Coming to theatres this Wednesday, January 18:
STRIKE A POSE
Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan
Tribeca, Hot Docs, Sheffield, DocAviv, BAFICI, Chicago, Biografilm, Jeonju, Krakow, Sydney, Bogota, Helsinki, Rio, Hot Springs Doc, In-Edit, Provincetown, Outfest, Frameline, NewFest, Inside Out, LGBT fests in Austin, Vancouver, Honolulu, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Montreal
Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour dancers revisit their brush with fame, 25 years later.
In 1990, Madonna made headlines with a tour that provocatively combined candid sexuality, queerness, and religious imagery in support of her LIKE A PRAYER album. For those not able to see the show live, the performer indulged their curiosity with Alek Keshishian’s tour doc MADONNA: TRUTH OR DARE, the following year, grabbing more headlines with controversial scenes of the singer fellating a water bottle and two of her male dancers kissing – the latter becoming a point of contention in a lawsuit later filed by three of the dancers, just one of the many topics covered in Gould and Zwaan’s project. The filmmakers re-assemble the six surviving male members of the multicultural, mostly gay, troupe – one passed from AIDS complications long ago – to reflect on their participation in the tour and what it accomplished for gay visibility, their ambivalent experiences of celebrity (or being adjacent to celebrity), and its fleetingness and aftermath. The filmmakers struggle a bit in balancing out so many subjects, running into some repetition between their individual interviews and the group’s eventual reunion, but nevertheless proves compelling in its quiet, bitttersweet exploration of the long-lasting impact of their mutual – but background – involvement with fame – in some ways calling to mind 20 FEET FROM STARDOM.