and a few of those interviewed do offer genuine behind the scenes insights that rightfully puts the present-day conservatorship under scrutiny. But it lacks an incisive angle at what underlines most of this commentary and ends up struggling to give agency to the star at its centre, one whose entire career has been defined by her struggle for it.

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