Gimme half a chance

The mystery of film: how is she so empty an actress yet so alive in clips like this? The sequence between 0:48 and 0:51, and, near the end, the smile on her face when the boy realizes he’s kissed Madonna, encapsulate what I loved about Madonna then: so hungry, so alive, up for anything, and thus unprepared for the blows when they come. You hear it in the vocal for “Open Your Heart,” which might surpass “Into the Groove” for sheer aliveness.

3 thoughts on “Gimme half a chance

  1. Your post has an insightful conviction. Madonna was a lot more interesting back then. The subject matter was still very fresh, and artsy before she took the sex too far. I think in the mid nineties, her career choices began to ruin her integrity as a pop artist. She bounced out of that. But, I think I would have preferred to watch her convert into a slow-album releasing ballod artist as she got older. The album “Something to Remember” portrays an image not ofetn seen of the pop artist, an image I could have pictured being well cultivated. I still think she’s amazing. However, back then her videos were definetly more interesting. But, it’s the same effect created with film & video makers poor discretion, using the new available technologies. Film and video makers are going for the too perfect visual element, and forgetting about the story telling of the performers. This is why I love the 80’s. One is able to see, and in turn feel, the artistic effort being put forth in film, and videos of that time. Where as now, it all just looks too perfect, not real, and too easy.

  2. Agreed, music videos now suck, they’re too perfect and often star new people whose names I don’t know. It’s all too slick nowadays. Where is the heart?

  3. I’m starting to wonder if your perfect question — “how is she so empty an actress yet so alive in clips like this?” — might be proof in the pudding (not that I think much is still needed at this point) of just how in control of her own music career Madonna was from the get-go. I mean, I have NO idea what were the machinations behind her early videos, or who even directed them, but I have to believe she played an important if not central part in each, determining the general thrust and direction and tone and (where applicable) narrative. I don’t know how anyone could watch a video like “Open Your Heart” or “Material Girl” or etc etc and attribute their genius to a director — not that the directors she worked with didn’t do genius jobs getting the clips across visually and all that. But they so clearly seem to embody HER vision, not someone else’s. Again, I’ve no idea what actually happened behind the scenes.

    In movies, she obviously can’t control the situation to the same degree. I imagine she must feel a bit like a peon on the set of someone else’s movie and vision. She certainly has never seemed very comfortable on the big screen (DespSeekSusan a minor exception).

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