10 must-see Alan Parker movies to celebrate his life

Madonna and director Alan Parker on set for the movie “Evita,” on Jan. 17, 1997. Parker died Friday at the age of 76.
TNS

Alan Parker, the cutting-edge British director who was known to film and music fans alike, died at age 76 on Friday. Capping his directorial career with 2003’s “The Life of David Gale,” Parker leaves behind a canon that defined the look and feel of the four decades in which he was active.

Whether you were a lifelong fan or are just learning about his oeuvre, below are 10 films that showcase Parker at his best.

‘Evita’ (1996): Taking an Oscar for Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”), “Evita” was the first attempt at a film adaptation of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical since 1973’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Madonna took on the lead role of Argentina’s Eva Peron opposite Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas.

The film received mixed reviews, but, as with many Parker projects, moved songs from the 1978 rock opera into the public consciousness. Remixes of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” topped club charts in the U.S. and Madonna earned critical praise for her vocal performance. At the very least, most critics agree it’s better than last year’s “Cats.”

Full article at YorkDispatch

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Why This Disastrous Courtney Love And Madonna Interview Was A Pivotal Moment In Music

courtney love madonna

In 1995, Madonna was on top of the world.

 

Her first three records had set a formula, playing with sex and R&B and religious iconography. Then Like A Prayer had taken that formula to its natural endpoint, spawning hit after hit and coating her career in platinum.

But refused to stay still. Erotica came next, and blew that early formula up, a collection of soulful bangers released alongside of coffee table book of nudes. The press was in a stir. But even then, Madonna kept moving. Before the impact of Erotica had been measured, the singer dropped Bedtime Stories, one of her biggest commercial successes ever.

It was Bedtime Stories that sealed the deal. The press that for so long had treated her with snooty derision could deny her no longer. She wasn’t just a popstar — she was the popstar, as big as musicians got. Everything she did made news. Which is why when she and Courtney Love messily crossed paths at the ’95 VMAs, it wasn’t just an interview gone wrong. It was a moment in the culture.

The Clash

Courtney Love’s 1995 was very different. Her band Hole had just released their masterpiece, Live Through This. But Love didn’t have the respect of Madonna. She was seen as trouble, perpetually in the process of falling into new scandals and tabloid blow-ups.

Love appeared to relish that chaos, too. Her reputation in the press was as an antic mischief-maker. She was the person you called up when you wanted an easy, loud headline. If Madonna was the artist, stunning the public with her work, then Love was the anarchist, dredging up dirt and sewing trouble in her wake.

 

Of course, both of those reputations were somewhat artificial. Madonna could make her own kind of trouble — the Erotica coffee table book proved that — and Love was a talented and heartfelt singer-songwriter. A track like ‘Violet’ was as complicated, intelligent and soulful as commercial radio of the time ever got. And all the tabloid nonsense distracted from that.

But still, those were the two personas that came crashing into one another that fateful night at the ’95 VMAs, when Madonna sat on a balcony, chatting with MTV’s Kurt Loder, and got a compact thrown at her.

“Hi Courtney,” Loder says in a video of the incident, turning to see the Hole frontwoman in the crowd below, the culprit who had slung the weapon. “That’s Courtney Love, everybody’s favourite –” He doesn’t finish the sentence. But the aborted description does all the talking for him. “Everybody’s favourite” what? You can fill in your own blank.

Almost immediately, Madonna looks uncomfortable. “Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now,” she says. But Loder presses on.

“Come on up, Courtney” Loder says, presumably sensing an opportunity for more trouble. And so Courtney Love does.

The rest of the interview is chaos. Poking fun at Loder, Love apologises for the interruption, calling herself “feisty”. But she doesn’t leave. Instead, she and Madonna circle each other, half in an argument. Love says being a rockstar isn’t working out for her, a brief moment of vulnerability that sours into a dig, when she asks Madonna if the ‘Like a Virgin’ singer even counts as a rockstar anyway.

“You dip into the population, as Michael Stipe would say,” Love says to Madonna, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

A little later, after more attempts to start a disagreement, Madonna asks them to compare which one has better shoes. Eventually, perhaps sensing that the interview is more awkward than conversation-generating, Loder ushers them both away.

“Thanks Madonna,” he says, sounding almost bored. Love stays up on the platform, talking to Loder. But the camera strays down, into the crowd, watching Madonna and her silk jacket walk off, disappearing into the throng.

The Aftermath

The clash allowed the mainstream press to strengthen the stereotypes of both women. It made Love look trashy, they wrote; Madonna look aloof and somewhat alien. Neither of the popstars got out with their reputation improved.

That was very typical of the music press at the time. Talking heads like Loder didn’t understand women unless they could cast them as either a Madonna — literally, in the case — or a whore. You could either be a diva or a danger to society, nothing in-between. PJ Harvey, an artist with an aesthetic that deliberately combined both images, was utterly incomprehensible to journalists of the era. All anybody asked Harvey about was her wardrobes and outfits. Anything beyond that was totally alien.

That’s clearly what Loder thought he was going to get when he invited Love up to the platform — the Two Kinds of Women, at war with each other. Which explains his disappointment. For all their surface level differences, the pair of performers share a lot in common. Both use their music to explore a vulnerability that their public personas don’t allow. Both have a rich and nuanced sonic vocabulary. And both were being put into a box and used by a shallow industry.

Indeed, that similarity between the two is only clearer now. Love tried to make fun of Madonna for not being a popstar. Now, such ersatz distinctions fail to exist. The “mainstream”, whatever that means, is more multitudinous now than ever before. We listen to pop; rock; rap; whatever. The faultlines that Loder thought he was tip-toeing across by pushing the two women into conflict either didn’t exist, or would stop existing in a matter of years.

Now, watching the clip back, it feels almost quaint. It’s nothing on the level of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj and their scrapes, or Minaj asking Miley Cyrus what’s good. It’s the sight of two personas rubbing against one another; the machine of the ’90s music industry and the sexism that lay under the press of the time turned inwards. And awkwardly. There are no sparks, and the interview inadvertently revealed why Loder shouldn’t have even expected them — because such distinctions were fake. Madonna and Love weren’t two polar opposites. They only seemed that way because of failures of the imagination of powerful men.

THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN THE PRESS IS STILL EMBARRASSINGLY REDUCTIVE.

The music industry still has artificial battle lines drawn, of course. The treatment of women in the press is still embarrassingly reductive. But the non-starter of Madonna and Love’s chat proves that we can and should continue to question how we make such distinctions. The things we hold as gospel now — the compartments we put popstars in — will seem silly in decades. So let’s start unpacking them. Things will be more fun if we do.

That, in fact, the joy of the Courtney Love and Madonna clash. Not that those two women hated each other. But that so many people — mostly men — had so much riding on the myth that they did.

Read more at JUNKEE

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Sir Alan Parker, director of Bugsy Malone and Evita, dies aged 76

Sir Alan Parker, the acclaimed British director of such films as Fame, Evita and Bugsy Malone, has died aged 76.

His many other credits include Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, The Commitments, Angela’s Ashes and Birdy.

A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.

He died on Friday after a lengthy illness and is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, five children and seven grandchildren.

Sir Alan received the CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002.

Born in London in 1944, he began his career in advertising as a copywriter but quickly graduated to writing and directing commercials.

In 1974 he directed BBC film The Evacuees, winning a Bafta for direction – the first of seven awards he received from the British Academy.

In 1984 Bafta honoured him with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for outstanding contribution to British cinema.

Yet he was never honoured at the Oscars, despite being nominated twice for best director.

Film director David Puttnam remembered Parker as his “oldest and closest friend,” adding: “I was always in awe of his talent.

“My life and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again.”

More at BBC

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WIN Desperately Seeking Susan German Mediabook + blu-ray + DVD – enter now!

In collaboration with Rough Trade Distribution GmbH we are happy to announce this fantastic giveaway!

Desperately Seeking Susan has been released on blu-ray format in Germany back in March, unfortunately due to Covid-19 we weren’t able to organise this giveaway sooner. 

The German release is available in 3 formats:

  • Mediabook – DVD + blu-ray + booklet (limited to 1000 copies)
  • Blu-ray
  • DVD

Extra’s + Details:

  • Alternate ending
  • Trailer
  • Susan Seidelman commentary
  • Language: German & English
  • Subtitles: German
  • DTS HD Master 5.1
  • 1080p 1.85:1

Want to win a copy? Send an e-mail including your full name and address to: info@madonnaunderground.com before August 3.

Due to a random lottery we cannot guarantee who will receive the mediabook, blu-ray or DVD. 

Don’t want to wait? You can order your copy at Amazon Germany now.

Many thanks to Rough Trade Distribution GmbH

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Dua Lipa strikt Madonna en Missy Elliott voor samenwerking (Dutch news)

Dua Lipa’s wens om ooit met Madonna te werken is razendsnel in vervulling gegaan. De Queen of Pop doet, net als Missy Elliott en The Blessed Madonna, mee op een speciale remix van het nummer Levitating afkomstig van haar laatste album Future Nostalgia. De single komt op 14 augustus uit, zo maakte de zangeres bekend. Op sociale media noemt Dua Lipa het “een droom die uitkomt”.

Begin deze maand kwam naar buiten dat het team van Dua Lipa contact had opgenomen met Madonna over een eventuele samenwerking. “We proberen Madonna te vragen voor een nummer. Ik ga een e-mail sturen om te kijken of ze op een track van Dua te horen wil zijn”, zo liet Dua’s manager Ben Mawson doorschemeren.

Madonna is al jaren het grote voorbeeld van de Britse zangeres. Dua’s album Future Nostalgia is bovendien “sterk beïnvloed” door de Amerikaanse zangeres.

ANP
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Queens of the Dance Floor — Madonna, Missy Elliott, and Dua Lipa to Remix ‘Levitating’

Consider this atonement for what Madonna did to one of her best songs in the name of a Missy Elliott feature on a Gap commercialDua Lipa will join forces with two other queens of the dance floor, Madonna and Missy Elliott, to remix her current single “Levitating.” Lipa, one of the busiest pop stars in quarantine since releasing second album Future Nostalgia, announced on Instagram that the song will be released on August 14. The song will be remixed by the Blessed Madonna — a producer formerly known as the Black Madonna who recently changed her name because it “has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration” (the Blessed Madonna is white). There may be room for more than one Madonna on this remix, but we still know who the real blessed one is.

More at VULTURE.COM

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Dua Lipa announces Levitating remix featuring Madonna and Missy Elliott

Dua Lipa has announced Levitating as the fifth single from her Number 1 album Future Nostalgia, and its new remix will feature Madonna and Missy Elliott.

Levitating will be reworked by American DJ The Blessed Madonna for its official single release, and features two of Dua’s self-proclaimed “idols” Madonna and Missy Elliott. Dua confirmed on social media that Levitating (Remix) will be released on Friday August 14.

MORE: Dua Lipa wants to emulate Madonna and have a long career in pop

It was announced last month by Dua’s managers in an interview that they had reached out to Madonna for a potential collaboration, and it looks like Madonna replied to that email! It’s not the first big collab for the Queen of Pop, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Madonna is of course no stranger to the Official Chart, with more Number 1 singles and albums than any other female artist in history.

Levitating follows the longest-reigning Top 10 hit ever by a female artist Don’t Start Now, Top 10 smashes Physical and Break My Heart and latest single Hallucinate as releases from Future Nostalgia, which topped the Official Albums Chart in April.

Future Nostalgia is the biggest album release of 2020 so far by a British act, the most popular British solo artist album on cassette in the first six months of the year, and is 2020’s bestselling British female release on vinyl.

More at Official Charts Company

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Dua Lipa adds Madonna to Levitating remix and the new Queen of Pop is here

Dua Lipa will release a new collaboration with Madonna and Missy Elliott. Levitating will be the fifth single taken overall from Dua’s sophomore LP Future Nostalgia, which dropped earlier this year. The new remix takes after the chart-topping smash Don’t Start Now, which kickstarted a disco revivial, as well as the ultimate bop Physical, the INXS-interpolating Break My Heart and the trance-influenced Hallucinate.

Announcing the news on Twitter, Dua revealed the new track will be remixed by DJ The Blessed Madonna.

‘Levitating remixed by The Blessed Madonna,’ she wrote. ‘Featuring my idols Madonna and Missy Elliott. Dreams come true, let’s go!’ Let’s go indeed. Alexa, play Levitating! Quite a flex after just being nominated for the Mercury Prize as well, if you ask us. Dua’s second album Future Nostalgia was released this year.

The news of a collaboration with Madge, however, won’t be news to anyone who was paying attention. Just last month, Dua’s manager hinted he had already hit up the Queen of Pop herself to feature on a new track. Well, at least we know Madonna replies to emails quickly, right? And if all this wasn’t enough, the stars do certainly seem to be aligning for a diva duet, as Dua recently admitted she would like to ‘do a Madonna’ and reach her creative peak in her 40s. This was the age, of course, that Madonna released Ray of Light. ‘I want to do this for as long as I can,’ she told The Sun. ‘I feel Madonna peaked [in her 40s] and made the best pop album known.’ Basically, the other girls just couldn’t.

We’re ready, Dua! Levitating drops 14 August. Future Nostalgia available now via Warner.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/27/dua-lipa-adds-madonna-levitating-remix-new-queen-pop-13046256/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

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Blond Ambition Tour in Rotterdam 30 years ago today!!

photo: Rob Verhorst

The greatest show on earth was about to take place in De Kuip Rotterdam. This was the second time Madonna played this stadium after previously selling out two Who’s That Girl Tour shows back in 1987.

Unfortunately the one and only concert in Rotterdam was close to selling out, but in the end ‘only’ 40.000 tickets sold.

The concert started in daylight and the crowd ate it up. Madonna seemed to be in a great mood and put on a hell of a performance. To everyone’s surprise Madonna invited a girl up on stage to dance with her after she presented Madonna with flowers during ‘Holiday’. The girl turned out to be the daughter of the promoter. This was the one and only time Madonna invited someone on stage to dance with her during this tour (she kind of replicated the moment during her Rebel Heart Tour when she was searching for unapologetic bitches.)

The press wasn’t either very positive or very negative, but kind of in between. Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ headlined their very negative review ‘pre-baked Madonna show disappoints crowd’ while the ‘Algemeen Dagblad‘ called the show powerful. Either way Madonna was all the Dutch press could talk about and she appeared in countless newspapers and magazines (just view our dedicated press page HERE).

Who could’ve known back then that they just witnessed a live show that would raise the bar and set the tone for all live shows to follow. Performing a live show transformed into performance art, where a story was through the musical library. To this day we are all still talking about how groundbreaking this tour was and is. Many have tried to follow in her path and recreate what she put out there back in 1990. Their cash can buy them a lot of things, but they will never be able to embody a show the way Madonna can. Money cannot buy stage presence.

Q&A with some team members who’ve seen the Blond Ambition Tour

How many shows did you see of the Blond Ambition Tour?

Amon: Just the one in Rotterdam and my parents even postponed our holiday because of it
Dave: Only 1 show since I was only 13 years old
Fred: All the Paris shows (3 /4 & 6th July 1990)

Fondest memory of the show

Amon: Her entrance! Emotional, there she was again…..
Dave: Hard to say, it was just one big spectacle. But if I have to choose then the moment she came on stage. The very first time I saw my idol live
Fred: I managed to get a front row seat on the first night at the cost of superhuman effort, because the battle was hard, unfortunately towards the end of the concert the pressure was so strong that I couldn’t hold my place… I thought I was going to faint… (fatigue probably due to the long hours of waiting under the sun, without eating and almost no drinking! most certainly a bit of stress!) However, seeing the opening of the show on this side was priceless!

Favourite song performed?

Amon: Like a Virgin…..well I wonder why?
Dave: Hmmmm probably Like A Virgin! Couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but it made me proud. That was the Madonna I love
Fred: Seeing Like A Prayer live for the first time was an unforgettable moment! At the time it was already one of the biggest hits!

How does the tour rank among your favourite Madonna tours of all time?

Amon: Between 3-5
Dave: Also very difficult, because I was very young when I grew up I attended multiple shows, and many front row. I think it’s my favourite because it’s the first show ever, but experience wise it’s in my top 4
Fred: Number 3 (1st is MDNA and 2nd Girlie Show)

Favourite live registration?

Amon: Own recording of the Rotterdam show on cassette (played it to death)
Dave: For years it would have been Nice. But since the release of Blond Ambition in New Jersey I have to admit that’s my fave registration. She was very funny and kick-ass. LOVE IT!!!
Fred: Passages of Truth or Dare that remind me that it was filmed in Paris!

Favourite merchandise item?

Amon: the hat!
Dave: The tourbook, bought it at the show and couldn’t stop showing it to everybody
Fred: Crew Bomber jacket!

Read an extensive story by Hans Schaft where he takes you on the road with him visiting various stops of the Blond Ambition Tour HERE

Blond Ambition Tour in Rotterdam live report by Dave HERE

Blond Ambition Tour in Paris live report by Fred HERE

Many thanks to photographer Rob Verhorst for sharing his photograph for this article

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Madonna celebrates 20th anniversary of ‘American Pie’ single

Pop queen Madonna has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of her version of Don McLean’s “American Pie.” Digital Journal has the scoop.
 
“American Pie” was penned by iconic singer-songwriter Don McLean. Next year, he will be celebrating the song’s 50th anniversary of this American standard.

 

Her The Next Best Thing film co-star Rupert Everett encouraged her to record it for the soundtrack of the movie. Although the film was a commercial and critical flop, the song “American Pie” became a worldwide hit. It peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Charts.

 

Madonna’s version of “American Pie” was produced by William Orbit, her lead collaborator on “Ray of Light” and “Beautiful Stranger.”

 

Don McLean praised the “Material Girl” for covering his classic tune. “I loved it,” he exclaimed. “I thought it was outstanding. I thought Madonna did a great job with it. To me, she’s an artist for the 20th and the 21st century. She is magnificent.”

 

McLean acknowledged that he has received many gifts from God, but this was the first time that he received “a gift from a goddess.” Her rendition had a nostalgic and its own patriotic vibe to it.

 

“I sure liked what she did with that song. I will always say nice things about Madonna,” McLean told Digital Journal this past April.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/music/madonna-celebrates-20th-anniversary-of-american-pie-single/article/575264#ixzz6T2fORAiK

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Rare Madonna on auction at Gottahaverockandroll.com

Gottahaverockandroll is offering fans and collectors to be the proud owner of an original Norma Kamali faux fur jacket worn by Madonna during a photoshoot with her siblings as published in Life magazine (1986).

Minimum bidding starts at $10.000, view the item HERE

Another interesting item up for auction are handwritten lyrics by Madonna for an unreleased song titled ‘Swing With Me’. Madonna wrote this song when she was with Camille Barbone at Gotham Sound NYC.

To check out this auction click HERE

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‘Put Palestine back on the map,’ demands Madonna

American singer, songwriter and actress Madonna expressed solidarity with Palestine over the weekend in a series of Instagram posts protesting against the removal of the occupied Palestinian territories from Google maps, social media users have said. Madonna’s solidarity with Palestine coincided with the launch of a petition calling on Google to explain its decision, which more than a million people have signed.

The petition denounces Google for the fact that its decision makes it “complicit in the Israeli government’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” Israel, established on Palestinian land, is clearly designated, but Palestine does not appear on Google maps. “Why not?” the petitioners asked.

Images circulating on social media show Madonna sharing an image of the the map in question with Palestine missing, with a comment: “Google and Apple have officially removed Palestine from their maps”. She has more than 15 million followers on Instagram. MEMO could not verify the authenticity of the screenshots and has not heard back from Madonna’s team regarding the pictures.

In a second post, the singer expressed her strongest ever solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The 61 year old demanded “Put Palestine back on the map” before adding, “#IStandWithPalestine”.

A third post showed an image of Angela Davis alongside a quote from the icon of the American Civil Rights movement: “Black solidarity with Palestine allows us to understand the nature of contemporary racism more deeply.”

Davis spoke recently about why the Palestinian cause is so central to the Black Lives Matter movement. She recalled how Palestinian activists had long supported Black Americans’ struggle against racism, and that when she was falsely imprisoned in 1970 the solidarity from Palestine was a major source of comfort for her.

In the past, Madonna has not been as forthcoming with her support for the Palestinian cause. In 2019 she refused to boycott the Eurovision song contest, which was held in Israel. “I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” she said in a statement at the time.

More at Middle East Monitor

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