Madonna is perhaps the most postmodern of all pop stars, and this acclaimed documentary is prime evidence of that. Madonna enlisted Harvard graduate Alex Keshishian to follow her around with a camera during her 1991 "Blonde Ambition" tour, and the result is one of the most candid glimpses into a pop star's life and personality ever produced. Concert footage, family visits, dance practice, hotel room makeup sessions, and even a visit to the dentist with then-boyfriend Warren Beatty are just some of the places that Madonna lets us be involved in. This is more than just a fun pop documentary - it is also both a celebration and critique of the invasive, all-encompassing media culture that defines America today.
Warren Beatty - Actor, director, producer, REDS (1981)
Henry Warren Beaty - Actor, director, producer, REDS (1981)
Kevin Costner - Oscar winning American actor, director, DANCES WITH WOLVES
Madonna - American singer/actress, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, EVITA
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone - American singer/actress, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, EVITA
Alek Keshishian - Director
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 120
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 031398150466
- Genre: Music Video: Documentary
- Rating: R (MPAA)
- Release Date: April 2012
A combination concert film and behind-the-scenes look at America's reigning goddess of pop music. Using the cinema verité techniques pioneered by rockumentarian D.A. Pennebaker, director Alek Keshishian documents the human drama -- and comedy -- occurring backstage during Madonna's 1990 "Blond Ambition" Tour. Watch Madonna cajole, scold and cavort with her dancers; bicker with boyfriend Warren Beatty; visit with family members and childhood friends; stand up to the authorities who want to censor segments of her concert; and insult Kevin Costner. Listen to her talk unabashedly about sex and other matters of the heart. This elegantly grainy black and white, 16mm "offstage" (Madonna's always "on," of course) footage is contrasted with stunning concert segments shot in glowing 35mm color and featuring state-of-the-art sound.
Other distributors: Distribuzione Angelo Rizzoli Cinematografica (DARC) (Italy); Independent (Belgium); Planborg Film/Egmont Films (Sweden); Everard (New Zealand); Top Tape (Brazil); Video Collection International (VCI) (video-Europe) Filmed on 16mm and 35mm in Japan, Europe and North America. Began shooting March 1990. Shown at the following festivals in 1991: San Francisco International Film Festival in April; Cannes Film Festival (Special Screening), May 9; Filmfest Munich (International Program), June. Limited theatrical release in USA (New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC), May 10, 1991. Wide theatrical release in the USA May 17, 1991. Released on video October 9, 1991. Dancers: Donna Delory (also vocalist); Luis Camachor; Oliver Crumes; Salim Gauwloos; Jose Guitierez; Kevin Stear; Gabriel Trupin; and Carlton Wilborn. Musicians: Jonathan Moffett (drums); David Williams (guitar); Luis Conte (percussion); Darryl Jones (bass); Kevin Kendrick (keyboards). Additional credits: Freddy DeMann (Madonna's manager); Liz Rosenberg (Madonna's publicist); Peter Morse (lighting director and designer "Blonde Ambition" Tour); Christopher Ciccone (artistic director "Blonde Ambition" Tour); Jai Winding (musical director and keyboards). Feature film directorial debut for 26-year-old Harvard graduate Alek Keshishian. Keshishian made a splash at his alma mater with a video/performance piece set to the music of Madonna and Kate Bush which he conceived and directed while still an undergraduate and presented as a class project. Reportedly, it was seen by Madonna and she hired him on the basis of the piece. The documentary chronicles Madonna's 1990 "Blonde Ambition" tour. The concert footage was shot in 35mm color. The backstage portions of the film and interviews are 16mm black and white. Available in Widescreen format on laserdisc. Video version contains additional footage not included in the theatrical release.
"...Revealing and outrageously funny..." Rolling Stone, p.75-77
"...Undeniable entertainment value....It makes for great cabaret..." - 08/01/1991 Sight and Sound, p.43