'Starsuckers' is an entertaining and pertinent documentary about our celebrity-obsessed media that is ultimately just a little too pleased with itself. While it's always useful to be reminded of just quite how powerful the media is, and of who really benefits from its wielding of power, most of what is presented here is something that a Guardian-reading liberal will already be familiar with. And some of the stunts seem counter-productive: demonstrating that newspapers are happy to print rubbish, as long as it's rubbish that will sell, by feeding them rubbish to print doesn't really hurt them at all - did director Chris Atkins really think that the popular press wouldn't be delighted to print the story of Amy Winehouse's hair catching fire, even if it wasn't true? Exposing it as false after the fact doesn't hurt a newspaper that already cares more about its reputation for entertainment than its reputation for truth. In among the stunts, however, there are some serious points - the one which struck me was that the proportion of children who think of themselves as important has risen 5-fold (to 80%) in the last 50 years. The real message we should be teaching is that you can be valuable yet unimportant (except at a local level); but sadly nothing in our culture seems to be moving in this direction.
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