If any insta-star was ripe for the here-today-gone-tomorrow age, it's Chris Crocker of Bristol, Tenn.
Since the cross-dressing YouTube clip maker shrilled "Leave Britney Alone!" in a 2007 piece, shrouded in a sheet and weeping for the media and public to stop harassing Britney Spears and millions viewed the clip, Crocker has been the poster child for the modern-age of celebrity.
In the documentary “Me @ The Zoo” (9 p.m. Monday, HBO), Crocker’s early life growing up an oppressed gay in East Tennessee then finding fleeting fame in YouTube clips, juxtaposed with a humble and bittersweet home life, is an interesting chronicling.
Among the subtext here is a not-so-obvious plea to now leave Chris Crocker alone while, at the same time, he seeks more fame and a chance for respectability as a new form of artistry: Making performance art clips for the Internet.
The "art" would be turning a camera on himself to either feed his narcissism or, in an Andy Warhol-like sentiment, parallel the ordinary human experience into art into itself.
Is Crocker truly making art of just looking for another quickie flirt with fame? The documentary draws no such conclusions, though viewers can draw their own conclusions easily enough.
Crocker makes for a sympathetic center. Yearning for attention to, perhaps, fill an emptiness, Crocker has a complicated relationship with his wayward mother. Oddly the documentary doesn't show any moments in which Crocker appreciates his grandparents who raised him and puts up with his antics.
"Zoo" does show Crocker living life on his own terms, despite how that may be unsettling.
Score: 3 stars (out of 5)
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or email@example.com.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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