Reviews

Santa Clara County | December 10, 2023

Doc Talk: More Than 50 Movies About Music in California 

Karen and Richard Carpenter had a nationwide hit with “We’ve Only Just Begun” originally written as a jingle for a Bank of America commercial; better than that was their cover of Leon Russell’s poignant “Superstar.” This is the real story of how their relentlessly chipper music disguised authentic pain, particularly Karen’s fatal struggle with anorexia, and as of the end of 2023 it is still on the festival circuit and not yet available via streaming.

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Edmonton Journal | September 20, 2023

EIFF: Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection gives the artist her due 

The Prescott Film Festival presents The Voice and the Legacy of Karen Carpenter. A thoughtful and necessarily downbeat documentary that celebrates Carpenter’s triumphs while asking how it all could have been avoided

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The Daily Courier | September 19, 2023

Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection’ at Prescott Film Festival offers glimpse into singer’s legacy as a musical icon who succumbed to a fatal eating disorder

In the 1970’s, Karen Carpenter was a Grammy-winning performer whose three-octave, still recognizable “velvet voice” captivated listeners of multiple generations, a perfectionist percussionist whose talent proved a blessing and a curse. At 32 years old, the famed member of the pop brother/sister duo, “The Carpenters,” died of a heart attack related to a long battle with the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa. Her brother, Richard, the duo’s producer, pianist, arranger and harmonizing vocalist, continues to celebrate his sister’s legacy with new compilations of their timeless, legendary songs such as “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” as well as one of their original covers, a revised version of The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride.”

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Prescott E-News | September 15, 2023

The Prescott Film Festival presents The Voice and the Legacy of Karen Carpenter 

Karen Carpenter remains an enigma in pop music. An international star by the age of 22, her velvety sound and elegant phrasing made her the voice of pop romance in the 1970’s. But by 32, she was gone – felled by a grueling work ethic, and an eating disorder. The Prescott Film Festival presents the moving and cautionary documentary Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection, Friday, September 22 at 4 p.m., at the Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center.
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The Arts Fuse | August 5, 2023

Film Reviews: The 2023 Woods Hole Film Festival – Some Eye-Opening Experiences  

With the exception of one narrative chiller and a look at singer Karen Carpenter, the best films I saw were documentaries on the lives and careers of significant African Americans. This year’s Woods Hole Film Festival presented a distinctive program of lesser seen narrative and documentary movies. With the exception of one narrative chiller and a look at singer Karen Carpenter, the best films I saw were documentaries on the lives and careers of significant African-Americans. Two of these were real eye-openers.)
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Sarasota Magazine | March 28, 2023

Sarasota Film Festival Movies Tell the True-Life Stories of Some Well-Known Women in the Arts 

First up is Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection, directed by Randy Martin (showing at Burns Court Cinema, with the next screening at 4 p.m. Thursday March 30). Sure, there have been films made about the short and tragic life of the 1970s pop music superstar before. (Think the TV movie The Karen CarpenterStory, from 1989, or director Todd Haynes’ experimental short film from 1988 that treated Carpenter’s life and struggle with anorexia through the use of Barbie dolls.)
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Film Threat, Sabina Dana Plasse | February 11, 2023

KAREN CARPENTER: STARVING FOR PERFECTION
SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2023 REVIEW! Karen Carpenter was a woman who died embattled by her fears in the form of anorexia nervosa. Like so many gifted musicians, singers, and songwriters who die too young from addiction, Carpenter’s drug was a self-induced condition, which too few knew too little about in her time. However, even in the unknown depths of her struggle with her eating disorder, Carpenter produced long-lasting songs with her unique velvet, creamy voice. Director Randy Martin captures all of Karen Carpenter in the unforgettable Karen Carpenter: Starving For Perfection.
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Los Angeles Blade, Rob Watson | February 14, 2023

‘STARVING FOR PERFECTION’ & REVISITING KAREN CARPENTER 40 YEARS LATER

Tragedies take many forms. There are tragic stories of individuals who deserved a wonderful existence, who were taken obscenely early in lives full of promise. Then there are tragedies where someone with a great contribution to the world is cut down in their prime and we are deprived of a unique talent.
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Edhat Santa Barbara, Cherish Clinton, Lisa Ward, | February 15, 2023

FILM REVIEW: KAREN CARPENTER – STARVING FOR PERFECTION

“Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection” is an in-depth documentary taking a deeper look at beloved performer Karen Carpenter who was gone too soon. 
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Santa Barbara Independent, Josef Woodard | February 13, 2023

INTERNATIONAL CINEMA HARVESTERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT – LONG AGO AND NO SO FAR AWAY 
Just hearing the healthy smattering of Carpenters music in the latest in the line of Carpenters films and docs, Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection, fills the heart and ears with her highly personal form of timeless beauty and wonder. It reminds us that, whatever your musical taste or hipness code, hers was one of the great pop voices of all time. That makes her tragic early deaths of anorexia, at age 32, all the more painful, and her story all the more exploitable. 
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