Madonna will join Marilyn Minter at the Brooklyn Museum on January 19th to talk art, culture, feminism, and the current state of affairs. For a chance to be in the audience, pick a photo that defines art for feminism to you and share a link to it as a comment to this post on Madonna’s facebook + the #MadonnaxMarilynMinter hashtag before Midnight on January 15th. Good luck!!!
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Madonna has no patience for bad wine. I learned this while sitting in a well-appointed living room at her New York City home, with Nina Simone playing softly in the background. I must tell you, Madonna’s house smells amazing—something delicious, maybe roasted chicken, was cooking in a kitchen elsewhere in the manse, and there was a gentle fragrance in the air, jasmine, perhaps. While I waited for Madonna, her day-to-day manager, her publicist, and I chatted while reclining on gorgeous cream-colored furniture set upon the largest rug I’d ever seen, on top of immaculate black wood floors. On the wall behind me was a black-and-white photograph of a woman perched on the edge of a mussed bed, scantily clad, sucking on a gun, it’s Helmut Newton’s “Girl with Gun” photograph. Of course.
Madonna was late, but that didn’t matter because she is Madonna. What is time, really? She was all apologies when she arrived, and we quickly got down to business. She was in the process of planning a fund-raiser at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and like any perfectionist she wanted to taste the wines that could be served. She knelt on the floor as she considered various reds and whites and a rosé—or “summer water,” as she called it. “Roxane,” Madonna said. “You don’t have to wear that dress tonight. …” That’s when I exhaled. This was familiar territory. My name is part of a well-known song or two. I smiled and said, “No, I do not.” At one point she asked me for my opinion on a particularly troublesome wine, handed me her glass, and swore she didn’t have anything contagious. I believed her and took a sip. To be fair, the wine was terrible—it tasted like vinegar—and the year on the bottle said 2016, so it wasn’t really wine yet. It was the suggestion of wine.
Madonna is very good at multitasking. While she was considering the wines, she held forth with me, and before long she was done with the bad wine. “Take the mediocre out of here,” she tells Dustin, the strapping young man who served all the wine and apologized for its mediocrity even though that mediocrity was not his fault. “I’ll go broke before I drink bad wine,” she declared, and I was entirely in agreement. I wanted nothing more than for Madonna to offer her opinions on wine for the rest of the evening. Dustin promptly brought us the good wine, served in a crystal decanter. I drank it, and it was, indeed, good.
In the days leading up to our conversation, I kept wondering what I could possibly ask Madonna that she hadn’t already been asked. She has been a figure in popular culture for more than 30 years. There was plenty I was curious about. I mean, I grew up on her music. As a good Catholic girl, I was obsessed with “Like a Prayer” and how she blended transubstantiation and eroticism. I listened to The Immaculate Collection nonstop. I coveted her book Sex, which came out just as I turned 18. I’ve been intrigued by her personal life. I’ve admired her stamina and artistic evolution. But I didn’t want to ask silly questions. I didn’t want to pry even though my job was, of course, to pry.
Over the course of an hour, we talked about a great many things, but we started with her upcoming movie project, Loved, an adaptation of Andrew Sean Greer’s novel The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. On her coffee table, there were binders filled with research for the project—potential settings, costumes, and so on. Madonna is thorough. In fact, she co-wrote the screenplay and will be directing the film. The novel follows the title character as she moves through time and negotiates three different lives she could have lived. The story also focuses on Greta’s relationship with her gay twin brother, Felix, in those different lives. “It touches on a lot of really important topics I’ve always been invested in or championed—fighting for women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights, always fighting for the underdog,” Madonna says. “I’ve always felt oppressed. I know a lot of people would go, ‘Oh, that’s ridiculous for you to say that. You’re a successful white, wealthy pop star,’ but I’ve had the shit kicked out of me for my entire career, and a large part of that is because I’m female and also because I refuse to live a conventional life. I’ve created a very unconventional family. I have lovers who are three decades younger than me. This makes people very uncomfortable. I feel like everything I do makes people feel really uncomfortable. Why does this book appeal to me? Why did I want to adapt it into a screenplay? Because it touches me on so many levels and it deals with so many important topics. Right now, more than ever, it’s an extremely timely story to tell.”
Los Angeles, 1994.
“I worked only once with Madonna,” Lindbergh says. “What really struck me was her very strong motivation.”
“We were doing a tribute to Martha Graham, her admired dance teacher. I discovered a dancer with a very rare talent. Madonna was moving in a very soulful and personal way, very touching and very much herself. At the same time, there was a feeling of perfection to everything she was doing.”
“I was very interested in capturing some of this extraordinary contradiction, which I found absolutely stunning. Those images are as modern today as they were in 1994.”
Madonna on the cover of “Harper’s Bazaar” February 2017 , celebrating its 150 anniversary.
Pictures by Luigi & Iango.
When Ambition introduces Madonna in the early ’80s, she has a different look — more punk than pop, with dark brown hair — but she’s still the cool-girl musician able to shapeshift between corporate boardrooms and club appearances.
The script’s Madonna is desperate to ditch her band and cut her first album with Sire Records and a hip producer named Jellybean.
Some of the dialogue is clunky — “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” is an oft-repeated mantra — but the plot takes Madonna from a Russian Tea Room waitress to her performance of “Like a Virgin” at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Vulture was able to obtain a copy of the script; here are the highlights:
1. It’s almost a love story. John “Jellybean” Benitez is the movie’s leading man. At the script’s start, Madonna is waiting tables and moonlighting as a pop-punk singer downtown, while Jellybean is a high-profile producer with fans at Billboard. Lacking a singular sound, Madonna begs Jellybean to mix her homemade tracks. “Holiday” is their first hit, but their romance continues through Madonna’s early career. They become a pair of industry outlaws: He’s Latino and she’s a woman, but both are trying to take their underground sound mainstream. The difference is that she’s a saleswoman: No man in the script is as ambitious as Madonna, who pushes Jellybean away when he wants her to trade her career for their surprise pregnancy. She has an abortion and continues chasing her dreams instead. “Twenty years from now,” she eventually sneers at him, “the only thing you’ll be remembered for is being my ex.”
2. The Emmys are in it. Before Jellybean and “Holiday,” there were the Emmys, Madonna’s band, which included Stephen Bray and brothers Ed and Dan Gilroy (the latter of whom she once dated). In the script, Madonna’s the lead singer and headstrong hype woman; when the guys start to question her authority, she dumps Dan for Jellybean and leaves the band’s bad management behind.
3. Hair dye plays a crucial role. For half of the script, Madonna is a brunette who’s constantly being ignored for peroxide-blonde Soho socialites. Her decision to go blonde comes in a moment of rage after she’s been passed over again by label honcho Seymour Stein. As she’s armed with a bottle of hair dye, Madonna’s roommate asks her what she’s up to: “Making sure no one mistakes me for that shy Michigan girl ever again,” she says.
4. There’s some Cher shade. The script suggests the Madonna-Cher beef began on a red carpet with Nile Rodgers. Early in the film, Madonna seeks out Nile as he enters an event. When she shoves an Emmys tape in his face, Cher takes it, signs it, and quips that the band should change their name. As Madonna’s career takes off, Cher goes from an antagonist — she calls Madonna “a flash in the pan at best” — to a backstage hanger-on.
5. It’s almost as much about MTV as it is about Madonna. Blonde Ambition is Madonna’s origin story, but the script also shows the early days of MTV. Jellybean discounts the channel’s influence, but the script takes pains to show that Madonna was always an early adopter. The movie stops in the moments after her “Like a Virgin” performance at the first VMAs, binding Madonna’s image with MTV’s brand for life.
Source : Vulture
Danny Elfman’s exciting, tuneful score for Warren Beatty big-budget filming of comic strip hero Dick Tracy gets the royal 2-CD treatment! Beatty also stars, with support from mega-cast including Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, many others. Legendary cameraman Vittorio Storaro shoots in bright comic colors, equally famed production designer Richard Sylbert realizes vivid art deco cityscape, Disney’s Buena Vista effects team creates fantastic matte paintings, other visuals. Add incredible makeup for wide array of monstrous villains and Chester Gould’s police detective rises from comic strip to real life on the big screen, earning three Academy Awards in the transition! Danny Elfman anchors with period New York vibe, then creates dynamic, sizzling orchestral action music with aggressive overtones plus gorgeous seductive theme for “Breathless” Mahoney (Madonna).
Unusual scoring assignment has Elfman writing his music with numerous ideas designed to play into, out from and circle around many Stephen Sondheim songs (issued at time of movie’s release and not available for this edition) while maintaining thematic structure of its own. Elfman succeeds! Even in brief, cues are dazzling, fully-realized miniatures! Main Dick Tracy theme is martial and righteous, romantic ideas are sumptuous and harmonically fluid. Robust and ravishing from start to finish! 1990 album offered just 35 minutes of score with creative edits and assemblies within each sequence. However, Elfman wrote and recorded over 100 minutes of music, including several alternates plus versions not heard in the film. Some of these alternates boast strikingly different ideas, others are more nuanced. At request of composer, Intrada presents original 1990 score album intact from digital album master, then features unedited cues as scored in picture sequence plus treasure trove of additional material. Elfman fans should be delirious! To prepare all the new material for this lavish 2-CD set, Intrada engaged original scoring engineer Dennis Sands to create brand new 2016 state-of-the-art stereo mixes from Disney’s 32-track digital session masters. Hear stunning array of new details! Fascinating to enjoy Elfman’s original album (a masterful presentation itself) then hear unedited versions of the cues with all-new clarity following their original 1990 mixes. All those additional cues and alternates are even more icing on the cake. Notes by Jeff Bond, rich graphic design by Kay Marshall, Joe Sikoryak with flipper-style cover art enhance this fabulous package. Early-ish Danny Elfman at his rousing, symphonic best! Steve Bartek, Jack Hayes headline orchestrators, Shirley Walker conducts. Intrada Special Collection 2-CD release available while supplies and interest remain!
Monte Pittman, guitarist for Madonna, plays along to the song “La Isla Bonita” in a super shredtastic way!