3...2...1...Carpenters are GO!

In this strange world we are living in, the planned destruction of this ordinary, suburban, family home in Downey, California can initiate a worldwide wave of concern and protest.

This is not newsworthy because some poor tennants are about to be evicted by an evil corporation. The current owners and inhabitants bought the house and want to replace it with something newer and bigger. But most likely they want to get rid of a spirit.

The house in question stopped being a normal home in 1973 when it appeared on the Carpenters album-sleeve "Now and Then".
Its merely a backdrop for Karen and Richard Carpenter, who can hardly be seen behind the windows of their sleek red car, which seems to speed out of the picture. ("Speed" is of course the wrong word here).

Here they would live with their parents, even after the siblings became one of the biggest american recording acts of all time.

It would still take another ten years before the Carpenters home would become a mythical place for fans of the band and of the morbid. In 1983 Karen died in her parents home of complications caused by anorexia. A sickness, which was hardly talked about back in the day.

After the death of both parents Richard would sell the house in 1997.
The new owners were reportedly quite proud of their famous new home and would gladly show it off to friends and fans.
But soon they had had enough of the fan-pilgrimages who would leave flowers on the lawn or stared through the windows in hope to see whats cooking in the kitchen.

By this time the story of Karen Carpenter had grown into a pop-phenomenon of mythical proportions.

This was certainly helped by Todd Haynes infamous 1987 short movie "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story", which he filmed in glorious "Barbie-rama"

The lovingly made "Bio-pic" about Karens personal trauma that led to her anorexia and death is made entirely with Barbie dolls and handcrafted model interiors.

By combining original drive-by footage with the artificial puppet furniture, Haynes created a hyper-real effect, which makes Norman Bates motel and the "Amitiville"-house look cosy in comparison.

The film, which was forced from the market by Richard Carpenter (and alledgedly Mattel), brought awareness to this strange sickness that kills its victims because they want to disappear.
All their problems are turned inward, their perception of themselves is out of focus and their bodies are refusing to absorb anything.

when Karen became aware of her situation, she tried to fight against it. But her weakened heart could not withstand the constant weight-changes and use of laxatives.

The banning and resulting rareness of the film created a massive cult that might not necessarily be justified.
Today, Haynes is a celebrated Hollywood director, and his debut has some stunning moments of melodramatic beauty.

Thanks to the internet it can be streamed or downloaded via google video

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