818 posts categorized "MADONNA"
Madonna acknowledged one of her early idols, Debbie Harry, on Instagram this weekend. I'm sure Debbie will be flattered, but then I do recall she once said—when asked how it felt to be given credit by Madonna—“That's nice, but a check would be better.”
Friday the 26th was the long-awaited 25th-anniversary screening of a pristine, restored print of Truth or Dare at Metrograph in NYC, featuring commentary by director Alek Keshishian (who also co-wrote W.E. with Madonna 20 years after they first met) and moderated by noted Madonna-basher Chelsea Handler.
I hardly knew what to expect, considering the week's other Truth or Dare screening—at MoMA on Wednesday—had attracted Madonna herself.
[If you live in NYC and haven't been to Metrograph, do go. It's a lovely, chic theater that offers eclectic movies, including classics, midnight movies, cult hits, first-run arthouse fare and, well, Space Jam. (Look who's snarking—I'm paying $15 to watch Body of Evidence there next week!)]
Before Truth or Dare started, my friend Raj noticed in the lobby two of the female stars of Quantico (Yasmine Al Massri and Johanna Braddy) with their dates, so I was able to get some quick pics of them. Braddy was turning 4 years old when Truth or Dare was released, BTW.
The guy who came out to intro the movie had the hipster vibe down pat, shrugging his way through a few lines about how the movie was part of a series of Madonna's masterpieces, then telling us the place has a restaurant upstairs if we ... whatever. It was actually very funny, and not the typical anal-retentive speech given at fledgling moviehouses about upcoming events.
Watching the movie for the second time in 48 hours was odd because ... it totally didn't bore me. I found new things to focus on, and even spotted the late Jack Larson in/near the infamous Kevin Costner scene.
As the movie wore on, though, I was nervous because I'd been hoping to get some shots of Chelsea and Alek before or after. Luckily, one of my companions, Anthony (who designed my book) was monitoring Facebook and noted that fellow fanboy Michael Da Rocha had posted a pic with Chelsea from outside. That was my cue to hit the lobby, where I found Chelsea and Alek holding court at the bar with a gaggle of familiar fan faces.
I've been to countless talk-backs and Q&As and panels and book readings and other modes of presenting an artist who is presenting themselves to an interested audience, but I have to say that Dance Films Presents: An Evening with Vincent Paterson stands out as being among the best.
Paterson has been central to an array of pop cultural touchstone moments—he was the adorbs gang leader in Michael Jackson's “Beat It” and choreographed Jackson's “Smooth Criminal” and his Bad Tour; he choreographed Madonna's Pepsi commercial and “Express Yourself” video, co-directed her Blond Ambition World Tour and conceived and choreographed that Marie Antoinette-themed “Vogue” performance on MTV and her first Oscars performance; he choreographed and appeared in Lars von Triers's Bjork-powered Dancer in the Dark; the list goes on.
With so many career highlights, the evening had promise, but it was Paterson's winning personality (and hysterically funny vocal impersonations of some of the stars he was citing) that made it fun, and the show's clever conception and structure by Joe Berger that made it consistently compelling. It was two hours long but breezed by, with Paterson cheerfully reporting on Madonna's initial bitchery, Michael's child-like approach to creativity, the unthinkable complexity of shooting Dancer in the Dark and losing out on a much-deserved MTV Award to—sniff—Paula Abdul.
Paterson's insights into dance and visual expression had the student-heavy audience captivated, with surprising left turns into his work in the fields of opera, German theater and Cirque du Soleil.
Between short Q&A periods with Berger, who as with his MoMA Truth or Dare gig proved to be an effective and emotionally invested moderator, Paterson gave spirited readings from his forthcoming memoir, which you gotta believe is going to be a juicy read, based on the tidbits he offered. I mean, his descripton of Sophia Loren staring gape-jawed as Madonna sang with her back to the audience at the Oscars was worth the price of admission all by itself, and the guy shed genuine tears for the purity of a moment he shared with Jackson involving some Make-A-Wish kids.
What a treat for fans of—well—really anything.
Joe Berger has been working his heart out to get Madonna's glory years on film properly acknowledged, first with an invite-only MoMA screening of the 1991 gem Madonna: Truth or Dare (at the time the most successful documentary ever), then with a special evening devoted to choreographer-director Vincent Paterson, then with a Madonna film series at Metrograph that embraces the best (Dangerous Game) and worst (Body of Evidence) she had to offer.
So think of it as Kabbalistic karma that tonight, at his Truth or Dare event, Madonna herself shocked the entire room by showing up totally unannounced (her publicists knew, the MoMA curator knew—that was it) to sit in the middle of the audience and watch every frame of the film.
Michael Musto recaps his love/hate/more hate/grudging respect relationship with Madonna for his old bosses at the Village Voice. He talks a lot of sense, though I must say—in spite of my dislike for Britney Spears—I do disagree that Madonna macking on the younger pop star (and Christina Aguilera was there, too, guys!!!) was unartistic and had no appeal. I fucking loved that moment. It was unreal how real it was to Justin Timberlake and to the teen-pop world, and though it was well-worn ground for Madonna, it was a point worth remaking in an iconic way.
I would say you can find more of Michael's always-entertaining (and firsthand) Madonna musings in my book, Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, but in fact you will find less. That sounds like a bad sales pitch, so instead I'll say:
You can find a different version of Michael's always-entertaining (and firsthand) Madonna musings in my book, Encyclopedia Madonnica 20!
In the end, I think his take on Madonna is that he knows she's a force, but doesn't have the affection for her that he has for Diana Ross or Lady Gaga. But they never kicked him out of his dressing room.
Highest-level Republican yet backs Hillary Clinton, cites experience, value, character.
What the Clinton Foundation does, did, does not do—and why it's Swiftboating 2.0.
Melania Trump using Hulk Hogan's lawyer to sue Daily Mail over escorting claims.
Josh Duhamel's underpants.