Asif Kapadia’s cinematic biography, Amy (2015) is a critically and commercially successful documentary feature that portrays the life and untimely death of celebrated singer Amy Winehouse. The film emphasises Winehouse’s ambivalent relationship with fame, while tracing the damaging effects that unwanted celebrity had on her physical and mental health. In this forum article, I assess the merits and problems with the film as a biography/obituary. I focus particularly in its representation of a disorderly female celebrity (Holmes and Negra 2011) and in its disavowal of the authored construction of its subject through a tonal register and stylistic structure that implies intimacy and authenticity.
- female celebrity
- disordered celebrity