Madonna's Art For Freedom project launches with prison dance film
Monday night Madonna screened her Secret Project Revolution film guerrilla-style at locations all over the world, including here in Toronto where a crew reportedly set up at the Distillery District.
Meanwhile, the website Art For Freedom, claims to be a “platform to give people around the world an opportunity to answer the question: what does freedom mean to you?” Madonna previously said of the film that, “My goal is to show by the example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression.”
An alert viewer at the screening that took place in Berlin has uploaded the film to YouTube. The film, co-created with Steven Klein, runs 17 minutes and features Madonna playing both a prisoner and a jailer (and sometimes looking like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS) being thrown into a cell, then shooting fellow decoratively draped prisoners. There’s some beautiful dancing and it’s all in black and white, which signals how SERIOUS she is about saving the world.
As the good-looking violence happens on the screen, Madonna says things like, “Democracy doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Freedom of expression sounds like a catch phrase” and “This will be the revolution of thinking for yourself. Of having your own opinion.”
She lost me when she spat “burn, baby burn” and a baby stroller spontaneously caught fire.
Madonna has been very vocal in, for example, her support of the members of Russia’s Pussy Riot and her heart is probably in the right place. Unfortunately, this comes across as a blend of well-meaning high school theatre, un-scintillating bondage and the camera lingering unrelentingly on, yes, Madonna.
Towards the end, the film runs in reverse, making it look like she resurrects the prisoners she’d previously shot.
Then she says, “I know what you're thinking: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. (Spoiler alert: that isn’t what I was thinking at all, but thanks for the suggestion.) But it’s too late. I’m in the kitchen and the burners are on full blaze.” Oooooh. We’d better all be careful we don’t burn our fingers or that our baby carriages don’t get cooked.
Madonna also tells the audience, “the revolution won’t be an app, won’t be available on the Internet” and then ends the film with the address for Art For Freedom.
The film, which is a co-production with VICE, will be released today (Tuesday) to BitTorrent Bundle.