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MADONNA'S ARRIVAL IN BERLIN RAISES TEMPO OF SLUGGISH FEST - Part 1

There are Stars and there are Super-Stars, and then there is MADONNA... a  kind of media Super Nova, who blows other stars away, sends photogs scurrying like cockroaches in heat, and attracts incredible throngs of gawkers even when she isn’t trying to outrage the Bourgeois and seems to be on her best behavior. The forty-nine year old Queen of Pop arrived in Berlin on Wednesday looking very trim in a smart, conservative black dress, six inch high heels, and her blonde tresses parted neatly in the middle. The purpose of her visit, to present and promote her debut as a film director, a modest motion picture entitled “Filth and Wisdom” boasting no name actors, not even herself.   

Even case-hardened festival journalists were willing to stand around for a solid two hours packed together like sardines on the landing at the top of the lobby stairs in the Hyatt Hotel outside of the press conference hall, hoping to be among the chosen two hundred lucky enough to get a seat inside and ogle the Diva in the flesh before their weary eyes. This reporter, not up to such frenzied gridlock just to lay eyes on somebody I’m not really interested in, opted to watch the press conference on the giant outdoor TV screen across the Square from the hotel, and probably had a better view than I would have had as part of the reportorial crush inside.  

I must say that Madonna looked fantastic (for her age) and acquitted herself  as every inch a lady, seriously and thoughtfully responding to the questions thrust upon her, most of which had to with her personal life and world view, rather than the film itself.  In fact, aside from the early morning press screening, all other screenings have been sold out in advance and few of the press corps in the room had had a chance to see it.  Aside from  ninny questions like “What do you do to keep looking so young?”, which she shrugged off with a smile and a thank you, she spoke rather meaningfully of her early life in a very conservative Midwestern town, her need to break away and the shock she experienced  when she discovered her first dancing teacher was gay.  Through him she  entered the gay world in a way and found the people there much more accepting and honest than the Bourgeois of Bay City.  

She mentioned that her religious faith and happy marriage (to British film director Guy Ritchie) have stabilized her hitherto hectic life and at the end of the conference she called on the star of her flick, geeky looking “Ukrainian-Gypsy-Punk” musician Eugene Hutz, to knock out a song on his Gogo-Bordello Band guitar, which was embarrassingly similar to the kind of stuff you here in Subway corridors and brought the otherwise sober press conference to a clamorous and dissonant close. Madonna’s one concession to weirdness was a demand for a carload of “Blessed Kabala Water” to be delivered to her hotel, as she drinks no unblessed H2O since having converted to Cabbalism, a mystic Judaic sect of the Middle Ages.  Catholic Holy Water I’ve heard of, and even sampled on my way out of a Polish church, but “Kabala water”, blessed or unblessed, is a new one on me. 

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About AlexDeleon

Deleon Alex
(www.filmfestivals.com)

THE FESTIVALS BLOG by Alex Deleon. Watch for festival coverage from the circuit.

Ambiance and reviews from the hot spots. Welcoming your comments too.


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