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Entries in Madonna (110)


Interview: The Filmmakers, and Stars of 'Strike a Pose' Talk Madonna, Dance Moves and Movie Stars 

We're celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Truth or Dare" this week. Here's Jose having a brilliantly fun chat with its dancers who have an unofficial sequel, if you will, making the festival rounds...

Clockwise from top: Carlton, Madonna, Luis, Gabriel (RIP), Jose, Kevin, Oliver, and Salim (aka "Slam")

Jose here. I was four years old when Madonna went on her Blonde Ambition Tour, but I distinctly remember being hypnotized by the woman with the pointy bra on TV that was making the Pope very upset. Fast forward a couple of decades and not only am I a huge Madonna fan, but I’ve made more sense of that specific era in her career thanks to the revolutionary documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare. So I was thrilled when I found out Dutch filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan had made Strike a Pose, a documentary about the male dancers that were so prominently featured in the tour and the film. For Madonna fans, the names of Carlton Wilborn, Kevin Stea, Oliver S Crumes III, Salim "Slam" Gauwloos, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza, Luis Xtravaganza Camacho and the late Gabriel Trupin (1969-1996), are akin to those of Christ’s disciples. Not only for the devotion that comes with fandom, but also because we have each developed our own mythologies about who these men were (they choreographed the “Vogue” video!)

Read the conversation after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Strike a Pose

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Manuel on Strike a Pose.

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare Strike a Pose with Madonna: Truth or Dare. After all, that now iconic documentary is really on a league of its own. Then again, this newer doc, which focuses on the male dancers from that 1991 film (and from the Material Girl’s Blond Ambition Tour) cannot help but drum up the comparisons. As a pseudo-sequel to Truth or Dare, Strike a Pose is perhaps less enthralling—no Warren Beatty or Antonio Banderas here—but just as entertaining. And while the first twenty or so minutes of the film do indeed feel like a sequel in spirit if not in name (we get to revisit the tour and the doc in ways that show us how much these dancers kept to themselves even as they seemingly opened up their lives for Madge and the camera), this documentary soon reveals itself to be something much rarer.

In profiling these men 25 years after the fact, Strike a Pose becomes a rare portrait of the middle-aged dancer, a figure that we’re not often offered on screen. It’s often hard to hear what these guys went through—you’ll be surprised to hear candid talks about AIDS that even Truth or Dare, despite its activist zeal given its time,couldn’t and didn’t breach—and it’s even more heartening to see their resilience. It was hard, many of them note, to have always lived with the, for better or for worse, “Madonna dancer” label especially given how their relationships to the Queen of Pop frayed soon after (addiction, rehab, and lawsuits didn’t help). By the time we see all of them reunite for the first time in decades and see them playing the infamous game of “Truth or Dare” again, you cannot help but feel a kinship to these people some of us have felt we’ve known for just as long. For Madonna fans, this is an unmissable film. But where directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan succeed is in producing a touching portrait of ageing, of finding the inspiration and the drive to keep going even when the promise of youth (and the promise you had in your own youth) threatens to disappear.

Grade: B+


RPDR S8.5: Like a *Blank*

Chris here, filling in for Nathaniel's weekly recap of RuPaul's Drag Race. This week was everyone's perennial favorite: Snatch Game! Past seasons have made this celebrity impersonation challenge a complete game changer, catapulting contenders like Jinkx Monsoon and Chad Michaels straight to the finals. In fact, only one Snatch Game winner has ever placed less than fifth place: season three's Stacy Layne Matthews (performing as Mo'Nique via her Oscar-winning Precious performance).

You could easily argue that this challenge is more anticipated than the season finale's crowning, and after last season's unmemorable edition, fans were hungry for this year's queens to bring the laughs.

S8.05 "Supermodel Snatch Game"

And it brings me no joy to tell you that the episode was an unfortunate dud.

Click to read more ...


La Dolce Linka

The New Yorker Richard Brody discusses the films he saw at SXSW as part of the narrative jury
Tracking Board has the audience award winners from SXSW
Spotify is now streaming the entire Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice score by Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL 
Fandor celebrates great female film editors in a new 5 minute video
Film School Rejects celebrates Mary Elizabeth Winstead's compelling humanity across multiple genres
Towleroad Sally Field on parents and gay kids


Vulture new Must Read column from Mark Harris on the Academy's diversification efforts
Deadline Teen Wolf star Dylan O'Brien has been severely injured on set of the new Maze Runner film. Production is shutting down for the near future...
Variety ...and director Wes Ball tweets and open letter to fans about the injury and Dylan's recovery
Guardian a biopic about Michael Jackson's chimp (no really) will be a stop motion animated feature
And So It Begins names 10 bad scenes in great movies: Carrie, Cape Fear, The Godfather Part II and more

Off Cinema
Boy Culture Madonna crosses $1B mark in touring, 3rd of all time now (after the Rolling Stones and U2) and #1 among solo artists
Gothamist Amy Schumer leaves massive tip for bartender at Hamilton on Broadway
EW You can now stream the full London Cast Recording of American Psycho (The Musical) starring Matt Smith free of charge. Benjamin Walker plays Patrick Bateman in the Broadway cast, which has yet to record a cast album since they're still in previews
Playbill Sunset Blvd, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicalization of the 1950 classic is getting a semi staged revival starring Glenn Close in London. It starts on April 1st so if you're a London reader, please report back.  

Release Date News
The Lobster which keeps getting shuffled around has a new US release date of May 13th via A24; Sundance hit and Oscar hopeful Manchester by the Sea is going with November 18th as a release date; One of the Zeéeeee's comeback projects Same Kind of Different as Me (starring Djimon Hounsou and Greg Kinnear) pushed back nearly a whole year, now opening in first quarter 2017. 

Video To Go
I somehow missed this recent news about 81 year old Italian legend Sophia Loren. She just starred in a new commercial for Dolce & Gabbana commanding a hunky team of men. The commercial is scored by another Oscar winning octogenerian Italian legend Ennio Morricone. Here it is:



Silence of the Lambs Pt 4: Screaming and Coveting

Team Experience is revisiting 1991's Best Picture winner for its 25th Anniversary...

Previously... We learned about the case and met Clarice as she went on "an errand," Buffalo Bill caught his next victim, and Starling & Lecter played a game of Quid Pro Quo

an FYC ad from the time

Pt. 4 by Jose Solis

When Nathaniel left us, Dr. Lecter was Scheherezade-ing the crap out of Clarice by telling her about Baltimore. Do you ever get a sense that just like the King from Arabian Nights, Agent Starling craves to return for more?

01:08:18 “Everything you need to find him is right there in those pages...” he says about the case files. As Clarice paces left to right, Dr. Lecter decides it’s time for another lesson by quoting Marcus Aurelius. He suggests Clarice decipher what is the nature of the killer. As she lists every reason why serial killers kill in lesser thrillers, the doctor loses his patience and gives her the answer.

01:08:57 “He covets”

01:09:45 Clarice begs him to help her out, as the philosophizing cannibal reminds her it’s her turn to share, after all “this is all the time we’ll ever have”.

01:10:28 Clarice recounts the tale which gives the book/film its name, as she shares a memory that haunts her from her days in the ranch in Montana with her relatives. Something woke her up early one day…

Click to read more ...


Link Brunch

Now with unlimited mimosas

Towleroad a Russian distributor is planning some law-defying cinephilia -- they're going to release Carol despite Russia's absurdly homophobic "anti-propaganda" law 
Marvel 2016 is Captain America's 75th anniversary so they'll be the new film Captain America: Civil War as well as a 2 hour TV special "75 Heroic Years" to air on ABC on January 19th
Pajiba clears up what the word "spoiler" means since the internet is always confused about it
MNPP Save the date - new Michael Fassbender picture on Oct 13th, 2017
Comics Alliance forget what we said earlier about Nicole Kidman co-starring in Wonder Woman. Apparently they coudln't work out schedules. The'll presumably be looking for another iconic star in Kidman's age range for the Queen of the Amazons  

Associate Press and Rolling Stone have best albums lists for 2015. Adele's "25" and Madonna's "Rebel Heart" make both of the top 10s
i09 best comics and graphic novels of the year
Film Comment picks the 20 best undistributed films of the year. I haven't seen even one of them which is strange given multiple festivals this year
THR the Women Film Critics Circle goes all in for Suffragette with 7 (!!!) awards. This is a group I'd love to sing praises to except so often their ideas about gender seem reductive / surface level. I like Suffragette just fine but in no way does its topic (women's voting rights) make it a better film about women than say Carol or Brooklyn or even less high profile pictures like Grandma or I'll See You In My Dreams or Mustang you know? They also say super strange things like this:

The Invisible Woman Award (performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored): Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

How, exactly, has a performance with that much Oscar buzz from a new star the media is fawning all over having a wildly successful ubiquitous breakout year count as "invisible"?

a long time ago in a galaxy far far away...
Vogue a grown Star Wars fan remembers her adolescent obsession with the series and debates whether or not to go to the new film
Vanity Fair looks at the origins of Star Wars - an indie film no studio wanted to make
Movie City News the 5 things David Poland hated about Episode 7 (SPOILERIFFIC obviously). Agree completely on #1 (oy!) and sort of on #2 and #3. Don't understand #4 or especially #5 as I loved the Darth Vader obsession -- a great dark mirror to our own Star Wars fixations only embedded organically into the actual narrative.
The Incredible Suit 'froths at the cock' (sorry) for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Funny review  


Best of '15: Music Videos of the Year

We'll begin our daily year in review partying with some music.

The best music videos are like short films. Or, rather, all music videos are short films. The best of them can give cinematic thrills, though. Not that you'd want two full hours of most of them. Still and all, here are 15 favorites of the year. Apologies to two tremendous auteurs who dabbled in music video this year (P.T. Anderson with Joanna Newsom and Xavier Dolan for Adele) but if you're a legit auteur with great films under your belt, expectations run too high to excited when the video is only "good".

Disclaimer: Endorsement of videos is not neccessarily endorsement of songs though it helps, sure.

Suggestions for what we missed are welcome in the comments since it's easy to miss great ones if a less than spectacularly popular artist makes them...

(after the jump)

Click to read more ...