Episode #104: Madonna: Truth or Dare
Listen to Episode 104 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Madonna: Truth or Dare chronicles Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. The camera crew takes us backstage to interview Madonna and her crew and go behind the scenes and in their hotel rooms to see all of the technical difficulties, celebrity encounters, and friendships during their global adventure.
Directed by Alek Keshishian; and released in limited cities on May 10, 1991.
The movie follows the jet-setting Madonna and her crew during the world tour. The shots of her in crowds are minimal.
Of course, there's behind the scenes stuff and technical issues
And various city drama, but the film doesn't focus on any one thing for very long, which it sometimes a detriment.
Nearly all the concert footage was in color, possibly taken from the full production that was also released separately. There are several songs, but it's not really a "concert" film in that sense.
Plenty of celebrity cameos are peppered in as well. Most of them are pretty dang funny to us. Strange combinations.
Warren is not having it. He is rarely vocal, but when he is, it's about how he doesn't understand the need to film everything.
It got a Razzie nom for worst actress, and Jon stated he can kind of understand why. Some of the scenes felt very staged, or at least were real events that were re-enacted for the cameras later.
Plus, the visit of her mother's grave had some unnatural feeling moments. While there was certainly sincerity, it didn't fully come across correctly.
The movie is a time capsule in multiple ways, but part of that is capturing a social temperature.
But mostly they leave those topics out to dry and focus more on the scrap book of vacation and fun times, which is also interesting.
Oh, and there is a truth or dare game scene near the end, in case you were wondering.
Awards Talk: At the Razzie Awards, Madonna was nominated for Worst Actress. The Yoga Awards also granted it the win for Worst Foreign Documentary. On the positive side, the American Cinema Editors nominated Barry Alexander Brown for Best Edited Documentary. The National Society of Film Critics Awards also nominated it and the film tied for 3rd place with American Dream. At the MTV Movie Awards, it was part of the quotes montage and in the fake Best Inanimate Objects category.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week, our crime comes in the form of a lawsuit, and we also dive into a couple of the movie's controversies.
The movie shows the Vatican censorship
Here is Madonna's response in full
We also see the cops talking to her manager in Toronto with threats or arrest
After the film released, a few dancers filed a lawsuit claiming that information was released without their consent.
Speaking of the dancers, they took part in a relatively recent documentary called "Strike A Pose"
We also talk about the spoof from Julie Brown "Medusa: Dare to be Truthful" which can currently be found in full on YouTube
In terms of voguing, we also bring up the incredible documentary "Paris is Burning" which got a wide release in 1991 but had other public screenings in 1990 (which is why it doesn't get its own episode from us)
Lastly, we're talking about the two backup singers Niki Haris
and Donna De Lory
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 4 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - Nikki used to watch it everyday, so of course she'll say yes. Jon won't go that far but would watch it every once in a while. Even though there are several songs, it's not really a "concert" film, and some of the documentary storylines felt unfinished. There is a lot to like in this fascinating package and it sort of acts like a very stylized scrapbook or time capsule.
If you want to watch Madonna: Truth or Dare, as of this recording in March 2023, it’s available on PlutoTV, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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