Deadline is reporting that Peter Berg will direct an upcoming feature documentary on Rihanna. They know each other from Battleship, and we know Peter from Friday Night Lights (and more).
Friday Night Rihanna, oh my God.
Rihanna, for me, is the pop star of her generation but she also embodies a certain free-spiritedness that is extremely rare in today’s celebrity landscape. She embraces social media, she has survived personal and public trauma, she is incredibly smart and in control, but still vulnerable enough to cry with Oprah. Rihanna is a rock star.
She’s so much of a rock star that they are going to be framing the documentary in the vein of Bob Dylan’s, Dont Look Back. This is not going to be Never Say Never, or Katy Perry’s Part of Me or, um, Beyonce’s Life is But a Dream. This isn’t Rihanna as framed by Rihanna, or a tour promo.
Berg has said it will be about the character, not so much the music. Just like FNL was about the people of Dillon, not the football. Football was a way to frame their dreams, their failures, their triumphs and their disappointment. That is what sports means to society, and that is what celebrity represents as well.
When Chris Brown abused Rihanna, everyone had a reaction. She’s too secretive, she’s too public, she should say this, she should do that. The public’s first inclination was to turn our eyes to her and expect her to ease our discomfort with domestic abuse, to say she was OK. Because how dare she make us feel bad, right?
She processed it on her time and on her terms. And now, years later, she is not only a music force, but a fashion force. She even inspires supermodel fights at fashion week. She’s unapologetic, and fun and not concerned (seemingly) about her brand or her Tumblr or her general likability. And in the age of desperation, because so few of them can tolerate the idea of being disliked, she is someone who has no equal. Taylor, Justin (Bieber and Timberlake), Beyonce, Katy, even Kanye – no one is less invested in what people think than Rihanna.
She might be the last true rock star we ever know.