Bitch I'm Madonna continues its climb up the Billboard Dance Club Songs. In the week of August 8th, the song reaches the #2 position, right behind Andy Grammer's 'Honey, I'm Good'. Could we get our 46th #1 dance hit soon?
Meanwhile, views for the video keep mounting further, currently at 70,8 million and counting!
On June 14, 2015 The Boston Gay Men's Chorus performed Madonna's recent singles Living For Love and Ghosttown during their concert at Boston Symphony Hall.
After an epic performance on the 2015 Grammy Awards, Madonna fans can probably assume they're in for some major theatrics on the Rebel Heart Tour this fall. The 56-year-old singer released some video teasers from tour rehearsals, which revealed she's taking theatrics to a whole new level with something pretty unexpected—pole-dancing nuns.
The first teaser is ironically set to her song, "Devil Pray," where the lyric "Devil's here to fool ya" plays over the scenes that feature the nuns.
Even without the nuns, things look like they'll be pretty crazy on the tour, complete with large choreographed numbers and flashy props—no surprise from a performer like Madonna.
The Rebel Heart Tour was set to begin Aug. 29, but the singer announced in May that it would be pushed back a week, as she said it "has to be perfect." Now kicking off Sept. 9 in Montreal, the world tour will continue through December, with five rescheduled dates in late January.
After getting the outtake footage from the Vogue video, there's now also new material from the recording of the Rain video, directed by Mark Romanek in 1993.
By overwhelming demand, Madonna is adding a second night in Manila! The second night of her Rebel Heart Tour is set for February 25, 2016 at Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
ICON presale has started today at 10am PHT. General sales will be on August 1st, also at 10am PHT.
Madonna instagrammed a picture while she's trying on one of her tour costumes, with the designers standing in the back.
Who's That Girl...,......... 💘#rebelhearttour
Tidal has seemingly been under fire ever since launching in March: the streaming music service is co-owned by some of the medium's biggest stars, but its pricing has been criticized, its interim CEO recently left and Birdman is reportedly suing the company for $50 million. In a new interview with the Associated Press, Madonna -- one of the company's many famous co-owners -- defended Tidal by pointing to the company's core ideals and hinting at more upcoming changes.
"It's just the beginning, so we're working out a lot of kinks and hopefully we're going to build something unique and amazing that's going to attract a lot of people," says Madonna.
One of the "kinks" that Tidal has been working out has been an overall image problem, especially when compared to cheaper subscription services like Apple Music. Earlier this month, Tidal announced a family plan with discounted prices for multiple subscribers using the same account.
"It's important that people understand we didn't create Tidal, we didn't put this together, we didn't all join forces because we're broke and we want more money," says Madonna, who has worked with Jay Z, Beyonce, Jack White, Arcade Fire and several other artists on the new endeavor. "The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance.
"We live in a society now where everybody just expects everything to be for free, but you don't get a house for free; you have to pay somebody to build it," she continued.
Last month, Madonna premiered her video for "Bitch I'm Madonna" exclusively on Tidal, but the service was mired in technical problems and was forced to tweet an apology.
Epic sets, costumes and dance moves on tap for singer's international trek.
Madonna doesn't embark on her Rebel Heart Tour until September, but the singer has shared a pair of teaser videos that give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the intense, high-energy rehearsals for the six-month-long international trek.
In the first teaser, soundtracked by Rebel Heart's "Devil Pray," fans get a peak at the various costumes – nuns on stripper poles, a flamenco-inspired routine – and sophisticated dance moves that will go into each show. There's also a glimpse of Madonna herself preparing for the string of performances. In the second video, featuring "Iconic," fans witness the epic scope of the touring production as dozens of dancers rehearse atop elaborate sets armed with props.
Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour will kick off September 9th at Montreal's Bell Centre. She'll continue to hit North American arenas throughout September and October before heading to Europe for two months. Diplo will serve as Madonna's opening act for the Quebec gigs, while comedian Amy Schumer will open for the singer's New York-area shows. In January, Madonna will return stateside to fulfill her five postponed concerts and then chart course to Asia and Australasia. The Rebel Heart Tour will conclude March 27th, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.
The tour was originally scheduled to begin on August 29th in Miami, but Madonna postponed the first five shows in order to add more rehearsal time. "As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect," Madonna said in a statement. "Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans. I can promise you this show will be worth the wait. Can't wait to share it with all my Rebel Hearts out there."
A new video has surfaced containing previously unseen outtake scenes from Madonna's Vogue video, including dance scenes with Niki and Donna.
The Vogue video was recorded 25 years ago under the direction of the talented David Fincher.
Calling all Rebel Hearts artists! Your online fan art has really caught Madonna’s eye and moved her. She has asked if you can submit your best creations, from any era, style and look. Madonna has been inspired by your creativity and would like to display a digital gallery of your artwork live during the upcoming Rebel Heart tour. To be eligible to participate, you must be at least 18 years old and the sole owner and creator of the artwork and other modifications to the photograph, and you must sign your creation with your name -- we want to make sure to give credit where deserved!
Upload your creation as a high quality TIFF or JPEG file that is 800 x 960 pixels minimum in size (larger formats welcome) to your favorite file sharing service and e-mail us the link to it at email@example.com before July 30th 2015.
Looking forward to seeing your works of art! What do you got, Show us your Basquiat!
With 65,5 million views and counting, the video for Bitch I'm Madonna has become Madonna's most viewed music video online. Hung Up, which previously held the top spot, is currently at 64,4 million views.
Meanwhile, Bitch I'm Madonna climbs to the #3 spot in the Billboard Dance Club Songs and holds #6 in the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs.
Universal Music Italia will send Hold Tight to Italian radio stations tomorrow as the new Madonna single.
It will be Madonna's third single in Italy, after Living For Love and Ghosttown (Bitch I'm Madonna has not been promoted in Italy)
Billboard has compiled some of Madonna's most iconic looks.
No pop diva has reinvented her fashion image with the consistency and creativity of Madonna. Madge emerged on the scene in the early '80s as a street-smart "Boy Toy" and, over the course of her 30-plus year career, evolved into a fashion-forward icon whose sense of style became as influential as her chart-topping tunes. In celebration of Madonna, we present 55 of her most unforgettable outfits, from jaw-dropping Jean-Paul Gaultier corsets to elegant Dolce & Gabbana gowns.
Check them out here.
Madonna thinks artists deep into their careers should stop if they don't have anything more to say. But at 56, the singer says she still has things to talk about, and in short, she feels like Pablo Picasso.
"I like to compare myself to other kinds of artists like Picasso. He kept painting and painting until the day he died. Why? Because I guess he felt inspired to do so," she said. "Life inspired him, so he had to keep expressing himself, and that's how I feel."
Madonna released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and her latest album, Rebel Heart, earlier this year. She said the key to sticking around is her continual desire to inspire others.
"I don't think there's a time, a date, an expiration date for being creative," she said. "I think you go until you don't have any more to say."
The pop icon will launch her Rebel Heart Tour on Sept. 9 in Montreal. The tour includes more than 60 shows across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
"The theme I really truly explore in this show more than anything is love and romance," she said in a phone interview from her home in New York City last week. "I want people to walk out like they're feeling inspired and like they've seen something they've never seen before (and) felt something they've never felt before."
Comedian Amy Schumer, whose new movie Trainwreck opened impressively at No. 2 with $30.2 million last weekend, will open for three Madonna shows in New York.
"She's a role model for women, and I am too, and I think it's a good match," said Madonna, who added that the idea to bring Schumer on board came from the singer's management team. "I love her and ... I just thought, `That's interesting.' (I'll) try something new and different rather than the usual run-of-the-mill - have a band, have a DJ. It's definitely a new thing. I hope it works - fingers crossed."
Madonna says picking the set list for her upcoming tour has been hard, mainly because she wants to sing her newest songs but also satisfy her longtime, die-hard fans.
"I realize I have 32 years of other songs, so I have to pick and choose. I sit there for weeks and weeks and weeks trying to figure out which of my old catalog I want to do," she said. "It's a puzzle that we have to put together `cause thematically the songs - the old and the new - they have to go together; sonically they have to go together."
She's even picky about the costumes onstage.
"What people wear, from their footwear to the buttons on their jacket, is all very important to me," she said.
If you wish to stay away from setlist spoilers, then stop reading now.
Matthew Rettenmund, longtime Madonna fan and author of Encyclopedia Madonnica and Boy Culture, has revealed an interesting detail on the Rebel Heart Tour setlist:
I can't say much of what I know about the REBEL HEART TOUR, but it has TONS of oldies ... Many '80s hits."
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Fader, Madonna collaborator Mike Dean has confirmed at least one of these 80s hits:
I'm working on Madonna's tour right now, helping her put her show together. It's cool: taking old songs and making the old stuff match the new stuff. I try to use all the same sounds I use on music now. Drums. Replace bass lines with 808s. Trap snares, hi-hats—all that shit. It's kind of cool. We're working on "Holiday" right now.
Madonna today announced that Diplo will be the opening act for the launch of her highly-anticipated Rebel Heart World Tour on September 9th and 10th at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
"To have Diplo open for me is my dream come true. Montreal is about to TURN UP!!!! We Go Hard or We Go Home!"
Diplo is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. This summer two of his projects are soaring up Top 15: Major Lazer's "Lean On" and Jack Ü's "Where Are Ü Now" with Skrillex and Justin Bieber. Always outspoken about his musical talent, Madonna teamed with Diplo on the writing and recording of her critically acclaimed 13th studio album, Rebel Heart. With Madonna, Diplo produced and co-wrote the songs "Living For Love," "Bitch I’m Madonna," "Unapologetic Bitch," "Veni Vidi Vici" and co-wrote "Graffiti Heart" (from the Super Deluxe Album).
The show in The Philippines, which has been rumoured for quite a while, has now been officially announced on Madonna.com. It will take place on February 24th 2016 at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
ICON presales start tomorrow July 21st at 10am PHT. The public on-sale will be on July 26th at 10am PHT through SM ticket outlets, smtckets.com or call 470-2222. Citi® Cardholders will be eligible for a pre-sale opportunity beginning Wednesday, July 22nd at 10 AM through Thursday, July 23. Globe customers will be eligible for a one day pre-sale Friday, July 24 at 10 AM. There will be no VIP packages for this show.
Even though Madonna.com talks about a "return visit", it will be Madonna's first show ever in The Philippines. There's currently no news on any possible dates in the rest of Southeast Asia.
Madonna says folks shouldn’t be too put off over her recent comments about growing up in Rochester Hills.
“I appreciate my provincial upbringing,” the Michigan-born pop culture icon explained by phone Friday, June 17, from her home in New York City. She’s preparing for her Rebel Heart Tour, which begins Sept. 9 in Montreal and will bring Madonna back home on Oct. 1 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The Bay City-born Madonna (nee Ciccone) — who was raised in Pontiac and Rochester Hills, graduating from Rochester Adams High School — ruffled local feathers when she referred to the “basic, provincial-thinking people” of her hometown during a March interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM satellite radio. The remark even prompted an open letter from Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett defending the area.
Madonna, 56, who studied dance for one semester at the University of Michigan before moving to New York, says she hasn’t read Barnett’s letter but expressed a bit more pride about her roots on Friday.
“To me it’s really important that I came from the Midwest,” she explained, “with my father and people that I was surrounded with, very strong work ethic and my practical approach to work, and not a lot of frills.
“I don’t think I would be as creative as I am if I’d grown up surrounded by everything at my fingertips. The fact that I came from a small town in the Midwest has a lot to do with the kind of open notebook that I had to start my journey of creativity.”
That journey has continued with “Rebel Heart,” Madonna’s 13th studio album — which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts in March — and will take its next step with the tour, which she promised will be one of her characteristically theatrical spectacles, featuring songs from throughout her 32-year Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recording career, with plenty of challenging choreography and provocative imagery.
“I’m still working my way through the set list,” said Madonna, who’s working on the show with a team of creative directors, choreographers and costume designers. “The name of the tour, Rebel Heart, starts the party and then I think, ‘What’s a strong beginning? What’s the statement I want to make?’ and then we go on a journey from there.”
The theme of the show, she added, will be “romance.”
“Love. Living for love. Being a rebel heart. Living for love. They’re all kind of intertwined, you know — rising above, believing in your dreams, overcoming heartbreak, things like that,” Madonna said. “You know, the simple things in life.”
And while fans wonder if she can still perform at the level she has in the past, Madonna, whose daughter, Lourdes, begins her second year at U-M this fall, said they won’t be disappointed.
“I have a very disciplined life,” she said. “I don’t do a lot of socializing. My life revolves around my show and my children and trying to live a very healthy lifestyle. The only thing I’m lacking right now is sleep — as always.”
The 2015 Outfest LGBT Film Festival delivered last night, when it screened Madonna’s Truth or Dare documentary as part of their Legacy Project, and later offered a special Q&A with T.O.D director Alek Keshishian, M’s backup singer and dancer of the moment Donna DeLory, as well as dancers Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, and of course, Luis Camacho.
You co-produced several songs on Madonna's new one, including her new single. What do you make of the ageism she faces?
She created the world we live in. It already sucks to be a woman in the music industry, but to be a boss woman is even harder. She sold out her tour in minutes, but no one seems to want her to succeed — "Madonna, we've been there, done that, now we're about Kim Kardashian." Her song "Ghosttown" was a guaranteed Number One for anybody else, but she didn't get a fair shot. With "Bitch I'm Madonna," everyone said there's no way it will go anywhere, but I'm like, "Screw it, it represents you more than anything."
If Madonna's star-studded "Bitch I'm Madonna" music video just wasn't enough for you (what more do you want??), well, you're in luck. The Queen of Pop unleashed a new music video for the Rebel Heart track.
The track is a remix of the Diplo/Madonna-produced original from Dutch DJ Sander Kleinenberg; similarly, the video serves as a visual remix (same foundation, new footage) of the Jonas Akerlund-directed clip.
This is basically a collection of loose, off-the-cuff outtakes from the bevy of megastars in the clip. So if you showed up for the original video and were disappointed to see just seconds of Katy Perry, Kanye West, Beyonce, and Miley Cyrus (to be fair, Nicki Minaj and Rita Ora got plenty of shine in the original), this video has you covered with more footage of the pop stars mouthing "Bitch I'm Madonna," laughing and otherwise looking glam.
Madonna, of course, is in the video, too. She dances with the wild abandon she brought to her "Living for Love" video (and this clip doesn't misspell Nietzsche!)
Compare her shapes in this remix video to the onstage moves she brought to Live Aid in 1985, which was 30 years + one day ago. A lot has changed in three decades, but she can still dance to give us all inspiration.
A remix video of Sander Kleinenberg's remix for Bitch I'm Madonna has premiered on Madonna's VEVO channel. Check it out.
Interview by Michael Ausiello
If you told me last week that my Q&A with Mike Tyson would rank among my favorite moments from Comic-Con 2015 I would've laughed in your face. But one of my favorite moments it was.
Not only did the artist formerly known as Iron Mike dole out fresh intel about Season 2 of his eponymous Adult Swim 'toon Mike Tyson Mysteries (premiering this fall), but he dropped a massive — and potentially controversial — scoop about the video he recently shot (presumably) for Madonna's upcoming Rebel Heart Tour. (Tyson is a featured performer on the album's "Iconic" track, which is rumored to be No. 1 on her tour setlist).
"It's just intense," he tells me of the footage he filmed, which he admits he might catch some "slack" for. "I'm in a cage. I'm a hostage. I'm chained. I'm naked. I look like a savage. When I [shot] it it didn't seem that intense. But then you watch it and go, 'Whoa.' It was like [something out of] National Geographic… I need to be tamed, man."
Steven Klein has teased on Instagram that he and Madonna will be filming together and "starting a revolution" this weekend. Is he talking about a tour video, or something else? Wait & see...
The music video of Bitch I'm Madonna continues scoring lots of views on Madonna's VEVO channel. At this moment, the video has surpassed 47,5 million views and almost every day another million is added. It already stands as Madonna's third most watched video on Youtube. Only Give Me All Your Luvin' and Hung Up score higher still., with respectively 60 and 63 million views.
The Youtube views have scored the song a #10 position in its third week on the Billboard Youtube chart. In the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, it dropped from #5 to #6. Unfortunately, the song already tumbled out of the Hot 100 chart, after scoring a #84 debut and a #95 position in its second week.
In the many decades since gay stories have been honestly depicted on the big screen, there are still just a handful of films that can be thought of as transformative viewing experiences, which caused viewers to reflect and change their lives. Among them are The Boys in the Band in 1970, Paris Is Burningin 1990, Brokeback Mountain in 2005, and for many queer people the 1991 documentary Truth or Dare is firmly entrenched in that short list. Director Alek Keshishian's behind-the-scenes look at Madonna during her wildly successful and chaotic Blond Ambition tour offered the superstars legion of fans an unvarnished peek at her singular version of celebrity and became not only one of the most vivid concerts films ever made, but also the most successful documentary released up to that time, grossing nearly $30 million.
Even more provocative to the entertainer's legion of queer fans was the intimate, yet matter-of-fact glimpse into the lives of her seven backup dancers (six of whom were gay) who became a surrogate family as they trotted around the globe Keshishian's camera offered. Perhaps Warren Beatty, who was dating Madonna at the time, summed up the atmosphere most expertly with his famous commentary "what point is there existing if it's off camera." Madonna didn't censor her behavior, of course, and neither did her dancers, who queened out, made out and showed off in front of the ever-present cameras. The plum directorial assignment had landed in the lap of the then-24-year-old Keshishian after Madge had seen an innovative pop opera adaptation of Wuthering Heights, that used her music and songs by Billy Idol and Kate Bush to propel the story along, he made while still a student at Harvard. He was soon flying first class around the globe recording Madge's every fascinating move. Now approaching its 25th anniversary, Truth or Dare will be screened July 13 during L.A.'s Outfest as part of its Legacy Project, which preserves films that offer indelible images of LGBT people. Queerty chatted with Keshishian about how Madonna chose him to make the film, the chaos of shooting the life of a superstar and their relationship today.
Queerty: When you were making the film you surely knew that it would become part of the national conversation at the time due to Madonna's popularity, but did you know you'd be discussing it 25 years later?
Alek Keshishian: I didn't really. It never started out to be a feature film. It was just going to be an HBO special. After we went to Japan, when I realized it could be more, everyone around Madonna was telling her, "Don't be crazy. Look at what happened with Rattle and Hum [an ill-fated documentary about U2]" and how it didn't make money. She decided to go with my opinion, rather than the others. It was so bad at one point that our distributor New Line who, when they found out the film was in black and white, even though I'd told them 30 times, decided to drop the film. That's how unknown a concept it was at the time. When the phenomenon happened, it took us all by surprise.
So you had no idea that the film would have such cultural impact?
No. This movie casts a very big shadow to get out of. Although now it's interesting that I'll see younger people and they'll say, "I loved your movie." I'll ask if they mean Truth or Dare and they say, "No, With Honors [his 1994 comedy-drama]." Then there are a lot of young people who don't even know what Truth or Dare was so that's definitely receding.
You only had a few music videos on your resume in 1990. How did you earn Madonna's trust for such a massive, personal project?
I don't know. She just saw the opera I did in which I used some of her music and was surprised by her emotions and reaction to it. It was a very bad video. [Laughs] My parents had taped it. I was almost embarrassed to show it to her. She said to me, "If there's anything I can do to help you with this, let me know." Unbeknownst to me, she told her agents, "I want to see everything this kid does." I didn't realize that until long after the film was shot. I was staying with her in her apartment in New York and in her library there were individual VHS tapes of all my music videos. She hadn't gotten a compilation, she'd gotten them one at a time right after they were made. She said, "You shoot dance better than anybody."
So she called you up and offered you the job?
When she called me initially, it was still an HBO special. She said this show is going to be a real big spectacle and I want you to get some backstage stuff from Japan because it's a really interesting place. Literally, four days later I was on a plane to Japan. It was so heavy.
Did you two develop an immediate rapport?
We did. That was the first time I'd ever flown first class and she put me next to her. I didn't even know what was going on, but she started ribbing me pointedly. It was that friendly insult-teasing mode, which I love, but at first I didn't know what to do because she was technically my boss. Then I thought, You know what? Fuck it. Five days ago I wasn't working for her and I had a perfectly fine career. In fact, I was supposed to be directing the music video for a brand-new artist named Mariah Carey when Madonna stole me. So, anyway, I started playing back and by the time we landed in Japan she definitely felt like an old friend. It was a very quick soul connection.
That must have been surreal.
Talk about bizarre. When I left Harvard my roommates asked if we were all coming back for the five year reunion and I said, "No, I'll be back in four years with Madonna." I made no effort. Even after I met her. I never asked for her help. Four years to that day we were in Boston shooting Truth or Dare. We definitely had some weird karmic thing going. It was only because of the trust that I could shoot the stuff I was shooting with her.
How did the project evolve from an HBO concert to this candid, behind-the-scenes documentary about the tour?
In Japan I just started shooting everything. I think she expected that I would just shoot her getting off the plane and with fans and light stuff like that. I said to her, "If I'm going to shoot this, you have to give me carte blanche to shoot whatever I want." She was like, "OK." Remember at the beginning of the film when she goes "get out!" or when she's trying to get the massage and says she won't be able to relax? I told her that we had talked about this off-screen. You can hear my voice. She says, "Alek, no." One thing I realized I could do was get interviews with the dancers in bed. I'd make appointments and come in while they were half asleep and interview them in bed.
Did you show her the dancer interviews after you filmed them?
When we got back to L.A. Madonna started watching that and all my other footage. I told her there was a movie there. I told her, "This is like a Fellini film. You have the craziest characters around you and you're like a mother hen." I knew after Japan what the point of the documentary was going to be. It was so clear to witness it in Japan. I had a lot of resistance. I was a 24-year-old kid. Her advisors were telling her, "What the hell are you doing listening to this kid?" Then she gave me final cut. I told her that if she didn't it would seem like a puff piece on you. I told her she had to trust me. Obviously my goal wasn't to make her look bad. I wanted her to look real. I have to give her credit. She was incredibly brave and it was against the advice of a lot of people around her.
How did you keep from being overwhelmed by all the chaos that surrounds her? Did she prepare you for it ahead of time?
No, she didn't. By day three I was having panic attacks. I wondered what the fuck I was doing. I didn't have time to get my crew together. But once I was there I was too busy and focused to ever feel overwhelmed. When you make a documentary you will inevitably miss things. There was something a documentarian said once that actually took some pressure off me. A documentary probably captures only five percent of what happens but in that five percent you get the feeling of the full one hundred percent. That's what this movie did. We shot 200 hundred hours of black and white backstage footage. 200 hours! It took me a month and a half to just view it. When you're shooting like that I couldn't become part of the chaos, I had to just capture it.
When you were shooting like that were you aware of the story arc or did all of that come in the editing room?
I knew that it would be about them. Then it kind of developed itself. There were things that were mentioned one place that I'd use elsewhere. She brought up Moira McFarland in Japan and I immediately told my producer that we needed to find Moira. We ended up finding her in New York but the way I cut it together, it seems like Madonna brings up Moira at the makeup mirror and then — bang! — we cut to Moira. There were certain things that were planted early that I tried to pursue. For instance, I found out from the bed interviews that Oliver hadn't seen his dad in a long time so we precipitated that meeting. We knew to film it because that was an important emotional beat for him. Like in all documentaries, the story developed itself. That voiceover pieces it together. I wrote it at the end.
Besides business meetings, did Madonna place any limitations on what she'd let you film?
She just wouldn't do anything twice. Today with reality TV you do a run-through, then they film it again and again for coverage so they're improvising and you know all the beats of the scene. Madonna, if she walked through a door and I didn't get, I knew not to ask her to do it again because she wouldn't. She told me, "You can film anything as long as you're not making me do anything."
There are several scenes in the film that most fans consider standouts: the Kevin Costner scene, the water bottle scene, and probably Madonna's nervous laughter when Sharon [her hairdresser] was drugged and sodomized. Did you know you had something golden when you recorded these?
Yeah. As I was filming I knew that was going to be really interesting. You're basically story telling on the run. If something happened, like when that happened with Sharon, I knew there would be an encounter with Madonna so I had to be prepared to shoot it. It's a very intense way of working, but storytelling in documentary is the height of working without a net.
How did you decide what to include in the final edit?
It was all for the purpose of storytelling. I ended up not using a lot of the bed interviews because it wasn't necessary for the story I was telling. The first cut I showed her was like three-and-a-half hours long. I clawed it back, but Harvey Weinstein still said I needed to take another 15 minutes out. I said I wouldn't. He said Jeffrey Katzenberg [then a top-ranking exec at Disney] said we needed 15 minutes cut and I said that's why Jeffrey Katzenberg doesn't have this movie. It isn't a fictional film where we can just lose 15 minutes without the balance being fucked up. If you don't have the Chanel scene, you don't have that levity. You don't get to experience the mayhem that happens around her, along with the playfulness. If I'd changed anything in the final cut, the whole thing would have collapsed in my opinion.
You mentioned that you shot more than 200 hours of film. For a lot of gay people that missing footage is like the holy grail. There's a snippet or two on the internet, but will fans ever get to see all of it?
What's weird is that we don't even know where it is. That's how fucked up it is. We were trying to get a print to the Legacy Project, Miramax owned it then Miramax was bought by Disney, then Disney decided to shut down Miramax and sold the library to these random distributors. So the person who put out the Blu-ray doesn't even have the neg for us to maintain. I've been dealing with Madonna's management, asking "Where the fuck is this stuff?" It must be in some storage somewhere. Unfortunately, it was handed over to her management so I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it's discovered a hundred years from now in some office.
What are some of the highlights of the edited footage?
Oh God, the only thing I remember is there was more bitchiness. I decided I didn't want to show it because in a two-hour film it would seem like she's a bitch, when she's not. I decided she could only be bitchy about people we saw on camera.
The film is screening at Outfest as part of its Legacy Project. What do you see as the legacy of Truth or Dare?
It makes me very happy that so many gay adults and young people from all parts of the United States refer to this as their first encounter with being able to see gay men shown in such a positive, almost causal way. She was so comfortable with it. It wasn't an issue. Then you go to the Gay Pride parade and you're reminded of all the people who died. At that point you've kind of fallen in love with the dancers. I think it's the legacy of how exposure to homosexuality and for people to understand it's not a big deal, it's just the way some people are. They deserve the full range of rights and love and everything else. To me, that's the proudest achievement of the movie. I don't think we knew at the time that it would have that impact. It was so matter-of-fact. Then I realized people were shocked by the kiss between the two guys.
Your film was groundbreaking at the time for the matter-of-fact depiction of the lives of the back-up dancers. Some might even describe it as transformative. I know people who came out to their parents as really young kids after watching the film. One friend told me that seeing the sense of family between Madonna and the dancers prevented him from attempting suicide. Were there conversations about presenting the dancers this way?
No, there was no discussion. It's just the away I shot it. I didn't think it should be made into a big deal, except for the poignancy and pain of the Pride march. I wanted the rest of it to just be a given. I didn't want it to be about them being gay. I wanted it to be about them being characters. By doing that it was kind of revolutionary. We made a really gay movie without the subject matter being gayness.
Do you remain friends with any of them?
No, I'm not close to any of them actually. I see Carlton [Wilborn] sometimes. I think everyone just moved on and did their own thing.
Three of the dancers [Oliver Crumes, Kevin Stea and the late Gabriel Trupin] sued for invasion of privacy. What were your thoughts about this?
All of the dancers were asked to sign releases. It came with the gig, you know? They all signed them. What happened was when the time was coming for it to be released, some didn't want it to be revealed they were gay, some wanted money. Legally, it was extortion, in my mind. They'd signed the releases and it wasn't as if we were filming it in secret. The cameras were there all the time. They did the interviews. What did they think was being filmed — a home movie? I didn't respect that. I felt bad for Madonna because she really did love those kids and they turned around and did that. That's why celebrities grow more and more weary of getting close to anybody.
You cowrote W.E. [a love story about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Madonna directed in 2011] with her. How had the collaborative process changed with her since the early '90s?
To begin with, she knew she wanted to direct it so I felt I was writing it for her. In some ways the role itself required me to acquiesce to her. Whereas on Truth or Dare I was basically the creator. I did all that stuff and didn't discuss with her nor did I seek her approval. Obviously when you're writing with someone on a movie they're going to direct, you work differently. It was like getting back into an old jacket that fits you so well. We'd sit there every day from 3 to 7 and write together. We wrote very quickly because she's a bit of a taskmaster. I'd be like, "OK, I wrote five pages today. That's enough." She'd say, "What are you talking about? You're here until 7." Then I'd get bored and I'd start typing bad porn between the Duchess and King until she'd look up from her Blackberry and say, "Alek, stop! It's not funny." I thought it was hilarious. So we are still quite playful with each other. Whenever we meet we go right back into that groove of the level of comfort.
What did you think about her other doc I'm Going To Tell You A Secret [filmed in 2005 during her Re-Invention tour]?
She asked me to do Secret. I just knew that there wasn't a documentary to follow up. I said. "Here's the conundrum: The proper follow up to Truth or Dare is the contrast now that you have a real family. But it's a Catch-22. If you show your kids, you're going to be accused of exploiting them. If you don't show your kids, it becomes this navel-gazing exercise." She said, "I know, but I want people to know I'm doing important things now." In a weird way, it almost felt like she wanted to apologize. I was like, "Yeah, but there's no drama in showing the good work you're doing. That's not drama." [Laughs] I just said very amicably, "You should let someone else do this so it will be completely fresh." Also, Truth or Dare is a really hard film to follow up unless there's something amazing going on.
Do you think you two will work together again?
Sure, I would never say never with her. We both have other projects right now that we're focused on that don't require our collaboration. They don't fit that paradigm right now, but I hope that we'll find something to do again together. We'll see what that is.
What are you working on now?
I have this very interesting TV project I'm developing with David Fincher about a big soap star in her final year before her soap is canceled. It's a dark comedy. It's a study of narcissism. I'm writing it and Fincher is going to direct the pilot. We're still in the development stage. I'm also writing a different script for a feature and I'm also writing what I hope will be my next movie, which I can't discuss. I can say this: It's very much in the style of Truth or Dare.
Madonna, the reigning Queen of Pop, is set to embark on her international tour, The Rebel Heart Tour, starting in Montreal on September 9. The tour is in support of Rebel Heart, her thirteenth studio album, which she released this past March.
The North American leg of the tour will wrap up in October (although several additional dates are scheduled in North America for 2016), and will lead to her covering Europe and the U.K. in November and December. The Rebel Heart Tour will continue on into Australia and New Zealand in March 2016, and will be historic tour stops for the singer – her New Zealand dates mark her first time ever touring in the country, and her return to Australia will be her first trip there in a long-awaited 23 years. Madonna's Australian fans remain some of her strongest followers, as Rebel Heart opened at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart in March, and marked her 11th No. 1 album in Australia.
If history is any indication, Madonna's upcoming tour will not disappoint in the box office. According to the Billboard Boxscore, Madonna's MDNA tour in 2012 was a substantial success, grossing $305 million and moving 2.2 million tickets to 88 shows, making it the highest grossing tour of the year. In 2006, her Confessions tour grossed $194 million and had 1.2 million tickets sold to 60 shows. Madonna's most dominant run remains her 2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet tour, which grossed $408 million for 3.5 million tickets sold. It continues to hold the record for the biggest tour ever for a female artist.
Tickets for the Australian/New Zealand leg of the tour went on sale this morning at 10 AM, and tickets are moving quickly – the cheapest available seats sold out in just minutes. On international ticket marketplace viagogo.com, tickets to see Madonna are understandably competitive across the map. Currently, the average ticket price is $321.97 on the secondary market, and many of her dates present higher prices. Her most expensive stop on the secondary market is the October 24 show in Las Vegas, where the average ticket price is $949.21, with a get-in price of $180, according to viagogo, the world's largest source of live event tickets. Madonna's cheapest stop is her October 12 date in Edmonton, Canada, where the average ticket price is $164.30, with a get-in price of just $44.
Her cheapest tickets sold out in seconds - but some fans have already posted their Madonna tickets on TradeMe.
Tickets for Madonna's two Vector Arena performances in March went on sale at 10am today with the cheapest $99 tickets selling out in seconds.
New Zealand fans willing to spend more could still find tickets for $500 on sale half an hour after they first became available.
This afternoon, there were four auctions for Madonna tickets on TradeMe, ranging from $690 for two gold tickets for the March 5 show, to $1245 for four tickets in the upper bowl.
This is the first time the Material Girl has come to New Zealand.
Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour is currently set down for two shows in Auckland in March next your, but if demand is high, more dates could possibly be added.
Already, dedicated fans snapped up a small batch of vogue, pre-sale tickets before today's official release - with Auckland super-fan Chris Watts dropping $2600 on premium tickets to both nights.
Mr Watts, 45, who has set up the Facebook fan page "Madonna New Zealand", has travelled to gigs in Melbourne and New York.
He attended shows three nights in a row at Madison Square Garden.
"I'm a member of the Madonna fan club so I purchased VIP tickets Tuesday last week," Watts told the Herald on Sunday.
"One night I'm next to the runway and the other I'm next to the little heart stage at the end of the runway. They were a pretty expensive purchase but I've been a fan for 30 years."
In the nine-month countdown to the shows Watts says a fashion designer friend would help piece together "Madonna-inspired" ensembles for the evenings.
Another who guaranteed a golden ticket was Hamilton's Taeghan Magnus-Short, 27, who grabbed a $500 pre-sale pass.
"I always hoped she would come to New Zealand, but I thought it might never happen.
"She's underrated as a musician, but she's also a great role model for individuality and strength. She loves to light a fire under people. I'm sure she'll do something crazy on the night."
Madonna's New Zealand publicist declined to answer questions about how many tickets had sold, nor would she comment on tickets appearing on Trade Me at inflated prices.
She was only at liberty to confirm there were "tickets available across both shows", she said, "however, no further comment at this time".
Both Bitch I'm Madonna and Devil Pray have been sent out to radio stations. While Bitch is targeted at a young audience, Interscope hopes that Devil will appeal to the older fans.
It's doubtful that Devil will get its own single release. A video is also highly unlikely, since Madonna is currently focusing on her tour rehearsals.↑ Back to top of page