“I always battle with ‘How much do I reveal about myself?'” says Beyonce in a voiceover of her new HBO documentary, which she teased online this week.
The teaser shows Beyonce in public and intimate moments, and will profile the star from her childhood in Houston, TX through her recording career, marriage to mogul Jay-Z and most recently–the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.
If the teaser is any indication, the documentary uses a wide variety of filming techniques, with some clips clearly professional footage of Beyonce in arenas, and others (where she clutches her pregnant belly) in a more personal, grainy medium of an iPhone.
“Everybody knows Beyoncé’s music, but few know Beyoncé the person,” says Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming. Lombardo continues, “Along with electrifying footage of Beyoncé onstage, this unique special looks beyond the glamour to reveal a vibrant, vulnerable, unforgettable woman.”
The documentary is slated to premiere February 16 on HBO.
The next few months will be busy ones for Beyonce, as she is slated to headline the 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show. There has been much speculation over what she will perform, being between albums. This might be a good opportunity to showcase her evolution, from the Destiny’s child-era girl to salacious single lady Sasha Fierce to Mrs. Jay-Z. Internet buzz also suggests this would be a prime moment for Destiny’s Child reunion.
Of course, there is also the theory she will use the platform of the halftime show to tease a new song. This speculation was heightened last night, when songwriter Jozzy tweeted a photo of Beyonce and husband Jay-Z in a recording studio, apparently collaborating over a bottle of red wine.
The photo has since been deleted.
As with all things Beyonce, each tease remains but a link in a carefully planned PR blueprint that her followers are left trying to solve. The real feat of the HBO documentary would be to capture Beyonce at rest–not planning, dreaming or thinking of her public perception. Because she is so guarded, Beyonce is untouched in a way most overexposed pop stars aren’t, which adds a sort of regal quality to her mythology.
We have never seen her stumble out of a club or smoke a cigarette. We have never even seen a wedding picture. The true task of the documentary is not necessarily showcasing these things, but revealing how and why she keeps them so. Then again, Beyonce is also the documentary’s director, so maybe it is best thought of as a piece of performance art, one woman playing the roles of author and subject simultaneously, to the undoubted adoration and likely bewilderment of fans everywhere.