Madonna is getting the hang of this kiddie-book thing.
“Yakov and the Seven Thieves” is the third installment of Madonna’s five-book series for Callaway Editions, and it’s the best, mostly because there is nothing Material Girlish about it. (Her first book, the rather boring “The English Roses,” focused on a catty group of girls illustrated in a very fashion-forward manner.)
The fairy-tale artwork here, by Russian painter Gennady Spirin, brings authenticity to the story about a sick boy, desperate dad and wise old man in an eastern European village in the 18th century.
Madonna, who cites the influence of cabala, or Jewish mysticism, in all her books, says “Yakov” was inspired by the Baal Shem Tov, a Ukrainian teacher.
“It’s a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven – no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others,” Madonna writes on the cover jacket.
That’s an exaggeration of how important and symbolic this book really is, but the story moves along nicely and gets its message about redemption across without being too preachy. It’s also appropriately written for its target audience of 6-year-olds.
Yakov is the father of Mikhail, who is literally on his death bed. With few options left, Yakov goes to visit the mysterious old man who lives on the outskirts of the village and is rumored to perform miracles. Unfortunately, the old man’s first attempt to help the boy fails. He has an idea, though, to ask all the town’s thieves, pickpockets and criminals to put their rather usual talents toward a good cause.
Of course, being a children’s picture book, there is a happy ending with a healthy Mikhail and reformed rascals.
And it’s worth noting that the only female scoundrel, Petra the Pickpocket, bears a striking resemblance to Madonna herself.
Pop superstar Madonna has cancelled what would have been her first-ever concert in Portugal after a row with an evangelical church, local media reported.
The superstar was scheduled to bring her “ReInvention” concert tour to the 12,000-seat Atlantic Pavilion in Lisbon on September 12, according to concert promoters Tournee who booked the space in April for September 9-13.
But after the concert had been announced, the Lisbon-based Mana Christian Church said it had already booked the grounds for September 8-11 to hold a “Convention of Faith.”
The church said it had reserved the grounds in February and it has refused to change the booking despite pleas from fans and an offer of a 25,000 euro (30,000 dollar) donation from Tournee.
Jorge Tadeu, a self-proclaimed apostle and founder of the church, told daily tabloid Correio da Manha last month he was “revolted” by those who “want to exchange Jesus for Madonna”.
“In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath,” he added.
“We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana church, but is part of a wider battle between the devil and Christ.”
The Mana Church said in a statement issued Friday to national news agency Lusa that it had been informed by the singer’s legal representative in Europe, John Giddings, that the concert would no longer take place.
Madonna kicked off her latest world tour, her first in three years, in May in Los Angeles.
Her return to the concert stage has received mixed reviews, with some suggesting the 45-year-old mother of two had erred by swapping her trademark sexuality for a new-found spirituality.
source : emedia.com.my
Madonna, has decided to expose the shady wing of the fashion world by buying the film rights to the book Model: The Ugly Business Of Beautiful Women, which she will produce under her own production company.
“The screenplay has been written by David Brendel and the film is tentatively being given a release date of next year (05). At the moment Madonna is looking around for beautiful women who can play some of the world’s most famous supermodels, while she is obviously hoping as many of them as possible can be prevailed upon to appear in cameo roles.” Rate the music quoted a source as saying.
source : newkerala.com
A small, sick boy lies in bed waiting for death. “He is leaving this world … I can see it in his eyes,” says the mother. But Yakov, the father, has not given up. A visit to the wise old man who lives in the last house at the edge of the village (“a very small village tucked away between two mountains”), brings him hope. What happens? You’ll just have to read the book.
In this book, the third instalment of a five-part series, Madonna weaves a tale of miracles set in old-fashioned times. Inspired by “a great teacher who lived in the Ukraine in the 18th century”, this book carries more moral lessons and values, an already familiar facet from the singer’s first two books.
Written in the style of traditional fables, it is, at times, a little in-your-face preachy. This worked while we were still reading Aesop’s Fables, but it can be a little hard to swallow now that we are all “grown-up”: “The thieves represent the things in us that are bad or wrong or selfish ” the parts we need to change to be happy. When we want to make miracles happen, we have to recognise and acknowledge our bad traits.” Then again, it is useful for children who will probably be more open to the good lessons as told by a superstar rather than a Greek slave (Aesop was said to be a slave who gained freedom by his wit ” though some say his history appears to be just a legend).
One thing that can be said of all Madonna’s books are that the illustrations are beautiful. With the first book, The English Roses, the touch was modern. The second, Mr Peabody’s Apples, has an American feel. With Yakov, Russian painter Gennady Spirin gives your imagination enough fodder to recreate old Eastern Europe. The details evoke a sense of nostalgia, and you might find yourself picking it up just to drool over the pictures. Go ahead. You won’t be disappointed.
source : emedia.com.my
Madonna reportedly refuses to perform until her concert stages have been blessed by Kabbalah leader Rabbi Philip Berg.
According to American gossip website The Scoop, the singer – an avid follower of the mystic branch of Judaism – is taking the Los Angeles-based Rabbi everywhere she travels on her current Reinvention Tour. A source tells The Scoop: “He goes out there and chants and does his routine. He blessed Madison Square Garden. He blesses them all.” The source also claims Madonna gets special treatment when worshipping at LA’s Kabbalah Centre, and sits behind a giant screen so other followers can’t see her: “The men and the women sit separately, following Orthodox tradition. But Madonna sits in front, behind a screen so that people can’t look at her. The place where she sits happens to be on the men’s side.”
source : iol.ie
Commanding a fee of around $20 million per film, actress Julia Roberts is the most powerful actress in Hollywood. She is also the third most powerful in the US entertainment industry, according to the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter. The actress won an Oscar for her performance in “Erin Brokovich” a decade after she was first nominated for her title role in “Pretty Woman”. Her box office status rivals those of male stars like Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks and she derives her power from the “ability to get projects made”, said the paper. The list was topped by Universal Pictures chief Stacey Snider, followed by Sherry Lansing, head of Paramount Pictures.
The only other performer on the list was Madonna.
The list of Hollywood’s five most powerful women:
1. Stacey Snider: chairman, Universal Pictures
2. Sherry Lansing: chairman, chief executive of Paramount Pictures motion picture group
3. Julia Roberts: actress, head of Shoelace Productions
4. Gail Berman: president of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company
5. Nancy Tellem: president, CBS Entertainment
source : newkerala.com
It was a sweet moment in what was a truly spectacular show. Yet, the entire joyously breathless affair had the feel of that dedication to the fans.
The hits-laden, 105-minute visual feast was like a mash note to everyone who’s followed the twists and turns and avant garde detours on her trip from “boy toy” to Esther.
A stylish tip of the cap to the people who ponied up the ridiculously high price of $300 for last night’s top ticket, to those who defended her notorious “Sex” book, went to see her movies and who have loved her in all her brash glory as well as her self-indulgent missteps.
It was firmly the former on display last night as Madonna kicked off her four-night stand with style and grace, giving good face and even better voice.
In fact, Mrs. Guy Ritchie, the first to admit that she’s not the best singer, has never sounded more solid and self-assured even as she was in constant motion on moving catwalks, sliding conveyor belts and hoofing it alongside her cadre of precision dancers.
If she denied fans the hits last time out, “The Re-Invention Tour” is virtually nothing but, from the sleekly choreographed opener “Vogue” to a singalong of the enduringly cheeky “Material Girl” to the unbound closer “Holiday.”
And in a neat trick that only Madonna could pull off, the 45-year-old singer gave the people what they wanted while reworking a few to suit her tastes.
That meant a little more electric guitar fire during “Burning Up,” a more organic, acoustic take on the rapturous “Like a Prayer” and a burlesque reworking of “Deeper and Deeper.”
An almost constant barrage of images accompanied the music and dancing on mammoth video screens on and surrounding the stage.
They ranged from photos of children in wartorn and poverty-stricken nations as she sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” to Hebrew symbols during a rapturous “Like a Prayer.”
source : bostonherald.com