Sunday, September 19, 2010

10th Anniversary: MUSIC

Ten years ago today, Madonna's Music (2000), one of her very best records, dropped into record stores. Director Guy Ritchie, to your left, was then her new man. He was advertising -- the record I mean! See the "Music" logo on his tanktop? Ever the selfless altruist, Madonna wore a black t-shirt promoting his project, Snatch (2000) which had opened the month before in the UK and was soon going to the US. It would become his biggest hit. Until Sherlock Holmes (2009) that is.

But back to 2000. Ah, the heady days of early romance. She had given birth to Rocco, her only biological child with Guy, the month before. They were married by December.

Madonna was of course, no stranger to loving alpha male movie men since actor/directors Sean Penn and Warren Beatty preceded Guy. Famously, she's now entered their realm. Paparazzi are basically snapping Madonna daily now while she films W.E. (2011) starring Abbie Cornish (see previous post). There must be a lot of outdoor shots. I suspect she wanted to do this much earlier than her first feature Filth & Wisdom (2008) -- I remember her discussing it back in the early 90s when she was still trying to become a film star and mentioned how much she loved Sally Potter's Orlando! It's curious that she didn't start with her own music videos. That career path has no stigma anymore given how many hipster cinematic giants have transferred over from music videos: David Fincher, Mark Romanek, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze etcetera...

The videos (and movie connections) in order of release.


Is you Madonna? You babylons look less big than they do on the telly but I still definitely would.
With this video, directed by Ray of Light man Jonas Åkerlund, Madge introduced Americans to Sacha Baron Cohen before HBO's Da Ali G Show and Borat and Brüno.

The actress Debi Mazar makes her fifth Madonna video appearance. They've been friends since they were both hitting dance clubs in the early 80s (before the Fame hit). To your left is a private pic of them from Fire Island which Debi showed Wendy Williams. It's around the Dick Tracy time period since they were flying there in a private plan with Warren Beatty. Lifestyles of the rich and famous, you know.

Don't Tell Me

This one comes from frequently collaborator Jean-Baptiste Mondino. It was a huge success worldwide and parodied by Kirsten Dunst and Jimmy Fallon at the MTV Movie Awards. The costumes are by DSquared and Oscar nominee Arianne Phillips. Phillips is also a frequent Madonna collaborator and is working on W.E.. There was a fascinating interview with her in the New York Times when she was promoting A Single Man (2009) that you should read if you haven't. Phillips has only been nominated for one Oscar (Walk the Line) but her filmography includes costuming gems like The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 3:10 to Yuma, Tank Girl and The Crow. Oscar's costuming branch doesn't regularly have an eye for iconic contemporary or genre wear, preferring superbly executed period pieces for the bulk of their nominations and especially their wins.

What It Feels Like For a Girl

The third and last official single was directed by Guy Ritchie and banned on MTV for violence. Not that banning on MTV meant anything by this time since they weren't really showing videos. But the song largely tanked, ending the singles release from Music.

The spoken word portion is by singer/actress Charlotte Gainsbourg from this scene in the film The Cement Garden (1993). As you know I thought she was pretty fantastic as the Bob Dylan-proxy's abandoned wife in I'm Not There's (2007). Other people went nuts for her recent turn in Antichrist.

American Pie

This is not an official song from Music but is on some of the CDs depending on the country. It's from the soundtrack to The Next Best Thing (2000) which is why you get then Madonna BFF Rupert Everett himself -- Sean Penn introduced them when Penn had just started dating her -- on back-up vocals and dancing with Madonna toward the tail end. They were very tight and though Rupert claimed in a revealing and typically prickly interview (he can be such a handful) that they're friends again, most sources say they she did not react well at all -- in a permanent way -- to his book in which he claimed that she dropped gay friends due to Guy Ritchie's homophobia.

I've only ever read Rupert's first book Hello Darling Are You Working? Has anyone read the one that caused the rift? If you own Music are you about to put it in for a 10th anniversary spin? [tangent: I'll use it today for workout soundtrack. I've finally gotten back to the gym. But I can't be proud of it until it becomes an actual habit rather than a once a quarter "maybe this time" delusion.]

Speaking of the now... Rupert Everett will be back in cinema's next month opposite Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target. But wouldn't his brutal Brit wit be a perfect fit for the Sherlock Holmes franchise in some capacity? Ah well, something tells me Guy Ritchie won't be casting him any time soon. The untitled sequel starts shooting next month (?) with Noomi Rapace and Daniel Day-Lewis joining RDJ & Jude. The Guy Ritchie film will be opening for Christmas 2011. No word yet on when his ex-wife's movie will arrive.

Put the tunes in your headphones for an anniversary spin.


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