Beyond Exploitation Cinema: Music Fandom, Disability, and Mission to Lars
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractMission to Lars (Moore and Spicer 2012) is a feature documentary in which Kate and William Spicer help their brother Tom make his dream come true. Tom wishes to meet drummer Lars Ulrich from the heavy metal band Metallica. He also has Fragile X syndrome, which Kate calls, “a sort of autism with bells on.” Mission to Lars is therefore a film about disability and popular music fandom. Its marketing and reviews suggest a warm and sympathetic portrait of family life in which two siblings help a third to achieve his ambition. No documentary innocently captures its subject. Mission to Lars explores issues of disability awareness. Raising the possibility that Kate and Will Spicer may not have been motivated by altruism, it deliberately contrasts able-bodied and disabled cast members by using fan stereotypes. The film is therefore an unusual 'fansploitation' picture, depicting fandom both as a training ground for employment and as a compensation for the disabled.
CitationDuffett, M. (2017). Beyond Exploitation Cinema: Music Fandom, Disability, and Mission to Lars. In L. Bennett, & P. Booth, P. (Eds.), Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture (pp. 13-22). New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic.
DescriptionAcademic book chapter on a music fan documentary that used 'fansploitation' to sympathetically portray disability.
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