“Superfans: scream. cry. puke.” deals with the great social and economic power of boy band fans.
Gia Coppola makes her first foray into documentary with a focus on boy bands and the girls, women and queer people who love them.
The Palo Alto filmmaker will direct and produce Superfans: Screaming. Cry. Throwing Up.”, now being produced by XTR and Jason Bateman and Michael Costigans Aggregate in association with Coppola’s Detour, the companies announced Monday.
As the film’s title suggests, “Superfans” focuses on the most devoted fans of bands like New Edition, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, One Direction and BTS, who have helped make musical acts into multi-billions -dollar franchises. It explores fangirl experiences, movements, and markets of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.
It is based on the 2020 non-fiction book Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS by music and cultural critic Maria Sherman.
“I’m a proud pop fangirl, so the opportunity to translate Maria’s contemporary, sharp, funny book into documentary form, a format I’ve long wanted to try, is beyond exciting,” said Coppola. “I’m excited about the collaboration between Aggregate’s and XTR’s experienced creative partners.”
Sherman’s work examines how boy band fandom has often been trivialized by mainstream culture and the music press.
“When history is made by winners, music history is made by rock critics, and they don’t usually get along with boy bands,” Sherman told NPR in 2020.
What about Elvis? Or the Beatles? Just like New Kids on the Block and BTS that came after them, these groundbreaking artists had adoring teenage fans. A key difference, Sherman argues, is that they were viewed more seriously.
“Thinking critically about boy bands, you can’t really adhere to the same value systems where authenticity through songwriting is the best or most interesting thing an artist can be. You have to place that value of authenticity elsewhere, and that would be the connection that listeners have with the music itself,” she told NPR. “One can argue that Berry Gordy’s Motown is based on the same ‘factory system’ that is often thrown around when talking about boy bands.”
The film offers a different value system in relation to its subject. For example, the large number of queer fans of “One Direction” and the band’s vocal support of the queer community. Or how BTS fans, collectively known as BTS ARMY, matched the band’s $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter in 2020.
“When I started ‘Larger Than Life’ half a decade ago, my ambition was to write something that would cater to boy band fans, celebrate their enthusiasm, their undeniable influence and their life-affirming joy. Telling this story on screen felt like pure fantasy to me,” said Sherman. “Superfans: Scream. Cry. to vomit. could not be more aptly titled; The collaboration with XTR, Aggregate and the brilliant Gia Coppola is a dopamine hit that rivals the bridge of a pop song. I mean, in the immortal words of One Direction, what a feeling!”
Superfans is produced by Kathryn Everett, XTR’s Kathleen Flood; Bateman, Costigan and Emma Ho of Aggregate; and Sherman.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/05/bts-boy-band-movie-gia-coppola-1234727609/ BTS, Boy Bands Focus from Gia Coppola’s documentary