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Entries in Madonna (76)

Monday
Jun252012

Contest: Evita ♪ Evita ♪ Evita ♪

Raise your arms together in unison and sing it with me. Go on, raise 'em -- you know how she do.

What are we singing about exactly? Evita, kids. To celebrate the film's recent 15th anniversary they've rereleased the movie musical adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's megahit on DVD & Blu Ray. From the press release:

Join two of the world’s greatest and most enduring superstars, Madonna and Antonio Banderas, in the epic musical event that is Evita. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Alan Parker, Evita is the riveting true-life story of Eva Peron (Madonna), who rose above childhood poverty and a scandalous past to achieve unimaginable fortune and fame. Despite widespread controversy, her passion changed a nation forever... 
Now, with a new state-of-the-art digital restoration, you can experience every astonishing scene and unforgettable song like never before!

Awards obsessives will remember that Evita correctly won Best Original Song at the Oscars ("You Must Love Me") as well as three Golden Globe Awards including Best Actress for Madonna. Yes, she's an award-winning actress. Shush!

I've got three copies of the rerelease to give away to musically inclined readers.  Anyone can enter but you'll have to e-mail me by Friday, June 29th with the following:

  1. "EVITA" in the subject line
  2. Name and Shipping Address (I'll have to share it with Walt Disney if you win but otherwise it's private)
  3. A short note about your Evita experience -- even if you haven't seen the movie -- whether its Madonna-related, musically inclined, political or stage focused. I may quote you on the site so be forewarned.
  4. BONUS POINTS: if you send a photo of yourself for publication in the famous Evita pose up top, I'll double your entry though the winners will be drawn at random.

I'll give you an example. Here's me singing about my love for Madonna as Evita.

I look slightly possessed but it's appropriate because that's how I get with Madonna. True story: I practically knocked over an old lady to get to my middle-middle seat on the sold out opening night at my favorite Salt Lake City movie theater. I'm not proud of the old lady part but that opening night was sacred and she was in my way! 

Yes, that's a Breathless Mahoney doll in my cleavage. What of it?

Thursday
Apr122012

Madonna from "Truth or Dare" to "MDNA"

It's hard to believe that the be all and end all of celebrity documentaries, Truth or Dare (1991) is already over 20 years old. Actual age aside, Truth or Dare is timeless not just because it captured one of the most famous women who has ever lived at the peak of her popularity, but because of how daringly it performed that capture. I'm sure it's impossible for anyone under 25 to imagine how shocking Madonna's behavior in the early 90s was. Believe it or not there was a time when the demistification of Celebrity was anathema to Hollywood.

You can argue that some of the magic went out of the movies the more access we had to the magicians on and behind the screen, but there was no stopping the intrusiveness of the information age. Madonna's acclaimed film and --  to a lesser extent though no one wants to give it credit -- her often reviled "Sex" book predicted all of it by revealing more and More and MORE (and then some more) of herself. Madonna has never been a great actress but she has given a genius film performance and this was it. (Her performances in Evita and the short film Star! are a distant second.)

If you're interested in influential landmarks in pop culture I urge you to read Rich Juzwiak's exhilarating piece on Truth of Dare (it's out on Blu-Ray for the first time) over at Gawker 

Madonna has rarely had her finger directly on the pulse—it took her years to dabble in electronica and new jack swing and French house—but over 20 years after its release,Truth or Dare is relevant as ever. (It's out on Blu-ray for the first time today.) It's as close to a memoir as Madonna has ever gotten, and it's brilliantly fitting that the music video master stuck with the trusted audio-visual format that catapulted her to success. Why write when you can be? Madonna's life banged the dust out of vérité entertainment, suggesting the documentary didn't have to be stuffy, that it could be wildly entertaining and overwhelmingly trashy... 

 But while we're on the topic of the Queen a few notes on MDNA after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar272012

Curio: Happy Birthday Quentin

Alexa here. Today Quentin Tarantino turns 49; somehow I thought he was older, if only because he has been in our consciousness for so long. It feels like forever ago that we heard Mr. Brown give his thesis on "Like a Virgin." His Madonna connection got some further milage this week with word that Madge wants him to direct the video for her new single "Gang Bang." ("All he has to do is show up with a camera.") Considering that he lent Gaga his Pussy Wagon, it just might happen.  

Here are a few creations celebrating the prince of palaver.

Quentin's bloody ear, by Gregg Gordon of Gigart.Tribute posters by Ibraheem Youssef

Click for more posters including Django Unchained. Plus: Vincent and Jules as mice...

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Thursday
Mar222012

Girl Gone Wild

Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild"... I can't stop watching it! 

But why do I think all male models are Colin Firth's rejected hustler from A Single Man? I swear I see him everywhere. Or is that actually Jon Katajarena? Madonna and Tom Ford do like to share collaborators.

It's great when stars can play on past triumphs without exactly repeating them. This song/video has flashes of previous Madonna classics like "Bad Girl" (the smoking, the hair) and "Express Yourself" (Madonna in silhouette and chains) a verbal reference to "Like a Prayer", but it also recalls the Sex book / "Justify My Love" era as well which I was not at all expecting given the complicated fall out from that particular Madonna era.  

 

Best of all is the confident but not lazy sparseness that suggests "Human Nature" and yet it's all still very "Girl Gone Wild". Wouldn't it be crazy if movies were as sexual as music videos? The MPAA would die.  A-

Saturday
Feb182012

Interview: Oscar Nominee Arianne Phillips

It's long been my goal to up the visibility of the craft of costume design here at The Film Experience. So when the W.E. team was making the press rounds, I jumped at the chance to talk with Arianne Phillips, who has long been a designer I admire both for her technical and visual invention and for her uncanny ability to hit the pop cultural bullseye with instantly memorable looks whether she's designing for musicians (including longtime collaborator Madonna) or for actors. Her film career took off with the one-two comic book punch of The Crow (1994) and Tank Girl (1995). And it's continued to fascinate through Hedwig and the Angry Inch and on to her first Oscar nomination for Walk the Line (2005).

Arianne Phillips in front of her W.E. costumes. Photo via Society News

She received her second nomination last month for W.E. (2011) which has an absurd amount of use for her skills. In my mind they really ought to have done away with typical star "billing" and listed Arianna Phillips up top. No disrespect intended to Abbie Cornish and Andrea Riseborough, who lead the picture through its double-sided narrative.

Years before W.E. materialized Phillips has been living her own double-sided career "by design". Arianne speaks with a mixture of confidence, sincerity and appreciated bluntness: she agrees that costume designers don't get enough credit calling it an "a gorllina in the room. It's such an annoyance" but she corrects my slight misunderstanding about her past collaborations with musicians. She freelances as a stylist and editor for print photography, concerts and music videos. She doesn't dress stars for events.

a recent Madonna/Riseborough photoshoot styled by Arianne

I do videos and album covers, mostly narrative based: fantasy, illusion and character. It's very connected to film. You're creating the fantasy of who that person is.
-Arianne Phillips on her second career as a fashion editor and stylist.


Continue for... Madonna, Larry Flynt, Biopic & Concert Tour Challenges

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