There has been plenty of speculation that 2016 is the craziest year yet for all kinds of political and global security reasons.
Yes even though the ‘Queen of Pop’ is known for never having cracked film and has won five worst actress Razzie Awards, New York independent cinema the Metrograph, which usually specializes in screening classic films, has announcedBody of Work: A Madonna Retrospective. The festival is happening from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1 in downtown Manhattan.
Madonna: Truth or Dare is showing for a week at the movie theater, which makes sense because it’s a revealing documentary on Her Madgesty’s Blonde Ambition tour. The tour is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Chelsea Handler will apparently be on hand to do a Q&A with the doc’s director, Alek Keshishian, for its premiere screening at Metrograph on Aug. 26.
But this strange cultural situation gets even wackier when you look at what Metrograph is and isn’t showing as part of its Madonna fest.
For some reason they aren’t screening Evita, the lavish Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical adaptation that won Madonna a Golden Globe. Also missing are Swept Away and Shanghai Surprise, the ill-fated collaborations with her ex-husbands Guy Ritchie and Sean Penn.
But you can see Who’s That Girl, the 1987 comedy that helped kill the screwball comedy, risible 1993 erotic thriller Body of Evidence, and Dangerous Game, Abel Ferrara’s obscure drama, also from 1993, which had precious few players. (More predictably, Metrograph is showing her fun turn in Desperately Seeking Susan, the 1985 cult comedy that misleadingly indicated Madonna would enjoy a bright cinematic future.)
Madonna’s acting talent—or lack thereof—was much discussed in pop cultural circles during the 1980s and 1990s before she switched her film focus to directing. Perhaps for the best, the Metrograph isn’t showing Filth and Wisdom or W.E., the two ill-fated movies she has made in the last decade.
Metrograph seems aware they are not showcasing great acting competence during the final week of August. “She is the auteur of her singular oeuvre,” the theater says in its official literature, “both the Svengali and muse of her enigmatic persona.
“Her calculated, cohesive canon embodies a 20th Century Narcissus who elicits adoration and antipathy equally. Ultimately, the most captivating role she ever plays is Madonna.”
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