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Madonna News - November 2008

Madonna’s film about orphans to air on Sundance

Madonna’s awakening to the crisis in Malawi – an impoverished African nation where one million children are orphaned by AIDS – had many consequences.

She adopted one of those orphans, her 3-year-old son David. She is building a school there.

And she has told Malawi’s harrowing story in her documentary, “I Am Because We Are.” With an audience thus far limited to isolated theater screenings, it will be screened for everyone with its TV premiere on Sundance Channel at 9 p.m. EST Monday (World AIDS Day).

The feature-length film was written, produced and narrated by Madonna (directed by Nathan Rissman). It consults experts including President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

But the film’s real power is its images, which are often dismaying but, here and there, reflect hope and a remarkable will to survive.

“I had many goals,” said Madonna during a phone conversation from her Manhattan home a few days ago. “I did get to a point where I thought, ’I’m being overambitious, I’m trying to say too much, I’ll never accomplish it.’ But I feel proud of the fact that I did get to make all my points.”

Among her points: an insistence that any crisis comes with solutions, however hard-won and piecemeal.

The film offers its audience a menu of constructive responses.

“If all you can do is live life in YOUR world in a way that shows you are responsible for the people around you, that’s a course of action,” said Madonna. “People can be of service in large ways and small.”

The first wide exposure of “I Am Because We Are” may be coming at a propitious time, which befits the pop superstar who made it, with her knack for anticipating and identifying cultural trends.

On the eve of a new presidential administration, Americans seem set on a more idealistic path, however alarmed they may be by economic threats along the way.

“People really are going, ’Wow! I can no longer ignore what’s going on around me.’ There are changes in the air,” she said.

Madonna’s busy schedule continues apace. But the artistic life that drives it “is a world you create and you inhabit, to express yourself, and to inspire and reach out to other people,” she explained. “It’s also a consolation, a place you go to to protect yourself.” That’s true now, in particular, during her highly public split with Guy Ritchie, her husband of eight years, which she described as “not easy, I’m not going to lie.”

Though on a brief New York break from her concert tour, Madonna said the day’s long to-do list called for this AP interview to be followed by interviews she would be conducting herself: with prospective head mistresses for the girls school she is building in Malawi.

“We’re all going there together at the end of March,” she said, referring to David, 8-year-old son Rocco and 12-year-old daughter Lourdes.

“I’m very involved in a lot of things that are going on there,” she said, and as she makes return visits with her kids, she wants them to gather insights into the plight of the world’s underprivileged. “And David’s always going to understand where he came from, and what his life could have been like.”

Meanwhile, she hopes her film can spread the message to millions more.

“It has an impact on the people who see it,” she declared. “The more people, the bigger the impact.”

source : ap

Madonna Tour Grosses $91.5 Million In North America

Madonna wraps the North American leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour tonight in front of 50,000 people at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

The 28 dates in North America have grossed about $91.5 million and moved about 550,000 tickets, according to tour producer Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music for Live Nation.

Next up is Mexico City, beginning Nov. 29. Counting her European run, Madonna is currently at about $207.5 million in ticket sales and on a pace to hit about $282 million when Mexico/South America wraps. That would make Sticky & Sweet the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist or solo artist.

The tour wraps Dec. 18 – 21 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

source : billboard

Sticky & Sweet Tour – More US Boxscores from Billboard

Madonna – MGM Grand Garden – Las Vegas, Nev. – Nov. 8-9, 2008
29,157 / 29,157
2 / 2
$375, $75
Live Nation Global Touring

Madonna, Paul Oakenfold – Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2008
43,919 / 43,919
1 / 1
$350, $55
Live Nation Global Touring

Madonna, Paul Oakenfold – Petco Park – San Diego, Calif. – Nov. 4, 2008
35,743 / 35,743
1 / 1
$350, $55
Live Nation Global Touring

Madonna – Pepsi Center – Denver, Colo. – Nov. 11-12, 2008
23,501 / 23,501
2 / 2
$350, $55
Live Nation Global Touring

Liz Smith : Married to Madge

“Who did he think he married, when he married me?”

That was Marilyn Monroe, complaining in astonishment to friends, as her marriage to baseball’s Joe DiMaggio unraveled.

So, I wonder, who did Guy Ritchie think he was marrying when he said “I do” with Madonna? And, who or what did Madonna think she was getting when she waltzed down the aisle at Skibo Castle in Scotland?

They had dated a couple of years. They christened their son, Rocco, right before the wedding. Madonna was the most famous woman in the world. Did he think that would change? It didn’t. It hasn’t. (Only Angelina Jolie gives the Big M a run for newspaper space.) Were they just like “everybody else,” showing their best side, and then waking up after the rice had been thrown and the veil lifted (literally) to contend with reality and disillusionment?

Madonna has gone on the record saying she was bereft when she faced the fact that Guy wasn’t who she thought he was. And she said that a few years back. She didn’t say, however, who she thought she had married.

Guy hasn’t spoken, but perhaps he doesn’t need to. He and the ex-Mrs. Ritchie worked together three times. First in a car commercial, wherein Madonna is a bitchy diva abused by her driver . . . then he directed her video for “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” in which she is an angry, abused woman . . . finally they paired up for the disastrous “Swept Away,” in which Madonna plays (surprise!) a rich bitch who is brought low and abused by the servant she initially torments – in the end she falls in love with him. OK folks, what exactly was Guy Ritchie trying to tell us?!!

After “Swept Away” was swept away, I couldn’t help but think back on Richard Burton’s “Doctor Faustus” film. The subject obsessed him: a man who sells his soul for riches and fame and the world’s most beautiful woman. Burton cast his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, as Helen of Troy, and she is all done-up in various body paints and glitter and towering wigs. But in the end, when Faustus has to give it up to the devil, who is it that greets him at the chasm of hell, cackling and pulling him down? Elizabeth/Helen. It’s a fairly devastating denouement, though I don’t think Elizabeth got it. She just liked the wigs.

Was Guy Ritchie trying to assert himself by casting his wife as he did, attempting to convey that he was not her creature, and in fact, she danced to his tune? Was he trying to escape any notion of having sold his soul for all that life offered as the husband of an icon? And did this reflect home life – a meek and conciliatory Madonna, as opposed to the relationship power-player she had usually been? (Madonna’s first marriage, to Sean Penn, ended because she was Madonna, and, apparently, Sean, too, didn’t remember to whom he was married.)

Maybe the next step for Madonna is a guidebook: “How To Stay Married to an Extremely Famous Woman – One Easy Step – You Are Married to an Extremely Famous Woman, Deal With It!”

It certainly seemed to me she was supportive and actively involved in trying to help Guy’s career – she believed very much in his long-delayed, oft re-edited film “Revolver.” And she lent her presence, if by then nothing else, to the premiere of “RocknRolla,” assuring publicity for Guy’s movie.

I know that Madonna is no day at the beach. She is driven and controlling, and seeks strenuously to find relief from the very self-centered qualities that have made her rich and famous. (Less chaos, more kindness through kabbalah!) But – and now for the big reveal! – Madonna has real and true vulnerability. It is a side she shows only to those she loves and trusts. It is not something she uses to woo audiences. They admire her for her “attitude” and strength. Actually, she is rather poignantly romantic. Did Madonna let her guard down too much? Expect more attention, appreciation, affection? Did she find her handsome, laddish hubby was less sensitive but more serious than she had initially believed? Did she offer the side of herself she keeps so close, only to have it ignored, taken for granted, mocked?

It’s over now. It began – certainly for Madonna – in the very best spirit; she kept the wedding private. No photos were released or sold. (Somebody looking for money did release a couple of shots, when the divorce news broke.) The marriage ceremony and vows are no joke to this Catholic-raised Michigan native. Love, or infatuated hope, has dissolved to who gets what. Well, Madonna gets to go onstage every night and push her body to the limit for screaming fans who think she is made of steel. She will worry – as all ambitious working women do – if she is giving enough to her children. And will she ever heal and love again? (On the latter, I feel sure the balm to that wound is available.)

Guy Ritchie gets about $70 million. He is not walking away “without a penny.” Please! He was no poor boy picked up from nowhere; so now he has to be compensated to support the life to which he has become accustomed. Guy Ritchie had a name and considerable cash when he and Madonna married. He’s earning about $4 million right now for directing “Sherlock Holmes.” But once you taste the really high life, you hold on if you can.

If not to the woman, at least to her money.

source : nypost

Madonna: “Work is a welcome distraction from divorce”

Madonna’s marital breakup is tough, but she says she’s grateful that her heavy workload “provides a distraction that keeps me going.”

“I’m sad about my personal life, but I feel very blessed and very lucky that I have the opportunity to do what I do in my professional life,” Madonna told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. “It would be horrible if I was just thinking about getting a divorce and had nothing to do.”

Last week, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were granted a preliminary decree of divorce after eight years of marriage.

Among her current projects is promoting her documentary “I Am Because We Are,” which explores the impoverished African nation of Malawi, where more than 1 million children are orphaned by AIDS. The film has its TV premiere on Sundance Channel Dec. 1.

source : ap

Chris Brown wants to duet with Madonna

Chris Brown wants Madonna on his next album.

The 19-year-old crooner says the Material Girl would be his dream duet for a track on his upcoming CD “Graffiti,” which is due out next year. He says he’d also love to work with Coldplay.

He’s collaborated with Jordin Sparks, David Banner and girlfriend Rihanna in the past.

Brown predicts that “Graffiti” will be a bigger project for him. Speaking from the red carpet at the American Music Awards, the platinum-selling R&B star said: “It’s going to be my stepping stone from Chris Brown to superstar.”

If he’s not there yet, he’s close. Brown took home trophies at the Sunday awards show for favourite pop-rock and soul-R&B male artist while his gal pal Rihanna won favourite pop-rock and soul-R&B female artist awards.

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