Exclusive showing of ‘TRUTH OR DARE’ & ‘Strike A pose’ in KRITERION Amsterdam (English info) May 27 (Q&A with directors)

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STRIKE A POSE IN KRITERION

 

In honour of the release of Cinemien’s ‘Strike a Pose’ showing from May 25, there will be a grand celebration in KRITERION. Madonna: Truth or Dare will be shown twice on the large screen, directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan will make an appearance for a special Q&A and we end the celebration that night with a surprise act.

 

 

PREMIERE NIGHT – FRIDAY 27 MAY

 

Esther Gould and Reijer Zwaan 

Directors Esther Gould and Reijer Zwaan will make an appearance after the showing on May 27 (exact timeframe to be determined, keep an eye on www.kriterion.nl) to speak about Strike a pose. This will be done in part through a Q&A, but are also open to answer questions from the audience.

 

Showing Madonna: Truth or Dare  

https://www.kriterion.nl/films/madonna-truth-or-dare   

 

Party

After the movies end there is a chance for you to gather around, have a drink and show off your own VOGUE moves. In our cafe there will be a party where the Amsterdam based DJ’s Vlugge Japie and GVR will spin 90’s house music from Detroit and New York. There will also be a surprise act, but we’ll keep that one a secret for now…..until then get in the mood with our playlist on Spotify:

https://bit.ly/StrikeAPose-Spotify  

 

Links 

Website-item premiere night https://www.kriterion.nl/filmevenement/premiereevenement-strike-a-pose  

Facebook-event premièrenight: https://www.facebook.com/events/267818963565888/  

Spotify-playlist premiere night: https://bit.ly/StrikeAPose-Spotify  

Website Cinemien: https://www.cinemien.nl/ 

 

Timeframes and more 

Strike a Pose  to be determined, www.kriterion.nl regular fee, free for Cineville members
 

 

Reserve your ticket from May 24
Truth or Dare Friday 27 May, 19:30| Sunday 29 May, 21:45 €8,-, free for Cineville members
 

 

Reserve your ticket now
Party  Free entry
Friday May 27 00:00–03:00

 

For more info visit: https://www.kriterion.nl/over-kriterion/kassa-informatie  

 

 

Reserve

Reserving tickets for Strike a Pose is possible from 24 May, reserve your tickets for both showings of Truth or Dare now.

 

Reserve your tickets at the KRITERION by phone only during work hours 020 623 17 08. You need to pick up your tickets on the day of the showing at least 30 minutes before the film starts.

It’s free seating so it’s not possible to reserve particular seats in the theater.

 

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STRIKE A POSE & Exclusive showing of ‘TRUTH OR DARE’ in KRITERION Amsterdam (Dutch press release)

STRIKE A POSE IN KRITERION

Ter ere van de première van Cinemien’s ‘Strike a Pose’ die vanaf 25 mei in Kriterion regulier te zien zal zijn, zal de release groots worden aangepakt. Zo zal Madonna: Truth or Dare twee maal worden vertoond op het grote doek, zullen regisseurs Ester Gould en Reijer Zwaan speciaal langskomen voor een Q&A en zal er na afloop een feestje zijn met surprise-act.

Strike a Pose (vanaf donderdag 26 mei in Kriterion)

In 1990 worden zeven jonge dansers – zes homo, één hetero – door Madonna gecast voor haar spraakmakende Blond Ambition Tour. Hun reis wordt vastgelegd in een van de meest succesvolle documentaires ooit: Truth or Dare – In Bed with Madonna (1991). Al gauw groeien Madonna’s trotse dansers uit tot iconen van seksuele vrijheid. Wild, onbezonnen en amper twintig, laten ze de wereld zien wat het betekent om jezelf te durven zijn. Als zelfverklaarde moeder van haar dansers gebruikt Madonna de film om haar boodschap over homorechten en de strijd tegen aids te verkondigen. Nu, 25 jaar later, nemen de dansers ons mee terug achter de schermen en onthullen ze de werkelijkheid over hun levens tijdens en na de tour. Strike a Pose is een aangrijpende film over het overwinnen van schaamte en het gevecht dat nodig is om te zijn wie je bent. https://www.kriterion.nl/films/strike-a-pose

 

DE PREMIÈREAVOND VRIJDAG 27 MEI 

 

Esther Gould en Reijer Zwaan 

Regisseurs Esther Gould en Reijer Zwaan zullen na afloop van de vertoning op vrijdag 27 mei op het avondslot (exacte tijd nader te bepalen, houdt www.kriterion.nl in de gaten) naar Kriterion komen om te vertellen over Strike a Pose. Dit zal deels gebeuren aan de hand van een Q&A maar uiteraard zijn de twee Nederlandse regisseurs ook bereid om vragen uit het publiek te beantwoorden.

Vertoning Madonna: Truth or Dare  

Madonna: Truth or Dare is een Amerikaanse documentaire uit 1991 over Madonna en haar wereldtournee Blond Ambition Tour die ze maakte in 1990. De film toont ook af en toe concertfragmenten. Deze film onthult haar ware schoonheid, zowel tijdens haar optreden als daarbuiten een moederfiguur voor haar dansers die zij als haar familie beschouwt, sexgodin voor haar miljoenen fans, zakenvrouw, zangeres, danseres… de grootste ster uit de muziekwereld. Laat je door haar meevoeren en gun jezelf een intieme blik achter de schermen van haar Blond Ambition Tour. In Noord-Amerika staat deze film beter bekend als In Bed With Madonna. Van haar hotelkamer tot haar kleedkamer, van haar stageshow tot haar boudoir, hier is Madonna extravagant, uitgelaten, ongeremd. Kijk hoe het is… In Bed With Madonna. https://www.kriterion.nl/films/madonna-truth-or-dare

Feestje 

Na afloop van de films is er de gelegenheid om onder het genot van een drankje en muziek na te praten of je eigen vogue-choreografie te laten zien. Er zal in ons café een feestje zijn waar Amsterdamse DJ’s Vlugge Japie en GVR jaren ’90 house uit New York en Detroit zullen draaien. Ook zal er en surprise-act komen, maar daarover verklappen we nog even niks… Tot die tijd kan je in de stemming komen met onze playlist op Spotify:

https://bit.ly/StrikeAPose-Spotify  

Links 

Website-item premièreavond: https://www.kriterion.nl/filmevenement/premiereevenement-strike-a-pose  

Facebook-evenement premièreavond: https://www.facebook.com/events/267818963565888/  

Spotify-playlist premièreavond: https://bit.ly/StrikeAPose-Spotify  

Website Cinemien: https://www.cinemien.nl/  

 

Tijden en prijzen 

Strike a Pose  Exacte tijden nader bekend te maken,www.kriterion.nlReguliere prijzen, gratis voorCinevillepashouders
 

 

Reserveren mogelijk vanaf dinsdag 24 mei
TruthorDare Vrijdag 27 mei, 19:30| Zondag 29 mei, 21:45€8,-, gratis voorCinevillepashouders
 

 

Reserveren reeds mogelijk 
Feestje  Gratis toegang 
  Vrijdag27 mei, 00:00–03:00

 

Voor meer algemene informatie over ticketprijzen en openingstijden: https://www.kriterion.nl/over-kriterion/kassa-informatie   

 

Reserveren 

Reserveren voor Strike a Pose is mogelijk vanaf dinsdag 24 mei, reserveren voor beide vertoningen van Truth or Dare is reeds mogelijk.

Reserveren is bij Filmtheater Kriterion enkel telefonisch mogelijk. Er kan gebeld worden naar 020 623 17 08 (tijdens openingstijden) om tickets te reserveren op voor- en achternaam voor een vertoning. Let hierbij wel op dat men ruim op tijd de tickets op dient te halen bij onze kassa, de reserveringen vervallen exact 30 minuten voor aanvang van de vertoning en hier kunnen geen uitzonderingen worden gemaakt, ook niet als het druk is bij de bioscoopkassa.

Ook kunnen fysieke tickets al van tevoren gekocht worden bij onze biscoopkassa die elke dag geopend is vanaf een half uur voor de eerste voorstelling tot vijf minuten na het begin van de laatste voorstelling. Door bij onze kassa een kaartje te kopen ben je verzekerd van een plek bij de vertoning.

Cinevillepashouders kunnen alleen hun tickets vanaf anderhalf uur voor de voorstelling hun tickets ophalen. Telefonisch reserveren is wel mogelijk.

Kriterion kan helaas geen verloren kaartjes van bezoekers opnieuw uitprinten. Foto’s of kopieën van de tickets zijn ook niet geldig. Als je je ticket bent verloren heb je helaas geen toegang tot de vertoning.

Onze zalen zijn ongeplaceerd, dus er kan geen vaste plek worden gereserveerd.

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Gaypreview: STRIKE A POSE – Cinecenter Amsterdam May 25

A Gaypreview is organised to view STRIKE A POSE on May 25 at 21.15 at the Cinecenter in Amsterdam. Before viewing the film all the visitors will be welcomed with a free cocktail. Lots of glitter, glamour, VOGUE and pride in this musical documentary on the seven guys that danced their asses off at the start of the 90’s in Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour.

More info HERE

Tickets: https://www.cinecenter.nl/strike-a-pose/

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SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST: STRIKE A POSE + Q&A (18) Showing as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest

UK PREMIERE

Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” tour was accompanied by the controversial documentary “Truth or Dare”. Perhaps to the majesty’s chagrin, the breakout stars were her seven backup dancers, six of whom were gay. After having lived through the LGBT sea change of the 1990s, where are they now? Strike a Pose brings the legendary crew back together for the first time in over 20 years.

Director
Ester Gould,Reijer Zwaan
Country
Belgium, Netherlands
Year
2016
Duration
83 mins

SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST

To book, click an underlined time above.

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The Secret Life of Madonna’s Dancers Revealed (interview video)


Twenty-five years after Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour, the film Strike A Pose exposes what really went on behind the scenes and what happened to her dancers when the tour ended. Daily Xtra got an exclusive voguing demo with one of the dancers who was in town for the films Hot Doc’s screening. You can still catch it on Saturday, May 7th at 6:30PM at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. For ticket info to go: hotdocs.ca

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Madonna Shouldn’t Need to Justify Her Ass

With Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Lupita Nyong’o responding to criticism for their Met Ball outfit choices, fashion suddenly doesn’t seem so fun anymore.

It is heartening that Madonna’s Instagram post—in which she answered critics of what she wore to the Met Ball on Monday night—has received, at the time of writing, 67,100 likes. It deserves to. She’s right: her more vicious detractors going on about her age and what is or isn’t appropriate for a woman of that age to wear were sexist and ageist. But the shame is she had to write anything in the first place.

Madonna will, almost inevitably, wear something striking to a high-profile public event. If you object to it, you may as well also object to the inevitability of daffodils in spring.

Even worse, the massed provocations of our social media age has forced Madonna to explain why she wore what she wore to these who threw insults at her.

At the Met Ball, Madonna wore a sheer Givenchy outfit that showed both her behind and her chest. She looked great. The oddest part of the outfit was the jewel around her forehead.

Why there was any shock about this is baffling: the Met Ball is an evening of unexpurgated dress-up—the celebrities and monied wear outrageous, carefully curated costumes; the media and social media respond to these looks. It is both circus and sport.

Also in the critical firing line of blogger Ivy Marshall (relatively polite when compared to the bitchier Twitterati) was Sarah Jessica Parker, who along with Madonna and Diane von Furstenberg (wife of Barry Diller, chairman of IAC, The Daily Beast’s parent company) were criticized by Marshall for not “getting the memo” when it came to the theme of the evening: man versus machine, fashion in the age of technology.
The strange thing is, all three of them did. The criticism was baseless.

Madonna looked as if she had beamed in from a bondage world of future-shock; DVF wore metallic (as did many others), and SJP—who could make an old refuse sack look inventive—wore a Monse suit; a flared and ruffled white jacket and trousers inspired by Broadway hit Hamilton.

Elsewhere, Vogue opined that Lupita Nyong’o’s towering up-do seemed to have been inspired by Audrey Hepburn, even though Nyong’o had told the magazine in a video it was inspired by Nina Simone and “sculptural hairstyles from around the continent.”

She underlined the point, to plaudits from fans, in a later Instagram post. The Met Ball had gotten serious, and celebrities elected not just to be photographed and mocked (mostly in good humor). They were biting back. Everyone was in line for a lecture and learning experience.

There was a time when the act of being Madonna was justification for Madonna enough: if you didn’t like it, or get it, too bad. She had crosses to burn, sexy Jesuses to fondle, and boundaries to blur.
Now she has to write a justification of her fashion choices as a cultural and political act because our Internet age makes not just everyone a critic, but many voices all screeching together become an asshole chorus it appears impossible—for even celebrities of Madonna’s peerless bolshiness—to ignore.

Of course, those kinds of critics should be ignored, and Madonna should continue to bear her ass, legs, breasts and whatever else whenever and however she damn well feels like it.

In her Instagram post, Madonna wrote: “We have fought and continue to fight for civil rights and gay rights around the world. When it comes to women’s rights we are still in the dark ages. My dress at the Met Ball was a political statement as well as a fashion statement. The fact that people actually believe a woman is not allowed to express her sexuality and be adventurous past a certain age is proof that we still live in an age-ist and sexist society.”

She might be right, and these are wise words, but why not just let the outfit do the talking? Does she really care what people say about what she wears? Did she dress that night to make a point about feminist empowerment, or for herself, or to cause a fantastic, Madonna-like stir? Sometimes, showing your ass on fashion’s biggest night of the year is about showing your ass on fashion’s biggest night of the year—and you looked great. Good for you.

“I have never thought in a limited way and I’m not going to start. We cannot effect change unless we are willing to take risks by being fearless and by taking the road less traveled by,” Madonna continued. “That’s how we change history. If you have a problem with the way I dress it is simply a reflection of your prejudice.”

She is right and wrong—risk-taking is good, changing history can be even better, but along with such intentional radicalism will come criticism from those who do not share your views.

Sometimes people don’t like what you might say or wear, and that’s fine too. Unless someone says something directly rude or unpleasant about your gender or age, or something intensely, meanly personal, such a criticism is not necessarily “a reflection of prejudice” against you. You wore it, they didn’t like it. Them’s the breaks.

If you’re Madonna, given you were happy to appear in public with flesh selectively displayed, shouldn’t you live out the “zero fucks” you claim to give, and which you tweeted that very same evening.
If the Internet allows for the amplification of people’s voices whose opinions shouldn’t mean anything to you, then it also amplifies one’s instinct for self-defense. The battle becomes who can shout louder in the echo chamber.

Similarly, Parker felt compelled to defend her fashion choice for the night, when—like Madonna—she has, up to now, taken very visible pleasure in dressing up.

Commenting under Marshall’s critical post, she wrote, “Always welcome thoughts but I’m a stickler for the theme and pay close attention to what it means. Every year with great consideration, research and conviction. The understanding of man and machine, how they intersect, when and why is what we considered.

“Perhaps you weren’t aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design. Or perhaps you simply didn’t like [what] I wore which is completely fine but you can’t accuse me of not paying close attention and adhering to the theme. With respect and warmest regards, sj.”

That is the kindest note anyone the target of criticism could send to their critic: an acknowledgment of a dissenting point of view which has both grace and intelligence—and which Parker, like Madonna, shouldn’t have had to write.

The Met Ball is a night of extreme fashion, and both women are sartorial risk-takers and crusaders. They know you may not like what they wear, but they suddenly seem to mind how you relay that to them.

Fashion criticism can be a bitchy, cutting business—this is the era Fashion Police spawned—and Twitter and Instagram make those criticisms come in large numbers and faster and funnier: see the meme riffing around Kim and Kanye’s outfits for example with Star Wars in mind.

But the inevitable online pile-on shouldn’t stop celebrities wearing what they like to nights like the Met Ball. The critical fallout shouldn’t provide relentless cause for celebrities and their supporters to take to the self-important, politically ponderous barricades either. Because, honestly, it’s OK to sometimes think an outfit looks weird or terrible, and say it is so.

All parties should accept the celebrity game of dress-up for what it is: fun, an expression of desire and freedom, and possibly a desire for lots of coverage from the media.

Madonna, SJP, and Nyong’o certainly got the latter, for what they wore and then for the fallout from what was said about it the night of the Met Ball.

This snarky bitching and subsequent cultural studies lecture cycle could get exhausting if public dressing-up is something celebrities do on a regular basis. Perhaps they should wear what they like, and let those choices annoy and rankle their critics with no further words necessary.

Read more at TheDailyBeast

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Fashion + Music: Fashion Creatives Shaping Pop Music – Book pre-order (Madonna cover)

51OVvZZ7eCLAs twin agents of creative expression fashion and music have long shared a powerful mutual attraction: from the Sex Pistols to Madonna, Kylie Minogue to Lady Gaga, fashion has consistently amplified our understanding of the band (and in many cases the brand) – fuelling the fantasy, giving context to the sound and adding depth to artists’ wider agendas.

From pop videos to editorial shoots, via the evolution of some of the industry’s most significant and era-defining pairings/collaborations this book will focus on the power of fashion as a make-or-break tool within the music industry’s creative process – making it an essential reference point for anyone interested in fashion’s role as a medium with which to innovate, communicate and build enduring brands.

Providing fascinating insights and behind-the-curtain journeys into the usually closed world of the fashion/music industry it will include original interviews with stylists, photographers, video directors, record label reps, hair & make-up artists, graphic designers and the artists themselves.

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (August 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780677480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780677484
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds

Pre-order HERE

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Strike a Pose: Madonna’s dancers remember touring with Madge

Three of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour dances recall the night they wished to get busted with Madge while performing in Toronto

OurWindsor.Ca

There’s nothing like the prospect of spending a night in jail with Madonna over lewd behaviour onstage to give a show some edge.

That’s how three of Madge’s dancers saw it and why they say Toronto got “one of the best shows” on Madonna’s smash 1990 Blonde Ambition world tour.

Oliver Crumes III, Jose Gutierez and Kevin Stea recalled their last time in the city, 26 years ago, on their recent return to promote the documentary Strike a Pose, which screens at Hot Docs.

“It energized us. We wanted to be dirtier than ever,” laughed Stea, after they learned Toronto police would be at Madonna’s final of three shows to see how far she was going onstage — and might bust her for being too sexually provocative.

“I think I grabbed my crotch in all these areas I never grabbed before,” he said.

“I was excited, honestly,” added Gutierez, who relished the idea of going to jail with Madge. It also gave Toronto some prissy infamy, thanks to the incident’s inclusion in the 1991 hit behind-the-scenes feature film about the tour, Truth or Dare.

“They wanted to censor us and we were like, ‘OK, we’re going to give them a reason to censor us,’” added Gutierez, who was one of the dancers who sported oversized, velvet conical bras for Madonna’s famously raunchy “Like A Virgin.” “It was so funny, because after, (police) just came backstage and said, ‘Oh, the show was fine.’”

A Toronto TV news clip about the event also shows up in Strike a Pose, co-directed by filmmaker Ester Gould (her film A Strange Love Affair With Ego is also at Hot Docs) and journalist Reijer Zwaan.

Gould said she and Zwaan didn’t want Strike a Pose to be “a trip down memory lane.” They wanted to look beyond memories of Madonna in her Gautier-wearing pop goddess heyday (the energetic concert footage that opens the film is a pure rush of heart-thumping nostalgia) to explore what became of the seven male dancers made famous by the tour and Truth or Dare.

Dance captain Stea and Gutierez, who helped popularize Voguing and appeared in Madonna’s “Vogue” video, were joined by Crumes, one of the young dancers who answered an ad to find “FIERCE male dancers . . . wimps and wanna-bes need not apply.”

All except Crumes are gay and, with Madonna’s encouragement, the dancers became queer icons at a time when acceptance was far from secure.

“What struck us was the paradox,” Gould said. “On one hand, these guys are iconic figures, these paragons of pride and homosexual freedom, and at the same time there’s this back story which is different for each of them. They all have very different lives and very different stories.”

They saw themselves as family and Madonna responded with genuine openness and affection, evident in Truth or Dare through cuddle sessions in her bed, enthusiastic games of Truth or Dare, and heartfelt scenes of their final farewells with the singer.

“Just to be clear, we were in love with her, too,” said Stea.

The dancers also had secrets; three were HIV positive and terrified they would be found out. And once the tour wrapped, there were feelings of abandonment and isolation. Some struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and questioned their self-worth.

Dancer Gabriel Trupin, dubbed Madonna’s “favourite child” on the tour, wasn’t comfortable being outed onscreen and sued Madonna for dismissing his request to cut footage of a steamy kiss between him and dancer Salim “Slam” Gauwloos during a round of Truth or Dare. Trupin died of AIDS in 1995 and his mother appears in Strike a Pose, still angry about her son’s betrayal.

The men were naive when fame landed. Some were teens. Gutierez turned 19 while on tour and had to get his mother’s permission to go on the road.

“We were so young and so talented, and we just wanted to be on the stage doing our thing, never once realizing that we were put in the forefront to lead this parade, and we were leading it and we led it good,” said Gutierez. “I think the fact we were so unaware made it more powerful.”

It was “amazing” working with Madonna, they said, where nightly parties were filled with celebrities and artists. Gutierez described being exposed to “the best of everything, taken care of to the fullest.” And then there was the shopping.

“It was going in there blind, not sure what you were going to get into and then it just turns into this. It was beautiful,” said Crumes.

Gould said the five minutes of Truth or Dare footage used in Strike a Pose — Madonna was a producer on the film and had to approve its use — was “expensive.”

So has the Material Girl seen the doc? The singer has a copy but no word on whether she has screened it.

“The fact she hasn’t made a comment makes me feel like she saw it,” said Stea.

“I look at it this way, I don’t think she would hate it,” said Crumes. He and Gutierez expect the singer, who they knew to be far more sensitive than her brash public persona makes her appear, would be made emotional by it.

“I think she’ll be kind of mad that it’s not about her,” Gutierez added with a chuckle.

Strike a Pose screens Saturday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Go to hotdocs.ca for details.

Toronto Star

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Is ‘Madonna Tears of a Clown’ a Laughing Matter?

IN MADONNA’S BIZARRE ONE-OFF CONCERT IN AUSTRALIA, SHE PROVED THAT SHE’S STILL WILLING TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE WITH A BOLD ARTISTIC STATEMENT. BUT WHAT EXACTLY WAS SHE SAYING?
On 10 March 2016, Madonna surprised her Australian fans with a one-off concert called “Madonna: Tears of a Clown”. Unlike the other concerts associated with the Rebel Heart Tour, this show didn’t feature any backup dancers, costume changes, or elaborate set pieces. Instead, it had Madonna, dressed as a clown, singing her most intimate songs and ad libbing to the small audience at Melbourne’s Forum Theater.

When Madonna walked on stage to greet the crowd, she described the show as a work in progress, and promised that she would disappoint those looking for perfection. The Rebel Heart Tour this was not, she reiterated.

And she was right. The show was imperfect, and at times, Madonna’s thoughts seemed scattered and her timing a little off. However, it’s also Madonna’s most interesting artistic statement in years.

Naturally, the mainstream press didn’t get it. A number of reporters speculated that she was drunk during the show, a claim Madonna angrily debunked on social media. (”Madonna says Playing Character, not Drunk, in Australia Show”, by Jill Sergjeant, Reuters, 150 March 2016) The media has always misunderstood Madonna. They take her too seriously when she’s being silly, but at the same time, never treat her like an artist with something to say.

In the ‘90s, to provide just one example, Madonna was heavily criticized for her Eroticaperiod. She had always been provocative, but many felt that her sexual expressions had gone too far. She was called a slut, and the unfortunate narrative that plagues many female stars—that she’s only famous for showing her body—spread like wildfire. What the press failed to understand at the time, and continue to miss to this day, is that Madonna was playing a character.

The first words of “Erotica”, the album’s lead single, are clear enough: “My name is Dita, I’ll be your mistress tonight”. The song is meant to be a playful commentary on sexual expression, but rather than call attention to Madonna’s alter-ego, the press assumed that it was she who was the whore. When Madonna had children years later, many worried that she would be an unfit fit mother, and often cited “Erotica” as a reason for their concerns. Little did they know that she was playing around.

There’s no doubt that Madonna still has the ability to be creative, but if there’s one thing that’s lacking in her most recent tours, it’s a grand artistic statement. The Sticky and Sweet Tour, for example, was a blast from start to finish, but it lacked the inventiveness of the Drowned World Tour. The Rebel Heart Tour was entertaining enough, but it had Madonna going through the motions, as if she needed to do the concert to fulfill a contractual obligation. This show was different. Madonna had something to say, and she wanted the world to know it.

Madonna portrayed the sad clown for a night. The audience laughed at her absurdity until they realized that she was expressing the pain inside her soul.

Or was she? That’s the thing with Madonna. We never can tell if she’s serious or not. Is this show, the most intimate of Madonna’s long career, a vulnerable cry for help and understanding, or is Madonna just screwing with us, as she often does? I couldn’t tell, and that’s what was brilliant about it.

In one of the show’s most talked about moments, Madonna performed her song “Intervention” and dedicated it to her son Rocco. It was Madonna exposed, letting us experience her emotional pain. For those who don’t know, Madonna has been involved in a custody battle over Rocco with her ex-husband Guy Ritchie.

There’s a strong possibility that Madonna was trolling us. Of course she loves her son, but maybe this was less about her pain and more about the press’ exploitation of her pain. As the show got more intimate with each song and personal anecdote, a disturbing thought crept into my mind: what if it was meant to be a joke.

It’s not unreasonable. Madonna is one of the first pop stars to call attention to the genre’s inauthenticity. Known for reinventing her image with each new project, she constantly reminded us that it was all fiction. Unlike most pop artists who present a carefully crafted image to the public and then pretend it’s who they really are (Taylor Swift comes to mind), Madonna was never shy about confronting the artifice of her image(s).

Even the show’s theme is suspect. Everyone knows about the sad clown cliché, and Madonna surely wouldn’t incorporate that concept into her art without some kind of ironic twist. This is troubling to come to terms with precisely because Madonna was so candid on stage, sharing stories about her son, her failed marriage to Sean Penn, and her career in general.

I’m reminded of her iconic documentary concert film Madonna: Truth or Dare (1992), in which she provides us with a backstage pass to her Blonde Ambition Tour. This is Madonna at her most revealing, complete with a brief flash of her breasts.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Madonna had control over the final product. The Madonna we see on screen is the one she wants us to see, and we’ll never know what she’s really like when the cameras are off.

That’s what’s so fascinating about her art. The most famous pop star in the world needed some anonymity, and the only way she was able to get it was by presenting a version of herself to the masses. This version may not be the real woman, but it was enough to satisfy the die-hard fans who hang on to her every word as if it were gospel, not knowing that she may not mean anything she says.

“Madonna: Tears of a Clown” has the potential to represent a transitional point in the pop star’s career. After decades of spectacle, Madonna may pull a Marlene Dietrich and spend the rest of her career in intimate clubs singing slow songs and telling stories about her life.

Or then again, maybe she won’t. Maybe she’ll put out another pop album in a few years featuring the most in-demand producers, and sell out another tour complete with a by-the-numbers dance extravaganza. If that’s the case, “Madonna: Tears of a Clown” will always be remembered as the time she decided to step out of her comfort zone and try something different, even if it’s still unclear what, exactly, she was going for.

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Madonna proudly flashes her boobs AND bum in revealing sheer black gown at the Met Gala

Madonna arrives for the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
All eyes on her: Madonna

Madonna returned to Monday’s celebrity-packed Met Gala with another eye-popping look.

The singer, 57, made sure she had all eyes on her – and her bum – at the annual bash.

While most stars dazzled in sequins and floor length frocks, Madge opted for something pretty unique.

As well as her boobs, the star also had most of her peachy rear on show in the sheer black Givenchy gown.

WireImageMadonna arrives for the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Madonna flashes the flesh
WIreImageMadonna arrives for the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The gown was made by Givenchy

Read more: Idris Elba leads the best dressed men in Tom Ford at star-studded 2016 Met Gala

Madonna, who was joined by the brand’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, teamed the look with a pair of sexy knee-high boots and an intricate jeweled headpiece.

GettyMadonna arrives for the Costume Institute Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The star took the red carpet in her stride and proudly posed for snappers with her hands on her hips and a huge smile.

According to Vogue, the star’s look was “inspired by the therapeutic kinesiology tape she wears for her fatigued muscles on tour.”

More at Mirror

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