Madonna looks likely to miss out on an eleventh number one as she trails a Europop anthem in the race to top the charts this weekend. The pop queen's 54th UK single release - the title theme from new James Bond film Die Another Day - had been tipped as a surefire chart-topper. But DJ Sammy's holiday hit Heaven is way out in front to take the prime spot on Sunday, leaving Madonna at number three. On the plus side for Madonna her song will be the biggest chart hit for a Bond theme for 17 years. Duran Duran's A view To A Kill went to number two in 1985, but subsequent singles have fared poorly with Garbage's most recent 007 title song The World Is Not Enough getting to only number 11.
To download the new Madonna 'Die Another Day' buddy icons for your AOL Instant Messenger, go to madonna.com.
Fansite Madonnarama claims Madonna is in London, recording new tracks with Stuart Price. That would mean he's still on board for the new album. So far, the only confirmed producer of the new album is Mirwais. The rumoured collaboration with Orbit has been denied on Orbit's site a while ago. Other rumoured collaborators are Air and Jamie Catto (ex-Faithless). Hopefully more on this soon.
Madonna's single moves from #18 to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart next week! #29 on Adult Top 40, #1 on Dance Sales, and #20 on Dance Club Play Madonna's maxi single debuted at #1 on single sales chart with sales of 28,562 copies. [The sales chart is based on sales only, while the Billboard chart combines sales and airplay]. Madonna knocked "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson out of # 1 on the sales chart. This amount should be enough to push the single into the top 10 and hopefully the top 5!
Having apparently grown bored with antagonizing Catholics, Madonna is now giving offense to Jews. Some scholars of Judaism are riled by the sacred text and religious objects that appear in her violent new video, which showcases the theme song to the James Bond movie Die Another Day.
The video features Madonna with Hebrew letters tattooed on her arm and tefillin - small leather cubes, containing biblical verses and worn with straps during morning worship - while she's being electrocuted by Nazi-like goons.
The mock execution leaves three Hebrew letters on the electric chair - lamed, aleph and vav - part of the "72 names of God" taught in the kabbalah, mystical Jewish teachings studied by Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie.
Ken Jacobson, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League, says he doesn't find the video "anti-Semitic," but argues: "There are some people who can be - and are - offended by using Jewish religious articles for these purposes. Many Jews, especially Orthodox, believe it is not a tradition for women [to use tefillin]. There are certain sensitivities that are offended by what she did. Then there is the question about the Hebrew lettering, and what they mean."
Rabbi Sue Fendrick, managing editor of MyJewishLearning. com, adds: "To a very traditional Orthodox Jew, even the mere image of a woman putting on tefillin might be offensive. This really seems to be about a non-Jewish person putting on a symbol for purposes of entertainment. Some people won't find it interesting one way or another. Others will find it deeply offensive to Judaism and Jews."
Rabbi Michael Berg, who teaches at the Kabbalah Center in L.A., where Madonna has studied, admits that "Jewish law prohibits tattoos. But, for one thing, this tattoo is not permanent. For another, we teach in kabbalah that every person is free to make their own choices."
Berg explains that the Hebrew letters represent "her fighting her ego. The tefillin are used to diminish the ego. Unfortunately, Orthodox Judaism has put a diminished role on women. The kabbalah sees women as no different than men. For me, the video was inspiring."
Madonna's theme tune for the new James Bond movie will be beaten to the number one spot at the weekend, according to the latest sales figures. DJ Sammy's Heaven is currently outselling Nelly's duet with Kelly Rowland in the race for number one says figures from Virgin Megastores.
Madonna's Die Another Day is only expected to enter the chart at number three. Justin Timberlake is likely to drop to number four with Like I Love You while The Ketchup Song should be at number five.
Madonna's new single does something totally and unexpectedly greatit stops. Repeatedly. Four full stops, and countless gaps between phrases, beats, even words. A blistering zeitgeist-negation, hostile and uneasyas a single, a club track, a Bond theme.
Her latest personality is an abrogation of personality: the merging of the individual into the dance massive so complete it nullifies the massive itself. Rhythm so intricate it becomes hook. Feminism so interrogatory it questions identity itself. "Sigmund Freud," she whispers at the only sexy moment, "analyze this."
Zeitgeist One: Microhouse. That German-spawned trend which strips out zooms and builds, reconstructing house from obsessively nuanced elementsthe crisp snap of a snare, that syncopated instant it anticipates the bass kick; an uncertain half-step in a diva's vocal run. Herbert's latest album builds from samples of trash. Akufen's from radio debris. Die Another Day (Warner Bros.) takes off from the orchestral synth-lure of a silky William Orbit track. Fragments turn in on themselves, clawing toward a cacophony of harmonics that don't resolve but simply cease.
Zeitgeist Two: Electroclash. The hip club thing, with synths and hooks and filtered vocals. But that scene is sexy and messy, while this song paints sharp clean lines, celebrating not indulgence but its denial. When men merge into machines, it's assumed they're augmenting their dicks. But when women enter that territory, they desexualize, alienating the body entirely. Electro queens Peaches and Miss Kittin let fly with dirty mouths camouflaging fear and rejection of a hypersexualized world. Madonna announces "I'm gonna deny my pleasure" and there's twice the rejection.
Zeitgeist Three: National unity, the closing of ranks, the forward march of good against evil. The enemy? Those who don't agree. Madonna's put her cowboy boots away and strapped on her Nancy Sinatra ones. "I'm gonna shake up the system/I'm gonna destroy my ego," she chants in clipped martial syllables, a Lysistratan army of one. "I'm gonna close my body now."
The Madonna-Guy Ritchie movie Swept Away has already been determined by critics to be the frontrunner in next year's Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst movie of the year, but an even more critical voice has emerged: that of Italian director Lina Wertmuller, who made the original Swept Away in 1974.
The filmmaker, 74, tells The Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column in Thursday's editions that she now regrets her decision to permit the Ritchies to remake her cult classic. There's more than just ego and reputation at stake here, says Wertmuller. She has plans to make a sequel to her version -- plans that may be scuttled because of the ruinous box-office performance of this new version, which failed to clear $400,000 in its first weekend.
"I am very, very worried, because that's a problem for me," Wertmuller tells The Post. "I have written a very funny story for the sequel, and I am very worried that maybe this is a disaster for me."
Though Wertmuller hasn't seen the Ritchie-Madonna version or even read the American reviews, she was amused to hear from The Post that the lead character played by Madonna -- named Raffaella Pavone Lanzetti in the Wertmuller version -- is named Amber Leighton in the remake. And Amber Leighton just happens to be the name of Ritchie's mother. The character is humiliated and physically abused onscreen.
"Why? Why? Why does he do that?" asks Wertmuller, who reveals that her deal with Ritchie calls for her to receive the Italian ticket sales from the movie, though that isn't looking terribly promising at the moment.
"I don't understand why the picture is so awful," she said. "Why did Madonna and her husband let it out? It's very crazy. They saw the picture. So why open like that? I don't understand. They lost money. For Madonna, it's the name and the face. This is terrible for her."
Today is the last day you will be able to see Madonna in Swept Away at a theater. So run, don't walk, because in the future you will be relegated to watching it on your DVD player. At midnight, Sony's Screen Gems division will pull the plug and remove one of the biggest turkeys in history from its remaining screens after two highly embarrassing weeks.
Not many theaters are involved, since Swept Away was only showing once a day in many locations since last Friday and that was to empty houses. The Guy Ritchie-directed disaster is the absolute worst in a series of movies starring Madonna that have ranged from mediocre to mortifying.
The movie is more than likely a $40 million write-off for its producer, Matthew Vaughn, who also happens to the husband of supermodel Claudia Schiffer. Vaughn is also the purported son of actor Robert Vaughn. (He was born, by the way, the same year Carole King's Tapestry album broke chart records, so what do you expect? I have sneakers older than that.)
Still, the bad reviews and lack of audience have not stopped Madonna from plotting her next movie. Reports are that she's writing her own autobiographical comedy. Oy vey! Madonna, please, please, please cease and desist.
As you've probably seen by now, Die Another Day makes a healthy 28-18 move on this week's Hot 100. That jump is still based solely on airplay. I expect the single to debut at No. 1 on our sales chart next week, but will that be enough to send this latest James Bond theme to the top of the Hot 100?
It's going to be a tough battle between two soundtrack hits. The leading candidate for pole position next week is 'Lose Yourself' by Eminem, from the '8 Mile' soundtrack. The song surges 6-2 and is the "greatest gainer" in airplay this week.
Die Another Day will have to sell around 60,000 copies to be a serious contender for No. 1. That's not an impossible number - it's about how many copies Music sold in its first week. At the moment, I would guess that Eminem will end up at No. 1 and Madonna could collect her seventh No. 2 hit on the Hot 100. No matter what happens, Madonna has set a new record with Die Another Day.
In its third week on Billboard's Hot 100, Madonna's Die Another Day (Warner Bros.) is already No. 18. With retail sales figures kicking in, it will easily be in the top-10 next week, and is even a contender for No. 1.
But no matter where the single lands next week, it's already rewritten the record books. Die Another Day is Madonna's 44th top-40 hit, the highest amount ever for a solo female artist. The material girl overtakes Aretha Franklin, who has had 43 top-40 hits on the Hot 100 to date.
Amazingly, Madonna has reached the total of 44 top-40 hits with only 48 chart entries, an impressive ratio of hits. The four Madonna titles to miss the top-40 are Bedtime Story (No. 42 in 1995), Human Nature (No. 46 in 1995), Love Don't Live Here Anymore (No. 75 in 1996), and Nothing Really Matters (No. 93 in 1999).
Die Another Day will be Madonna's 35th top-10 hit. That will push her past the Beatles' 34 top-10 hits and leave her second only to Elvis Presley, who has amassed 38 top-10 hits to date, a figure Madonna should easily be able to pass this decade.
Check out the Die Another Day mini site of Warner Brothers, where you can listen to the song and the remixes.
Madonna has decided who she wants to produce her next album - the former faithless star Jamie Catto. The singer was blown away when she heard his 1 Giant Leap project - which included collaborations with Robbie Williams, Michael stipe and Neneh Cherry. If Catto agrees, working with Madge is guaranteed to propel him into the super-league.
She has previously hired William Orbit, who produced Ray Of Light, and the French maestro Mirwais who worked with her on Music, and the new Bond theme, Die Another Day. As well as writing and producing music Catto has also directed videos, including God Is A Dj, and edited books.
The name of Madonna's bossy rich character in her new movie Swept Away has raised questions among hard-core fans - because it's exactly the same as her real-life mother-in-law. Madonna, 44, plays a wealthy woman by the name of Amber Leighton in the flick, which has proved to be a disaster in the box office and with critics.
But few people have noticed her character shares the same name as the mother of Madonna's director husband Guy Ritchie. The character's name in the 1974 version of Swept Away was Raffaella Pavone Lanzetti. But one-time model Amber, has already proven why the character could easily have been named after her.
She recently explained her son's reasons for marrying the pop diva, insisting, "I look at Guy sometimes and think he's married his mother in some respects. I used to be as rude as Madonna can be, and that's what he knows, female iconoclastic behaviour. He wasn't going to marry someone mousy."
The single Die Another Day has entered the top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100, leaping from #28 to #18 in its third week, and this based on airplay only. Since sales will be added next week, a top 10 position is very likely.
Caresse Henry, Madonna's manager, has taken some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of the many fan questions sent to Madonna.com. Below is the first installment of this column and look future segments of Fan Q&A from Caresse at Madonna.com.
Darrel Riley asks: When I visited Madonna.com last week, I heard the mega-mix and fell in love. Is it available for purchase or download??
Caresse: Originally this was available for download as well as a promotional single for DJ's that tied into the Greatest Hits CD last year. Right now there are no plans to release it but stay tuned you never know.
Patricia Lane asks: I was wondering if you could let me know where I could find info on Madonna's workout routine. Anything web site, books, videos. I think she's absolutely perfect just the slightest bit would be of help to myself.
Caresse: Madonna practices ashtanga yoga and alternates with pilates. Most local yoga or Eastern spiritual centers should have an abundance of information on yoga classes.
Edwina A. Morgan asks: I am posting you pertaining the children's books that Madonna has meant to have written. She mentioned them during an interview aired yesterday on a early morning news/entertainment program. I have not been able to find where to purchase these books, and would be grateful if you could provide a source.
Caresse: These books written by Guy Ritchie and Madonna are a work in progress, please stay tuned to this site for more info.
Gilbert Valdez asks:I'M WRITING TO YOU BECAUSE OF THE BLONDE AMBITION CONCERT. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU KNOW WHERE OR HOW I CAN GET A COPY OF THIS CONCERT BY VHS OR DVD???.
Caresse: This is a question that has been brought up frequently, we hope to have a release date on the Blonde Ambition Tour DVD in the next few months.
Sharon Bowden asks: I would like to know what books Madonna would recommend reading on the Kaballah and whether one has to attend lectures, classes etc. - Saw the Larry King live interview.
Caresse: A great site to go to for info and books is www.kabbalah.com. Some of The books Madonna refers to and has read are the Power of Kabbalah, The Way, and The Essential Zohar.
Jason Smith asks: When you first enter into Madonna's official website there is a Flash intro. What is the name of the song being played during this intro?
- Die Another Day
- Bond Vs. Oakenfold (Oakenfold mix)
- Gun Barrel / On The Beach
- How Do You Intend To Kill Me Now, Mr. Bond?
- Hovercraft Chase
- Kiss Of Life
- Peaceful Fountains Of Desire
- Welcome To Cuba
- Jinx Jordan
- Wheelchair Access
- Jinx And James
You can already order it on Amazon.
Vote for Madonna as the biggest pop star on the planet at Rolling Stone.
Amazon lists a new book, titled 'Madonna as Postmodern Myth: How One Star's Self-Construction Rewrites Sex, Gender, Hollywood and the American Dream'.
"Madonna has long been accepted as a pop culture icon, but this text postulates a greater cultural importance by analyzing her as a postmodern myth. This work examines how Madonna methodically discovered and constructed herself (often rewriting her past), the nature and extent of her ambition and the means she used to reach her goals.
It also details the way in which she organized her own cult (borrowing from the gay community), devised her artistic output, and cunningly targeted different audiences.
It also studies the fundamental contradiction -- virgin or vamp? saint or prostitute? -- that fuels Madonna's career and describes how Madonna reflects today's society, its contradictions and its attitudes toward sexuality and religion."
Madonna's rep swept away rumors that she's planning to write and direct her first film. London tabloids reported yesterday that she was working on a script "about a girl who's incredibly famous, and all the insanity of her life ... the absurdity of fame, the absurdity of people having preconceived notions about celebrities."
"Not true," says M's mouthpiece, Liz Rosenberg, who added that Madonna had been working on a script some years ago, but dropped the project.
Rosenberg also sank reports that Mrs. Ritchie has a small role in "Love, Actually" - starring Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson - and that she was talking with Andrew Lloyd Webber about starring in a new musical.
Rosenberg said the singer was in London focusing on her next album and her Kaballah-inspired children's book.
The Die Another Day single is in stores now. Go out and buy it - together we can make this a no. 1 hit!
Madonna is writing a comedy movie based on her life. It is her first film script and draws on her experiences of living in the limelight. Despite her latest movie, Swept Away, being panned by critics, Madge says: "I have started writing my own thing, which I would like to direct. It's about a girl whos incredibly famous and all the insanity of her life.
"She lives in Hollywood and is well known but shes not well respected. It's about the absurdity of fame, the absurdity of people having preconceived notions about celebrities. It's based on a lot of characters and people that I know. I think it's hysterically funny."
Madonna has plenty of material to call upon. She has gone from doing a nude photoshoot to superstar via young singing sensation, sex goddess, actress and mother. Her pals are bound to get nervous about the script, which she hopes to finish early next year, because Madge could blow the lid on some of their secrets.
The star says that she has recently been sidetracked from her script because she has been working on her next album. She adds: I need to finish my album, thats my next thing. Then I'm going to concentrate on finishing my script."
It is not known if Madonna will star in the movie. She is pals with a string of top actors who could take parts, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Rupert Everett. Swept Away was directed by Madges hubby Guy Ritchie.
It tells of an American woman who charters a yacht to take her and her friends round the Aegean. Her arrogant behaviour towards first mate Giuseppe, played by Adriano Giannini, comes back to haunt her when they are shipwrecked. To survive she has to beg him for help.
Rolling Stone magazine said of the film: "Audiences are likely to be slack-jawed. It's the movie thats a shipwreck." Swept Away was due to premiere at the Cannes film festival in May but it was withdrawn. It is due for UK release next March.
She'll be back. Despite scathing reviews of Swept Away, Madonna hasn't given up on a film career. A source says the struggling actress is planning to appear in a movie called 'Love Actually', due out next year.
Critics were so savage toward Madonna in Swept Away that her spokeswoman called it "a public hanging, an assassination". "Madonna must be a glutton for punishment, because shes coming back for more," says our source, who isn't clear on how big Madonna's role in 'Love Actually' will be.
"After the drubbing she got [in Swept Away] who knows if her role will end up on the cutting room floor." The film will be directed by Richard Curtis, who also wrote 'Notting Hill' - which some insiders believe was inspired by Madonna's romance with an unknown Brit named Andy Bird. There have also been reports that Madonna is looking for a role on Broadway. Madonna's rep didnt return calls by press time.
If Madonna is still smarting from the reviews that greeted her new movie, Swept Away, perhaps she can take solace in the reaction to her new single.
Coincidentally, it's the theme song for another film Madonna appears in, the James Bond flick Die Another Day, which opens Nov. 22. She has only a cameo role this time, playing Bond's fencing instructor.
But the singer/actress is the star on the soundtrack, which also is due in November. She co-wrote the string-laden, electro-savvy title tune with frequent collaborator Mirwais Ahmadzai specifically for the 20th 007 caper.
Though the single won't arrive in stores until Tuesday, Die already is one of the most requested songs at Top 40 radio after three weeks. Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, says the tune was leaked to radio early and has elicited even more enthusiasm than Music, the singer's smash from 2000.
Like Music, Die is proving popular in dance clubs. A number of remixes have been provided to DJs and for events surrounding the single, film and video. If Die becomes a top 10 hit, as most expect, Madonna will join a relatively small roster of artists who have found chemistry with the screen's sexiest secret agent.
Billboard figures show that over the past decade, such name stars as Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow and Garbage failed to chart with Bond theme songs. More commercially fruitful Bond singles include Duran Duran's theme from View to a Kill (No. 1, 1985), Sheena Easton's For Your Eyes Only (No. 4, 1981), Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better (No. 2, 1977, from The Spy Who Loved Me) and, of course, the mother of all 007 smashes, Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger (No. 8, 1964).
Even Bassey didn't score the last time she went to bat for Bond, though, with 1979's Moonraker. But Airplay Monitor editor Sean Ross says Bond and Madonna, who also is working on a CD due next year, were destined to make beautiful music together. "The winning combination here is a still-hot artist and a contemporary song," Ross says.
"In recent years, some of the Bond themes came out more as a genre piece than something that was actually supposed to compete on the charts. An artist who reinvents herself regularly was a good choice for a series that needed reinventing."
You have to give it to Madonna - the woman does not give up. A lesser mortal would have never left the house again after suffering the critical mauling she receieved for her part in Swept Away.
But not Madonna, who is in talks with Andrew Lloyd Webber, about her starring in a musical written by him. The singer appears to have sensibly decided to build on her success from the film version of musical Evita, her one recent film which gained her favourable reviews.
And amazingly it appears that Mage does not always get her own way - according to reports, she was desperate for the part of Velma, in the film version of the musical Chicago, only to lose out to the younger Catherine Zeta-Jones. Should Lloyd-Webber not come up with a suitable part, Madonna is said to be considering touring as a one-woman show.
You might have noticed how most fansites took down their multimedia downloads. Seems they've been contacted by officials to take down all copyrighted files with the threat of imprisonment and financial penalties.
Personally, as a Madonna webmaster and a devoted Madonna fan, I firmly oppose against such a treatment of the Madonna fan community. Many files that were offered on fansites, such as demos, sketches, TV performances, etc. were not commercially available and the download of those files did not interfere with the sales of Madonna's music.
However, these files formed very good promotion material, which cemented the devotion of many Madonna fans, and raised the interest for new fans. Forcing fansites to remove these files might have a rather negative effect.
Another inconsiderate - can I say stupid - marketing decision from Warner Music, especially at times when so many new Madonna projects are being released, for which the support of the fans is extra needed. While this decision doesn't have any effect for Mad-Eyes, I think it's a serious loss for the online fan community.
~ Bart, your Mad-Eyes webmaster
For the past several months, gossip-hounds have watched in horrified fascination as Madonna and Guy Ritchie's infamously embattled remake of Swept Away limped into theatres.
Now that it's opened in limited release to almost unanimously negative reviews, some have guessed that the movie's failure foretells the death - at last - of Madonna's pretensions as an actor. Not hardly! In fact, Madonna and Ritchie so enjoyed collaborating on what Entertainment Weekly called their "labor of love" that they've planned a whole raft of future film remakes.
One of Rocco's eight full-time nannies smuggled this memo from Madonna's home office to Fametracker HQ. Forewarned is forearmed. Read about the remake of 'Rosemary's Baby', 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore', 'Nine to Five', 'Pretty Woman' at FameTracker, as long as you know this is a joke! ;-)
Style chameleon Madonna undergoes a major metamorphosis in Swept Away, husband Guy Ritchie's remake of the 1974 original. The material girl hits the deck of a pleasure cruise decked out in Gucci, Hermès and a little bit - OK, a lot - of Cartier jewelry. Shipwrecked with only Juicy Couture linen pants, a Malia Mills bikini and the boat's hunky first mate (Adriano Giannini), her look becomes a tad washed up.
A fantasy sequence within Giannini's mind (conceptualized by Madonna and her Guy), features Mrs. Ritchie shimmying seductively in a lemon Versace gown to the song "Come on-a My House." Says costume designer Arianne Phillips of the Carmen Miranda-esque frock: "That hot spicy thing was just the right ingredient we were looking for."
Hairstylist Rita Marmor used Kérastase Nutri-Body mousse to add body to Madonna's blond bob. The goal was "to create something that was styled in a very sexy, yet done way," explains Marmor. After blow-drying moussed hair with a round brush she placed large- and medium-size hot rollers in the direction she wanted the hair to fall.
After about 15 minutes of cool-down time, Marmor ran her hands through Madonna's hair, reshaping curls with Kérastase Serum Nutri-Instant. A medium-size curling iron was used to punch up curls at the ends and around the face.
To create that bombshell gaze, Horne lined Madonna's lids with black liner from Il-Makiage and Chanel. The island temptress batted lashes lengthened with Christian Dior or alternatively Shu Uemura black mascara.
Her come-hither look was completed with Il-Makiage eye shadow in Moonglow and Christian Dior 5-Colour eye shadow in Discretion, blended to make the eyes pop.
N.Y.C. makeup artist Fiona Horne describes this scene as "Adriano's character's fantasy of what he would want her to look like." To match the "over the top" mood of the moment and the bright, sultry colors, Horne went for "more traditional sexpot makeup: black liquid eyeliner and red lipstick and nails."
Throughout the film, Horne used Chantecaille Real Skin foundation in Rich, followed by a dusting of Shu Uemura Face Powder in Camel. Shu Uemura Glow On blush in Orange P53 was swept over cheeks to highlight Madonna's enviable bone structure. When initially marooned on "La Isla Bonita," Horne gave the singer a sunburn using a professional sun-exposure kit from Ben Nye (Severe Exposure color wheel), following the outline of her tank top for authenticity.
"This starts to fade as her conflict with Adriano turns to love," reveals Horne. Fade into what exactly? The perfect tan with a little help from Versace Bronzing Powder in V2001. The final note of irresistibility was struck by Nars lipstick in Red Lizard.
Why Versace? Who better to conjure what Phillips describes as "larger-than-life glamour" than the empress of Italian fashion? Madonna tried on the silk chiffon and silk georgette number during rehearsal to make sure it allowed for movement. It not only fit her like a glove right off the rack but it was a perfect complement to her beach-bronzed skin.
"Yellow is one of those colors that only a confident woman could pull off," explains Phillips. However the costume designer insists that the dress says more about her character, socialite Amber Leighton, than about Madonna herself.
Although she enjoyed wearing the cross section of luxury fashions, they were not necessarily a reflection of the star's everyday style. "She's much more understated than Amber," notes Phillips. "Amber is more brash."
Still, in the fantasy sequence not even the band could escape the high fashion blitzkrieg: "Versace was kind enough to outfit all the band members in their handsome tuxedos, so it was a very Versace moment."
Meet the newest Bond Girl. Madonna, just Madonna.
Die Another Day, the lively title song for the 20th official James Bond movie, written by Madonna with coproducer Mirwais Ahmadzai, has generated such a buzz -- and massive Internet downloads -- that Warner Bros. rushed the song's release to radio.
Last week, Die Another Day debuted at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100, instantly becoming the biggest domestic Bond hit song since Duran Duran's A View to a Kill in 1985. (Can anyone remember such misfires as Sheryl Crow's Tomorrow Never Dies, Gladys Knight's Licence to Kill or Garbage's The World Is Not Enough?)
A CD single, with multiple mixes, and the full Die Another Day soundtrack, will be in stores Tuesday. The movie opens Nov. 22.
So how does Madonna compare to previous Bond Girls like Shirley Bassey, Carly Simon, Nancy Sinatra and Shirley Manson? She's, well... she's Madonna.
Ever the agent provocateur, Madonna appears to have had full creative control, making her Die Another Day the edgiest (but not the best) Bond theme to date. The four-minute tune resembles a traditional Bond song only in its use of portentous strings.
Both self-indulgent and winningly creative, the electronic-laced song reduces Madonna's voice to a percussive sound effect as flatulent synth machines stomp out the song's catchy, synaptic hook. Poor 007 isn't mentioned anywhere in the lyrics but Sigmund Freud is. Go figure. ''I'm going to break the cycle / I'm going to shake up the system,'' Madonna sings. No doubt she's already done precisely that.
Guy Ritchie isn't acting like a man whose latest film has been so badly reviewed that cinemas across America are planning to withdraw it just a few days after it was released. Nor does he seem flustered by recent reports that his marriage to its star, Madonna, is in difficulty.
Indeed, the ordinary British bloke who married the most famous - and some might say, most difficult - icon on the planet seems relaxed and surprisingly open when we meet in Beverly Hills.
''What's the obsession with slagging people off ? Why all the negativity? The secret, I find, is to pretty much ignore all the stuff they say and write about you. I think my wife and I feel as though we've enriched one another's lives enormously, in all sorts of ways."
The maverick British film director is in characteristic bullish mood, pouring scorn on the endless stream of gossip and innuendo that has been heaped on his relationship with Madonna since they met five years ago.
"Well, I didn't go into this relationship blind. I knew there would be a certain amount of rumours, but curiously, the bad stuff turned out to be the good stuff, because if people write about you and your relationship for long enough, then it starts off this chain reaction that forces you into asking questions about everything, where you're going in life, what you want from it.''
With Swept Away sweeping into theaters, we count down Madonna's 10 most memorable movies from the wretched to the classic - well, nearly classic.
After last weeks debut on #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, Die Another Day moves up to #28! But we want a #1, so keep requesting the song.
Die Another Day moves 41-28* in its 2nd week on the Hot 100, becoming Madonna's 44th Top 40 hit on the Hot 100, breaking her tie with Aretha Franklin for most top 40 hits (female) in the rock era.
It will have one more week on the chart, and then the full effect of maxi sales kicks in on the following chart (a few street-date violations this week will result in a catalog number appearing on the next chart).
The theme to the latest James Bond installment, Die Another Day, is certainly a far cry from the melodic musings of Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and even Duran Duran.
Die Another Day in many ways picks up on the heels of Madonna's inventive, experimental Music thanks to her reunion with writer/producer Mirwais Ahmadzai with a predominance of squiggly blips and zaps and enough effects on Madonna's vocal to render it practically non-human.
It's an odd number, somewhat disjointed, a bit nonsensical, and not so much melodic as a highly stylized jam but one must never underestimate the motivations of the long-and-lasting Madonna; and sure enough, with repeated listening, there are enough clever goings on and a hook that sinks into the consciousness to make this a captivating journey.
James Bond purists may find themselves fitful that the traditional melodrama that marks such theme songs is remiss here, but radio jumped on the track weeks ahead of its official release, which will certainly fan the flames of publicity for the upcoming flick, out Nov. 22 in the U.S. On the horizon: an onslaught of remixes. Score another bull's-eye for Madonna.
Today's Madonna/James Bond/religion pop quiz: The video for her song in the upcoming Bond movie "Die Another Day - is (choose one):
- A condemnation of capital punishment.
- A testament to the virtues of not having an ego.
- An affront to Jewish tradition.
"Madonna doesn't like to explain her videos in great detail, but I think there are many messages there and her intention in making this video was honorable, says Liz Rosenberg, her longtime rep.
At intervals, the video features Madonna with Hebrew letters tattooed on her arm, wearing the leather straps associated with the Jewish tefillin and being electrocuted in a chair emblazoned with Hebrew markings.
"The Hebrew word on the electric chair, with a lamed, an alef and a vav, means No,' so the message seems to be Say no to capital punishment,' says Ken Jacobson, associate national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
Rosenberg says Madonna told her the letters are from Kabbalah teachings. They are a "sequence in a spiritual tool called "the 72 Names of God."
In Kabbalah teaching, each of the "72 Names of God is comprised of a three-letter sequence, and each sequence "is a conduit that transmits various blends of energy and spiritual light into our physical world, says Elisheva Kelman, a spokeswoman for the Kabbalah Center, where Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie study.
The lamed-alef-vav sequence, Kelman explains, "is about eliminating ego from your soul. But because Madonna is wearing leather straps associated with tefillin -- traditionally worn only by male Jews -- some observers worry she will be accused of being an anti-Semite.
"Some people could be offended not just because it's a woman, but also because she appears to be using it for something other than Jewish prayer, says Jacobson, who added the ADL doesn't see the video as anti-Semitic.
Is Madonna's movie really a flop?
Expectations - and costs - were so low that no one will really suffer from the film's poor showing, except maybe for a handful of moviegoers. If you're a star as big as Madonna, having an opening weekend at the box office like Swept Away's $375,000 take may seem an embarrassment.
According to industry figures, the movie opened on only 196 screens and averaged only $1,913 per screen. In its theatrical lifetime in the United States, it may earn less than the star spends each year on yoga mats.
Still, in the wild world of Hollywood accounting, a take that low doesn't necessarily qualify as a flop. Given the modest cost of making and releasing the movie, and the even more modest expectations accompanying it, Swept Away isn't a colossal enough disaster to be considered a failure, experts tell EW.com, and no one's career will suffer as a result.
"If they were to have released the movie in 2,000 theaters, that would have been a disaster,'' says analyst Robert Bucksbaum of Reel Source, noting that Sony was wise to distribute it through it's specialty Screen Gems arm and limit the cost of prints and promotion. (Reuters estimates that the movie itself cost only $10 million.)
''A bomb is a 'Pluto Nash' scenario,'' he says, referring to this summer's Eddie Murphy comedy that cost a reported $100 million and opened with sales of just $2.18 million, for a dismal $940 per-screen average.
Not that $375,000 is a success. "I would call it a cautionary tale," Bucksbaum says, referring to the fact that few pop stars, even ones as ubiquitous as Madonna, can translate music fandom into movie ticket sales.
That's why, he says, "Sony was smart" to treat Swept Away like an art-house release; as Reuters reports, the studio has no plans to expand the movie into wide release. "Everybody knew going in that this was a labor of love for her. They just weren't thinking of making money."
He may be James Bond, but it appears Pierce Brosnan is afraid of Madonna. "She definitely pushes your button, and I made that mistake," admits Brosnan after a run-in with Madge on the set of new Bond film Die Another Day.
So what happened to ruffle Madonna's feathers? "The guys in the trailer were joking around the day that she was on set, singing Like a Virgin. I'm miles away, and I'm out there with my saber and she's all dressed up in her costume and I forget that she's there and I start singing Like a Virgin," says Brosnan. "And oh man, Jesus! That's like a red rag to a bull. She thought that I was pulling her chain.
She said, 'Are you trying to dis me?' and I said, 'No, Madonna. No, for God's sake, No!' You definitely don't want to upset Madonna!"
The two made up, however, and Pierce was clear to state: "Madonna is a great choice. She gets out there and struts her stuff. The song she does is great, too. She said, 'Don't worry, I won't let you down,' and I said, 'Okay,' and she hasn't."
Rumour also has it that Pierce asked for Madonna to be kept away from the set when he shot his steamy love scenes with the other Bond girl, Halle Berry, although the actor has vehemently denied it: "Keep Madonna away? Oh no, dear Madonna. Listen, I'm a big fan of Madonna's before you say anything else. I think she's dynamite." This is a first - we've never seen Bond bow down to a Bond Girl before...
Check out Madonnapower for 4 great promo shots from Die Another Day.
Stick a fork in Madonna's new flick, it's done. The Material Mom's sex-and-sand movie, Swept Away, has tanked soooooo badly at the box office, she may never see a starring role again. The movie - playing in 196 mostly empty theaters across North America - raked in a paltry $375,000 in its first weekend and didn't even make the list of top 10 earners.
It had a worse opening total than Madonna's other notorious stinker Shanghai Surprise, co-starring her first husband, Sean Penn, which took in $2.3 million. In fact, in the past decade, the only major studio film to do worse was the abysmal 1995 animated clunker "Arabian Knight," with the voices of Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Beals. It took in just $320,000.
Yesterday afternoon, suckers who forked over $10 to see the R-rated megabomb at one of five Manhattan theaters could be seen storming out. "God, it was awful. Unwatchable!" said one woman at the Loew's Cineplex Village 7 in the East Village, which had a mere five patrons attending the first matinee and 22 at the second. Screen Gems, which released the film through Sony Pictures, was even cutting its losses, crowing that the film cost only $10 million to make. But even with eventual cable showings and video and DVD releases, it's doubtful the flick can recoup even half its budget.
It's a big blow for the pop queen, whose big hits have included Evita and Desperately Seeking Susan, but whose last flick, The Next Best Thing, also tanked. Madonna's camp last night insisted the film was killed by mean-spirited critics who wrote venomous reviews.
"It's a public hanging by the critics, an assassination," said Madonna's flack, Liz Rosenberg. "Give the girl a break already! Stop being so mean! "I can't believe the level of rage being directed against her. It's a sad state that these critics are taking such joy in it."
Bad reviews and superior competition at the box office did in Swept Away, according to Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "Obviously, the studio wanted to limit its release. They probably thought that there was not a lot of interest," he said.
A remake of Lina Wertmuller's 1974 movie of the same name, Swept Away is Madonna and director-hubby Guy Ritchie's first film collaboration, in which she plays a bitchy socialite stranded on a beach with a rough-and-tumble seaman.
Madonna, who was in London at a Versace show yesterday, wasn't saying anything, nor was Ritchie. "She has got a huge hit record right now that's making her feel good," said Rosenberg, referring to the pop queen's James Bond theme, Die Another Day.
Critics bombed Swept Away, and what's Madonna's and Guy's answer? They make a sketch about it, without taking themselves all too serious. Now that's class! ;-)
In the UK to coincide with the ratings associated to the video, there are currently 3 versions of the Die Another Day video.
Version 1 - The original does not cut out the cutting scenes. When Madonna is being terrorised and cavorting on the wall, you see her stomach been sliced with respect to the black and white Madonna, you see all the scenes and blood.
Version 2 - As Version 1 but with the bloody scenes blurred out, this was as seen on the "Making of the Video" on MTV UK at 5pm on Thursday last week, although you do see the cut on the arm appear.
Version 3 - This version is currently on digital satallite channel "The Box" It has all the blood scenes completly cut out, instead you see more fencing from Black and White Madonna.
Currently the video's have diffrerent "British Film Standards" Classifications.
Version 1 - 15 (15 years or older);
Version 2 - PG (Parental Guidance);
Version 3 - U (Universal, all ages)
For the TV to be able to show, they must follow watershed guidelines, therefore, from 2am to 5pm - (Only Version 3 can be shown) 5pm to 9pm (Version 2 can be shown) and 9pm to 2am (Version 1 can be shown)
It is the film the world has been waiting to see. Madonna, one of the world's biggest stars, appearing on screen directed by her husband Guy Ritchie, should have been an explosive box-office combination. But Swept Away may now be on its way to becoming a Hollywood flop on the scale of Kevin Costner's Water World or Mariah Carey's notorious Glitter.
American critics, finally allowed to see the film the day before it is released in the US, were universally scathing. The film studio had done its best to keep it under wraps to the very last minute, with rumours sweeping Hollywood that the film was a guaranteed flop.
Today the US critics fulfilled the Hollywood rumour mill's prediction, describing Swept Away in terms ranging from "tawdry" and "boring" to "good only for a few titters", with one warning: "At no point, should anyone mistake this for an actual movie."
A remake of a Seventies art-house satire on class war and feminism, the film tells the story of an American " rich bitch" played by Madonna, who makes life miserable for the lowly Italian crew member of the yacht in which she is cruising the Aegean. But when the couple are accidentally stranded, the Italian "rough trade" sailor, played by Adriano Giannini, forces her to beg for help to survive until they become lovers.
The Washington Post and New York Times, America's two most influential papers, vied to be the most scathing about the production. The film "is as awful as you've heard," said the Washington Post, "and as bad as you've imagined".
The acting is "laughable", says the paper, noting it follows similar disasters with first husband Sean Penn in Shanghai Surprise and former lover Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy. The New York Times offered its verdict as "soggy and superfluous", saying the dialogue was "leaden" and the love scenes "mechanical". It adds: "There is no credible feeling here, no comedy, no eroticism."
The Los Angeles Times described Madonna's relationship with her on-screen lover as "a rough trade Punch and Judy act". Director Ritchie may be in even deeper trouble with his wife for how she appears on screen than for the critical panning. The Los Angeles-Times noticed that Madonna is no longer in the first flush of youth, describing her appearance as "unflattering", while the Los Angeles Weekly noticed "lighting that emphasises every line and sag".
Rolling Stone magazine said: " Audiences are likely to be slack-jawed. It's the movie that's a shipwreck." Reviews in two San Francisco papers called it "glazed with a tawdry B-movie scum" and "cheap, overwrought, unbelievable and good only for a few titters".
Television reviewers have been equally dismissive. CNN's critic warned viewers to "stay away from Swept Away", while respected film internet site Reel.com said it "might be the biggest husband and wife disaster since John and Bo Derek made the ridiculous Bolero". The best that anyone could find to say was in Entertainment Weekly, which said the film is the first time since her debut in Desperately Seeking Susan that "Madonna doesn't suck as an actress" or her line-reading "doesn't clatter like broken plates". In the wake of such reviews, the tempestuous relationship which Ritchie and Madonna have admitted to may be about to erupt in another of their verbal battles.
An official press release states that the movie flopped on the box office, making it Madonna's biggest movie flop ever: "Madonna's new romance Swept Away - directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie - bombed with $375,000 at 196 theaters, averaging $1,913. The movie, a remake of a 1974 Italian film, received little praise from critics."
Swept Away, which opened in US theaters yesterday, receives tons of bad reviews. You can read them at:
Here is a little explanation of what Madonna is doing before she is being forced to take place in the electric chair:
The phylactery (leather strips) Madonna wraps around her left arm makes her immune from the ego's desire. Then before she sits in the electric chair she fights against her own ego.
The Hebrew letters "Lamed-Alef-Vav" symbolizes the certainty and lack of doubt, she truly believes that she can disappear from the chair and as you can see in the video, she does. Mind over matter. Nice fact; the Tora is written in the phylactery.
Just as Shania Twain has the highest-debuting song of 2002 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally, Madonna has the highest-debuting title of the year on Billboard's Hot 100.
Die Another Day enters at No. 41, based solely on airplay (a commercial maxi-single will be in stores Oct. 22). Die Another Day is the first Madonna song to debut this high since Music entered at No. 41 the week of Aug. 12, 2000.
To find a higher-debuting Madonna song, you'd have to go back to the week of Oct. 17, 1998, when The Power of Good-bye entered at No. 24. Madonna's highest new entry of her career is the No. 5 opening of Ray of Light the week of July 11, 1998.
Before Die Another Day, the highest debuting song of 2002 was the No. 42 entry of Brandy's 'What About Us?' the week of Jan. 26. The Bond song is the highest new entry on the Hot 100 since the week of Sept. 29, 2001, when, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., Lee Greenwood's 'God Bless the U.S.A.' debuted at No. 16.
Die Another Day, Madonna's music video associated with the 20th installment of the James Bond motion picture franchise (also called Die Another Day), received a comprehensive visual effects and post-production workover at London's Moving Picture Company.
The single premiered on MTV on October 10 and is scheduled for release on October 22. The MPC team also provided visual effects services for key sequences in the film, which opens in the United States on November 22.
The Die Another Day music video/promo was directed by Traktor and shot by director of photography Harris Savides in Los Angeles. The video depicts Madonna going through some Bond-related travails in a torture chamber of ill repute. The prison shots are intercut with a ferocious fencing duel between a good "M" (clad in white) and an evil "M" (clad in black).
Wounds inflicted on both fencers are mirrored on the imprisoned Madonna, as she tries desperately to outwit her tormentors. She finally tricks the guards with fancy footwork and flees from the electric chair, leaving them bewildered. The promo ends with Madonna escaping down the prison corridor and merging into the iconic Bond gun barrel graphic.
Most of the effects Moving Picture Company created for the video fall into the "invisible" category - their post work allowed Madonna to battle herself convincingly as both good and evil "M" and added realism to the fight action and subsequent wounds.
"For various reasons, there are effects in almost every shot. It is a testament to the skills of the merry artisans of MPC that you think there are none. As with modern underwear, the best effects are always the ones that don't show through your slacks," explained Traktor.
Using a range of elements shot against greenscreen and generated in other ways, MPC lead inferno* artist Christophe Allender coordinated the effects effort. Every shot posed a unique set of challenges.
Traktor didn't want to compromise the fight action in the promo with too many split screens, which would have necessitated using locked-off cameras and restricted their creative freedom.
Traktor commented, "As usual, we felt safe in the knowledge that, with MPC on board, we did not have to lock off the camera or spend too much valuable time on technical passes that we don't understand. In fact, we have grown to love throwing MPC underexposed, unfixable celluloid curveballs and then hear no evil until they sort it out anyway. It is tremendously satisfying. If Christophe says something can't be done, we just leave the suite, lock it and take away his cigarettes until he is forced to solve the shots out of necessity. It never fails!"
Additional effects in post included compositing images of the "M" duelists into shattered glass and combining second passes. Wounds were also created, such as the cut that appears on Madonna's arm after the black "M" is slashed on her fencing alter ego.
Additional "blood" -- actually ketchup and Worcester sauce shot in MPC's rostrum room -- was also smeared on the wall after "M" is slashed across the singer's stomach. As the duel was shot against greenscreen, digital stills of a window fill were also composited in to assist with the viewer's orientation of "M"'s hideout.
In the final frame, with the Bond gun barrel, the elements were supplied to MPC in 2K and then manipulated and treated by inferno* artist Ziggy Zigouras to suit Traktor's brief.
The video was shot by DP Harris Savides, and MPC colorist Jean-Clement Soret did the grade. Traktor had a very precise idea of what they wanted and Soret brought their ideas to life, exploring with different degrees of saturation. They considered grading from the print but decided to go for the negative, which provided crisper, cleaner images.
"They required two very distinct looks," commented Soret "One, for the fencing sequences, was a glossy, stylish look that needed to be as bright as possible while retaining all of the details. The second was a raw, dirtier look for the torture chamber and the electric chair room." Soret used sharpening tools in the Spirit DataCine to enhance details of the shattering glass.
MTV Hits' infamous Pop Knockout Cup is back! This time MTV Hits are throwing the top movers and shakers into the ring! The rules are easy - we pit the biggest names in pop up against each other, playing their videos back to back, then you the viewer can vote by texting MTV hits to determine who goes through to the next round!
The first round takes place on Saturday 12 October at 12pm. Madonna's Vogue will be placed against Liberty X's Just A Little Bit. British and Irish fans can vote as follows: for UK: txt to 86188 "Go Madonna" - for Ireland: txt to 53688 "Go Madonna".
You can also download it at Madonna's Ashram. And to download the album version of the song a high quality, go to Madonnapower.
Drawn, lacquered, and just about as tanned as Goldmember, Madonna, in Swept Away, appears blowsy and middle-aged, and the hard character of experience does something for her. It allows her to leave vanity aside. (Either that, or her vanity now resides in her biceps, which are sinewy enough to strangle a panther.)
Sound the trumpets: For the first time since ''Desperately Seeking Susan,'' Madonna doesn't suck as an actress. In a movie career that is by now nearly as benighted as that of Linda Blair or Maria Montez, she comes through with a performance in which her line readings don't clatter like broken plates, and she looks at least half as relaxed as she does on stage.
It helps that she's playing a spoiled, aristocratic pain -- a rich bitch who needs to be taken down about nine notches. In her husband Guy Ritchie's remake of the 1974 Lina Wertmüller screwball desert-island sex war, Amber (Madonna), a wealthy pharmaceutical heiress, ends up cast away with Giuseppe (Adriano Giannini), the hunky Italian first mate she'd abused and ridiculed like the lowliest of slaves. Since their survival depends on his handyman skills, he turns Amber into his slave, forcing her to call him ''master'' and dominating her sexually. And wouldn't you know... she likes it!
Set in the aquamarine Mediterranean, 'Swept Away' may be a fake art film, but Ritchie cuts down on the repetitive class-war shrillness of the original. He's made a movie that never pretends to be more than a guilty pleasure of soft-core kitsch, and Madonna and Giannini (son of Giancarlo, costar of the original) achieve a lively S&M chemistry.
Wertmüller's film, like it or not, was one of the seminal pop fantasies of erotic incorrectness. In our own era, however, one of postfeminist consumer princesses and Maxim-ized alpha males, 'Swept Away' now looks about as subversive as ''Last Tango in the Blue Lagoon.''
EW Grade: B-
The Die Another Day video has premiered on MTV and received enthusiatic reviews. This is from NY Daily News:
"This week the sleepy franchise and cultural relic that is James Bond finally receives a creative wakeup call from Madonna's zippy single and video for Die Another Day.
The stylishly bloody video has its debut tonight at 10 on MTV. (A commercial version of the single reaches stores Oct. 22 and the movie trucks into theaters Nov.22.) The clip for the song is violent enough to make Quentin Tarantino seem like Rob Reiner. It cuts back and forth between a torture sequence, in which goons beat up the singer, and a series of scenes in which two Madonnas face off against each other in a fencing duel. (She has a cameo as a fencing instructor in the flick).
But the squeamish shouldn't fret. The violence has a certain cracked wit, not to mention an S&M frisson. And it's all used for some vague spiritual purpose, spelled out in lyrics that refer to "killing the ego." Consider it Zen Buddhism meets Vin Diesel.
The song itself has an edge Bond title tracks haven't boasted since Shirley Bassey bellowed "Goldfinger" or Tom Jones belted out "Thunderball." Of course, Madonna's voice isn't that meaty, but here it functions more like a sound effect in a clever sonic pastiche. Whipping up the broader aural souffle is the one-named French producer Mirwais, the same monsieur who helped cook up Madonna's most recent album, Music.
As in all Bond title cuts, strings play a key part here. The orchestral sections, woven by arranger Michel Colombier, play tensely off an explosion of electronic effects that never forget the demands of pop. But the most arresting aspect is percussive. It's the stamp of a foot against a wood floor, recalling the most arch and erotic of flamenco dancing. "I'm going to shake up the system," Madonna sings here. "I'm going to avoid cliché." Once again, she has. "
Die Another Day is the "Hot Shot Debut" on Billboards Hot 100 chart and debuted at # 41. This is an amazing start for the single!
FANS...KEEP REQUESTING & LET'S GET THIS SONG TO # 1!!!
During the Larry King interview, Madonna has confirmed that her new album - due early next year - has the working title of 'Ein Sof', which is a Hebrew word meaning 'Endlessness':
KING: How many -- what's the title of the album? Or you haven't picked one yet?
MADONNA: I don't know. I'm thinking of a nice Hebrew word. What do you think?
KING: A Hebrew word for an album.
MADONNA: Ein sof. What do you think of that?
KING: Ein sof is...
MADONNA: Ein sof means endlessness.
Madonna says she wants to shed her Material Girl image and start helping the world. "I'd like to be more involved in making the world a better place," she told Britain's mass-circulation Daily Mirror newspaper on Thursday. "I'd like to be more concerned about humanity," said the 44-year-old pop superstar.
Madonna, who once posed nude in a bestselling book called "Sex" and adopted a raunchy image to sell millions of records, appeared to be displaying a more spiritual side. "There is only one thing that lasts and that's your soul and if you don't pay attention to that, all the money in the world is not going to help you. I'd like to be more involved in bringing about world peace," she added.
"I can write the greatest songs and make the most fabulous films and be a fashion icon and conquer the world, but if there isn't a world to conquer, what's the point?" Madonna said her marriage to British film director Guy Ritchie in December 2000 had made her more selfless. "I think we have both become a lot more generous and both find ourselves doing things we wouldn't have done if we hadn't met."
Ritchie, 34, directed his wife in the forthcoming film Swept Away in which she plays a socialite shipwrecked on an island. "There were times when he irritated me as a husband, but I had to leave that at home," she said.
Below is the updated tracklisting for the US Maxi of Die Another Day
1. Die Another Day - (Radio Edit)
2. Die Another Day - (Dirty Vegas Main mix)
3. Die Another Day - (Thee RetroLectro mix)
4. Die Another Day - (Thunderpuss mix)
5. Die Another Day - (Deepsky remix)
6. Die Another Day - (Brother Brown's Bond-Age Club)
Madonna is taking over MTV this week to debut the new video for Die Another Day, the single from the new James Bond soundtrack, DIE ANOTHER DAY. Tune into MTV on Thursday, Oct. 10th at 10:00 PM ET/PT to watch Madonna's "Making The Video" episode for "Die Another Day," which will be followed by the world premiere of the video.
The show will also air on Oct. 11th at 2:00 PM, Oct. 12th at 11:30 PM, and Oct. 14th at 9:30 PM. And on Friday, October 11th, Madonna will be on MTV's TRL as well.
Online, you can watch the video worldwide on the following MTV sites beginning Thursday, October 10th: U.S. - Germany - Brasil - Japan - Nordic - Netherlands - China - France - India - Italy - Spain - Latin America - SEA - UK - Taiwan/HK.
Madonna's Die Another Day single will be in stores October 22nd. The soundtrack will be in stores November 12th.
"Entertainment Weekly" published the following photo, which was taken at the screening of Swept Away at the Vista Theater in Los Angeles (October 7, 2002).
Madonna, her husband Guy Ritchie and Adriano Giannini attended the premiere, as well as many of Madonna's friends: Donna and Niki, Guy O'Seary, Demi Moore, Claudia Schiffer, Matthew Vaughn, Debi Mazar, Herb Ritts, Joe Henry and Melanie (M's sister).
The full video premieres exclusively on MTV UK and Ireland on Thursday, October 10 at 5pm. In addition, the exclusive premier of 'Making The Video' for this track premiers on MTV UK at 5pm on Thursday, repeated again at 8.30pm for those who miss it!
A Los Angeles judge refused on Tuesday to halt release this week of the film Swept Away, starring Madonna and directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie , despite last-minute claims by another actor that the project was his idea.
But an attorney for Vincent D'Onofrio, who starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in 'The Cell', said the actor would press forward with his lawsuit against Madonna, Ritchie and Sony Pictures Entertainment over the film.
Though Swept Away is a remake of a 1974 Italian movie of the same name, D'Onofrio claims in his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that it was his idea to produce it again with Madonna in the leading role. Representatives for Sony Pictures and Madonna could not be reached for comment.
"They used his idea and they didn't want to compensate him," D'Onofrio's lawyer, Morris Getzels, said after a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. Getzels said D'Onofrio asked Judge David Yaffe to issue a preliminary injunction stopping the Friday release of Swept Away unless Madonna, Ritchie and Sony gave him a producer credit. But Yaffe refused.
Getzels said that D'Onofrio was not the first person to sue seeking credit for a remake, citing what he said was a similar case brought against the actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton over a film version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'.
"Almost every newspaper article about Swept Away starts with the question of where did the idea come from to remake this film," Getzels said. "And the idea came from my client." Getzels said D'Onofrio first approached Lina Wertmuller - who wrote and directed the original - about making the romantic comedy again with Madonna as the star, and Wertmuller "got all excited about it."
Madonna, through her representatives, also was "very enthusiastic" about the film, the attorney said. But in the spring of 2001, Getzels said, D'Onofrio learned that Madonna was making the movie without him. "He hired lawyers and has been trying to persuade Madonna to settle, but they won't do anything for him," he said.
Madonna stars in Swept Away as a wealthy U.S. woman who becomes stranded on a Greek island with an Italian fisherman, played by Adriano Giannini, and falls in love. Ritchie is credited as the film's screenwriter and director.
Die Another Day, Madonna's new single and the title song for MGM's forthcoming James Bond film, will be in stores on October 22, it was announced today by Warner Bros. Records.
The song has had a triumphant first week response at radio, reaching a listener audience of over 32 million and is expected to debut at #24 on the Billboard singles chart.
Die Another Day was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais with string arrangements by Michel Colombier. Madonna's new single is part of the "Music From the MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack Die Another Day" which also contains a score composed by former Bjork collaborator David Arnold as well as The James Bond Theme -- "Bond vs. Oakenfold," remixed by cutting-edge dance master, Paul Oakenfold.
The soundtrack will be released November 12th on Warner Bros. Records. This enhanced CD will feature Madonna's Die Another Day music video, the "making of the video" segment and Bond bonus extras. The stunning video which accompanies Madonna's single was directed by Traktor and will premiere globally on MTV on October 10th.
The initial Die Another Day CD Maxi release includes the following: "Die Another Day (Single Edit)," "Dirty Vegas Mix," "Thee RetroLectro Mix," "Thunderpuss Club Mix," "Deepsky Remix" and "Brother Bond-age club mix."
Madonna is currently working on a new album which will be released in 2003. Her new film Swept Away, directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie, is scheduled to open Friday, October 11th.
Madonna is gearing up for her latest hit - with a spot of karate in her latest video. The first still from the promo to Die Another Day - the title track from the next Bond film - sees her throwing punches and getting physical.
A spokeswoman for the star said: "It's a classic James Bond-ian scenario - a classic struggle of good versus evil."
Madonna, who worked again with French producer Mirwais on the track, has a cameo role in the 007 film which will be released later this year. The single Die Another Day is released on October 28, but receives its TV premiere on MTV on Thursday.
It is her first new release for more than 18 months, since last year's What It Feels Like For A Girl.
The pop superstar is currently working on a new album which will be released in 2003.
~ Madonna.com earlier confirmed an October 22nd release date.
Since this is a Belgian fansite, it's worth mentioning: Die Another Day premiered today at 5.30pm. Radio Donna claimed to be the first to play the new Madonna song, which the DJ described as a "horny record"! ;-) The radio station is also holding a competition regarding the new Bond movie.
Wherever in the world you live, don't forget to call or mail your local radio station to request the song. This has to become a worldwide no. 1!
Monday, Oct. 7th: A special SWEPT AWAY skit debuts on madonna.com.
Monday, Oct. 7th: Madonna's title track single for the upcoming James Bond movie DIE ANOTHER DAY will premiere on AOL. Go to AOL KEYWORD: Music
Tuesday, Oct. 8th: The making of Madonna's new movie SWEPT AWAY will air at 2:30 PM ET/PT on MTV.
Tuesday, Oct. 8th: Check out the single at mtv.com.
Thursday, Oct. 10th: Madonna's "Making The Video" episode for Die Another Day will debut on MTV at 10:00 PM ET/PT, followed by the world premiere of the video. The show will also air on Oct. 11th at 2:00 PM, Oct. 12th at 11:30 PM, and Oct. 14th at 9:30 PM. If you miss those dates, you'll be able to watch it at mtv.com
Thursday, Oct. 10th: Madonna will be interviewed on "Larry King Live."
Friday, Oct. 11th: Madonna's video for Die Another Day will debut on MTV's TRL.
Friday, Oct. 11th: Swept Away will be released to theaters [in the US].
Tuesday, Oct. 22nd: The single for Die Another Day will arrive in stores.
The single will be released by Warner Brothers on October 22, 2002. Below are the listings for the single together with B-sides, remix title and running lengths:
US CD Maxi: 9362 42492-2
1. Die Another Day (Radio Edit) 3.29
2. Die Another Day (Deepsky Remix Edit) 4.06
3. Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Main Mix) 10.08
4. Die Another Day (Thee RetroLectro Mix) 6.59 (felix da housecat)
5. Die Another Day (Thunderpuss Mix) 9.25
6. Die Another Day (Deepsky Remix) 7.27
US 2 disc-12" vinyl single: 9362 42492-0
A1. Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Main Mix) 10.08
B1. Die Another Day (Thunderpuss Mix) 9.25
C1. Die Another Day (Thee RetroLectro Mix) 6.59 (felix da housecat)
C2. Die Another Day (Deepsky Remix) 7.27
D1. Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Dub) 9.10
2 track International CD / UK cassette single: 5439 16681 2/4
1. Die Another Day (Radio Edit) 3.29
2. Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Main Mix) 10.08
International 3 track CD Maxi 1: 9362 42494 2
1. Die Another Day (Radio Edit) 3.29
2. Die Another Day (Thunderpuss Mix) 9.25
3. Die Another Day (Thee RetroLectro Mix) 6.59 (felix da housecat)
International 3 track CD Maxi 2: 9362 42495 2
1. Die Another Day (Radio Edit) 3.29
2. Die Another Day (Dirty Vegas Main Mix) 10.08
3. Die Another Day (Deepsky Remix Edit) 4.06
You can now download an excerpt from the Die Another Day video on Madonna's Ashram, recorded from MTV's TRL. On the fansite you can also find pictures from the video and from MTV's 'The Making Of... '.
Madonna suspects her film director husband Guy Ritchie has gay tendencies. The singer told her hubby she was worried about the "strange homosexual undertone" between him and other men on the set of the couple's new movie.
"There was lots of exhibitionist behaviour - pulling pants down, fondling, hugging, slapping and kissing," she revealed. Madonna was speaking on a US television show where the couple were promoting Swept Away, which Guy directs.
The Material Girl put her husband on the spot by saying: "Are your crew so intimate on all your films? I saw their bums on several occasions." She also criticised him for disrupting schedules when they were shooting the film in Malta last year.
"I didn't appreciate that at four o'clock you guys suddenly decided to wrap the set and run off to watch a football game. "I thought that terribly unprofessional," she added.
It's not as if she needs the money, but apparently the Queen of Pop and him indoors are making their own reality show. The world's most shy and retiring singer has allowed cameras into her home to record a spoof fly-on-the-wall documentary about her life with Guy Ritchie for MTV.
Not to be outdone by the Osbournes, Madonna, 44, was happy to make fun of herself and hubbie Guy, ten years her junior. Joking with him in the MTV movie special, she talks about his large appetite: "I have come to the conclusion that you have a severe eating disorder."
The pop queen then goes on to ask him: "Stick pins in your eyes or work with me again, which would you prefer?" Guy replies cheekily: "Right now, stick pins in my eyes."
But apparently he was just winding her up, the loveable cockney chappie.
Of course it's not the first time the Osbournes and Madonna have been linked. Sharon and Ozzie's daugher Kelly has got a little bit of Madge in her. She's just released her version of Papa Don't Preach.
And Madonna the naughter prankster is forever popping up in other people's videos or the other way round. But if you're looking for pillow talk of a saucy nature - they don't really go there. Guy revealed on another American TV show recently how nice it was working with Madge on their new film Swept Away.
"It made communication more efficient because we'd have dinner and talk about something. Then we wake up in the morning and talk so when you got on set you knew exactly what you're doing." Phwoar.
Madonna says she "felt like a Virgin" when she was filming love scenes for her new film. She stars in Swept Away which has been directed by her husband Guy Ritchie. Madonna admits she found the scenes "really wierd". "Especially with the man I love directing me," she tells CNN's Larry King show.
Madonna said she and co-star Adriano Giannini worked hard to keep what could have been tense love scenes as light as possible. "It was strange, and Adriano felt strange, too, but we tried to just kind of jolly each other along through it all". Swept Away is due to be released in the UK on March 14.
Much more exciting is the trailer of MTV's 'The Making of... the Die Another Day video'.
Although it wasn't intended to debut on U.S. radio until next week, a leaked copy of Madonna's Die Another Day, the theme song to the forthcoming James Bond movie of the same name, is already getting heavy airplay on stations around the country.
An accompanying video clip will premiere Oct. 10 on MTV's "Making the Video" series; a commercial CD single, featuring remixes by such acts as Thunderpuss and Felix Da Housecat, is due Oct. 22.
The new track is all over the airwaves in major markets, having been spun more than 100 times in less than a week by two Miami stations alone. It is expected to debut next week on the Billboard Hot 100 on the strength of airplay.
Madonna has a cameo as a fencing instructor in Die Another Day, a soundtrack for which is due Nov. 12 via Warner Bros.
Meanwhile, Madonna told "Today" host Matt Lauer that she has almost finished up her next Maverick album, which is expected some time next year.
Madonna was in Hollywood promoting her new film, Swept Away, which her husband, Guy Ritchie, directed. The couple just recently completed the remake of the 1974 Italian classic.
The project, shot in Malta, was a labor of love that could have potentially wrecked their two-year marriage.
Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell sat down with "Lady M" to talk about her working relationship with her husband, settling into motherhood and marriage, and why she can't escape tabloid fodder and harsh movie critics
A playful MADONNA sat down with our MARK STEINES for a candid chat about love, marriage, men - and her husband's eating habits! Get all the 411 on her frisky romantic feature, Swept Away, helmed by her favorite director in the world - husband GUY RITCHIE!
Most interesting is what she says about her new album:
MARK: Your album ... in 2003? What should I expect?
MADONNA: Just pure crystalline brilliance! I'm about three quarters of the way done and it will come out next year, in the beginning of next year. It's good.
MARK: Do you ever rest?
MADONNA: Not much -- hey, we've got to change the world, there's so much to do!
Madonna's Maverick Films has acquired Sean Jacques' thriller spec 'Darkhorse', about an ex-con who gets sucked into a dangerous game that involves outrunning the LAPD
Photo below: Madonna, star of the new film "Swept Away," chats with host Larry King during a taping of CNN's "Larry King Live" at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday, Sept. 30, 2002.
The show also features an interview with Madonna's husband, Swept Away director Guy Ritchie, and will air on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Thunderpuss - the remix and production team comprising Barry Harris and Chris Cox - has remixed Madonna's Die Another Day, the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film of the same name.
The duo put together the 'Thunderpuss GHV2 Megamix' for Madonna last year, which was released on a promotional-only basis in support of the release of the singer's GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2.
Cox told LAUNCH on Tuesday (October 1) that the duo was honored to be asked back recently for another shot at remixing Madonna. "The big news this week is we actually just remixed her new single.
Die Another Day is the single and it's for the 007 movie. She did the opening theme for it, and we got the chance to remix that. I mean, obviously it's an honor and a pleasure to remix Madonna, so that was very cool that we got a chance to get invited back to that party," he said.
Madonna's Die Another Day single will be released in late October on Warner Bros., and it will include B-side remixes by Dirty Vegas, Deepsky, and Felix Da Housecat in addition to Thunderpuss.
The Die Another Day soundtrack, set for release November 12, will include Madonna's title theme, produced by Mirwais; the classic "James Bond Theme," remixed by Paul Oakenfold; and original score music composed by David Arnold.
A limited-edition enhanced CD of the soundtrack will include Madonna's video for the single, Die Another Day, plus a portion of a making-of-the-video documentary. Madonna makes a cameo in Die Another Day as a fencing instructor. The movie hits theaters nationwide on November 22 for the 40th anniversary of the spy series.
Fansite Madonnapower has the single cover for Die Another Day. It was already rumoured that a picture from the photo shot for Pop Magazine would be used.
Alternate covers with different colors (blue and green stripes instead of purple) have surfaced on other websites.
Not bad for a single that wasn't supposed to go to radio until October 8th! Die Another Day scores 60 major market adds and 39 on minor market stations in the US.
It barely edged out Jennifer Lopez' 'Jenny On the Block' for most added.
MTV will premiere 'Making The Video, Episode Madge: Madonna', with the making of the Die Another Day video on following dates: Thursday, Oct 10 @ 10:00 PM; Friday, Oct 11 @ 2:00 PM; Saturday, Oct 12 @ 11:30 PM; Monday, Oct 14 @ 9:30 AM Source: MTV.com
Madonna will appear on:
the Today Show with Matt Lauer in a two-part interview (part one will air Oct. 3 and part two will air Oct. 4).
Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood feature stories on Oct. 4 the Madonna & Guy Ritchie mini-movie premiere on Oct. 7,
in an interview with Larry King on Oct. 10.
Singer-actress Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, will not renew their marriage vows under a branch of Judaism they are both studying, he said on Tuesday.
In an interview on the syndicated entertainment news show "Access Hollywood," Ritchie, asked about their study of Kaballah and rumors they would renew their wedding vows in that tradition, said "no renewing our vows, I think we are happy with our vows as they are."
He also said five children's books he and the singer co-authored will be available at the holidays. "We thought we'd do better to start with young fresh minds that haven't been contaminated by all the terrible things that the media bestows upon them," Ritchie said.
Madonna, who has also worked at a film career over the years, will soon appear in Swept Away, a film written and directed by Ritchie.
Madonna's theme for the next James Bond flick has been unofficially declassified. Though the intention was to keep it tightly under wraps, Madonna's title song for Die Another Day was leaked to New York station Z100 on Friday, 10 days in advance of its scheduled radio debut.
Over the weekend, some 55 stations added the song to rotation, this time with Warner Bros.' blessing. Madonna composed and performed Die Another Day for the 20th installment of the spy series, in which she has a cameo as a fencing instructor.
Her video for the song including a scene making a reference to that cameo was set to premiere on the same day as the original radio debut date. Even though the dance cut's radio release was pushed up, the CD single and video release dates won't be.
The Traktor-directed video will still premiere on MTV's "Making the Video" on October 10 at 10 p.m., while the single an enhanced CD including a portion of that episode of "Making the Video" will still hit [US] stores on November 12.
The CD single will also include various remixes of Die Another Day by Dirty Vegas, Thunderpuss, Felix Da Housecat and Deepsky. The soundtrack for Die Another Day hits stores November 12, while the film opens in theaters November 22.
~ They probably mean that the US release will be on Nov 12. UK release is still scheduled for Oct 28 though it might be pushed forward because of the leak.
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