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Madonna News - June 2004

Madonna to expose the shady side of the fashion world !

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.
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Yakov and the seven Thieves EMedia Review

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.
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Madonna performs on blessed stage

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.”
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Madonna – powerfull actress

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
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I’m Crazy for You

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.”
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Basinger beats out Madonna for ‘Door’ role

Two words Madonna never heard from director Tod Williams: You’re hired!
The man behind the camera for the upcoming film “The Door in the Floor” met with Madonna and “just about every other actress in the world over 40,” he says, for the coveted role of an older woman who seduces her teenage summer helper.
“Madonna really wanted to do the part,” Williams said. “I wasn’t really even considering her, but I called her in because I just wanted to meet Madonna.”
So how was it?
“It was a strange meeting,” he says. “She asked me about techniques, how all the shots would happen in the movie.”
Williams met withother A-listers, each of whom had their own problems with a role that includes seducing a teen, lots and lots of nudity and passionate lovemaking scenes. “I very seriously considered Kristin Scott Thomas,” says Williams. “But she wouldn’t even stand on the beach in a bathing suit in this film, let alone get naked.”
He thought about Frances McDormand. “She really knows what the heck she’s doing, but I wasn’t sure about casting her. The part calls for someone who is stunningly beautiful.” What about Susan Sarandon? “”She’s just so sexual to me,” Williams says. “She owns her sexuality. She’s connected to herself in that way. This character — a mother grieving the loss of her child who has this affair — isn’t so sure of herself.”
Sigourney Weaver was dubbed “interesting” by Williams. So was a Chicago legend. “Joan Allen is a great, great actress,” Williams says. “But she didn’t seem right.” He liked Michelle Pfeiffer and Robin Wright Penn. “Both loved the script, but they were uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with a young man.”
Not so for Kim Basinger, who eventually got the coveted role and now is enjoying early Oscar buzz. “She was fearless during the nude scenes,” says Williams. “Yes, she was scared of the darkness of this role, but because it scared her, she did it.”
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Re-Invention Tour Boston Concert Review

Even before the mohawked skateboarder began riding the half-pipe during “Hollywood,” interest in the thin red string circling Madonna’s left wrist had vanished. As well it should have. With a two-hour show this gorgeous and this artful, Madonna hardly needed to rely on a spiritual stunt to generate the sort of excitement that, 20 years into her iconic pop career, she’s still capable of conceiving brilliantly and executing it masterfully.
That said, she takes pleasure in keeping us guessing. Or maybe she’s just an equal-opportunity disciple, happy to give props to Hebrew script and Jesus on the cross, which were both featured prominently on video screens.
More to the point — this is a concert, not a celebrity inquest — in the era of over-the-top arena spectacles, Madonna has taken the concept to a new level. Without a unifying thread and in defiance of every aesthetic law known to man, she wove elements of burlesque, extreme sports, rock concerts, Cirque du Soleil, military drills, art installations, dance theater, yoga, and antiwar rallies into a whole. And seamlessness was merely the icing.
The “Re-Invention” tour, which sounded so desperately self-referential on paper, turns out to be impossibly accurate. Madonna manages to reinvent her reinventions. She gilded “Vogue” with a French court twist, delivered an irony-free “Material Girl,” deepened “Into the Groove’ with bagpipes and kilts, and redefined “Express Yourself” as a drummer boy’s march into battle. The latter tune featured the fatigues and rifles from the proceeding number “American Life,” but the jarring image neatly summed up what Madonna’s career has been about: Mindful confrontation, artful provocation, and the use of every part of her body and mind to spark her own little culture wars.
She’s never sounded better. The treated chirp of her early years, which morphed into the dreadful earnestness of the “Evita” era, has matured into a strong, clear singing voice. A few years ago the idea of Madonna standing alone at a microphone singing “Frozen” would have been a dubious one. Last night she commanded her spectacle and her music with equal clarity.
Describing the breath of the pageantry during “American Life,” her most blatant political statements, images of firestorms, screaming helicopters, and wounded children flashed on video screens while dancers dressed in religious frocks (this being a Madonna show, the habits and burkas were minis) traversed a massive V-shaped catwalk above the audience. Sure it was preachy. Timely, too.
She’s traded in her bullet bra for spangled hot pants, disco beats for finger popping, and transformed “Hanky Panky” and “Deeper and Deeper” into noir numbers. Likewise, the abstract ballroom choreography of “Die Another Day’ was an elegant antidote to the rote gyrations favored by the next generation of pop stars.
A blipping, bloated take on John Lennon’s “Imagine” was the evening’s one misstep. But her heart was in the right place. And for the first time in a long time, so were all the artistic pieces.
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Explosion Rocks Madonna in New York

Pop superstar Madonna and her family were left stunned after a taxi exploded outside their New York home over the weekend. The yellow cab burst into flames and the petrol tank blew up as it pulled up outside the singer’s Upper West Side property.
Madonna, who is staying in the apartment while she performs her Reinvention Tour, was nowhere to be seen, but her husband, director Guy Ritchie, was spotted watching the action from a balcony with three-year old son Rocco and stepdaughter Lourdes. Manhattan firefighters managed to put out the fire before it spread, and no one was hurt. An onlooker says, “There was obviously something wrong with the taxi when it pulled up outside Madonna’s house. “Then smoke started pouring out of it and you could see flames coming from underneath it. A few minutes later there was a loud bang and the whole thing went on fire. It was very scary.”
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Gyrotonic is a real tonic and Madonna does it

Dancers have been using it for years. Chiropractors are starting to use it to compliment their practices. And Madonna does it, Perhaps the final stamp of approval needed for a new exercise craze to burgeon in the Western world.
Gyrotonic exercises the musculature while mobilizing and articulating the joints, simultaneously stretching and strengthening the body with minimal effort. It combines the key principles of gymnastics, swimming, ballet and yoga by working independent muscle groups in an integrated manner, according to Frank Carbone, a certified instructor who opened the first Gyrotonic studio, The Movement Center, in Boca Raton in May.
For those of you who don’t understand kinesiology mumbo jumbo, it’s a great way to get the long, lean dancer’s body that Hollywood celebrities are flaunting.
Using one primary machine, the Gyrotonic Expansion System, lengthens and tones muscles in a set of sequences similar to a dance. The System, which is built around the human body, allows for total freedom of movement, with no restriction to speed and versatility.
The best part, says Carbone, is that you’re forced to use your core muscles during every exercise, the only real way to get definition in the abs.
Every movement that you do all the time in Gyrotonic, even if it’s moving your pinky, you’re totally using your whole body and mind, said Carbone, who just returned from a training session in Germany, where he studied with Gyrotonic founder, Juliu Horvath.
It’s an exercise that is always using constant motion, said Carbone. It’s almost like a dance.
With indie rock playing in the background and the smell of incense wafting through the air, Carbone’s Boca studio is a relaxing space where he says he wants clients to play with their bodies, test their limits and find their own groove.
The one-on-one sessions are highly personalized and designed to work with everyone from the most advanced yogis to someone recovering from an injury. The arch and curl movements, which is the basis of each exercise, helps to elongate the spine, while strengthening the core.
As a professional dancer, Horvath was plagued with back and knee injuries, and designed the equipment to have a rehabilitative quality. European hospitals are already integrating Gyrotonic into their physical therapy programs, said Carbone.
It’s always becoming popular with golfers and other athletes who are looking to increase their range of motion.
Internal benefits touted by Gyrotonic include increase circulation, better coordination, draining of the lymphatic system and increased mobility in the joints and stimulation of the nervous system.
Carbone, also a certified yoga instructor, was first introduced to Gyrotonic ten years ago in New York. After falling away from the practice for several years, he decided to take a private session last year in Delray Beach.
As soon as I got on the machine and did my first arch and curl, my chest opened and my eyes opened up and I realized I had to do this, said Carbone, a singer/songwriter who loves the peaceful side of the exercise.
His clients are also getting hooked. Boca Raton pilates teacher Denise Dorney, who has been practicing Gyrotonic for four months says the exercise has been a great complement to her running and pilates.
I just feel better. I feel more open. It helps me with everything I do, with my hips and shoulders when I’m running. There’s rotation work there that I don’t get from other exercise, said Dorney.
Because she is working Gyrotonic on a more advanced level, (the exercise has seven levels), Dorney is also getting the benefits of a cardiovascular and weight training workout.
The more advanced you get, the more Frank whips you through these movements and it’s like a dance, except you’re also using weights, she said. There’s also a lot of benefits that are going on internally that I’m still learning about, but right now I love what I’m seeing on the outside. People have told me how much my body has changed in the past month.
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Goodbye Madonna, hello immaterial girl

The newly renamed Madonna has joined a long line of women drawn to spiritual life in middle age.
I always thought that Madonna would “get religion” at some point. Partly because she was raised a Catholic, and there is usually something lingering about a Catholic formation even if, like James Joyce, it later turns to passionate hostility. And partly because of her restless need to keep developing in new directions, which is often lightly described as “reinventing herself.”
The third reason that I thought Madonna — who said last week that she now wants us to call her by her Kabbalah name of Esther — would take up religion is that she is a mother, and in her 40s. You don’t expect the unattached Bridget Jones, or the average chick-lit heroine, to be drawn to the spiritual life, but it does happen to a noticeable number of more settled mothers: Suddenly, they want to transmit to their children that je ne sais quoi of a worldview with slightly more uplift than the morals and mores of reality TV.
They want to give their children values. And they quite often feel a stirring of these transcendent values themselves, at about the same time. This may be deepened when they start anxiously trying to get their progeny into faith schools. If you don’t believe me, look at the evidence, and visit a church, chapel or synagogue on a day of worship: You will find that at least two-thirds of the worshippers present are women, and 90 percent of these are mothers.
“Buddhism, the ‘religion-lite’ of so many of the stars … is a charming faith; very peaceable and calm and full of love for all living things. It allows you to affirm that your cat has a soul.”
Stalin claimed that religion was dying out because the churches were full of women, and mostly older women too: What he forgot was that the younger women would one day grow older and eventually take their places among the churchgoers. Faith is a feminine thing, and may even be a feminist one.
It is a fairly well-kept secret that feminism originally arose among religious women in the 19th century: From Hannah More and Josephine Butler in Britain to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the US, feminism was an offshoot of evangelical Christianity, and that spiritual energy still hovers.
But with Madonna-Esther, I rather thought that when she came to her inevitable spiritual awakening, she would choose something like Buddhism, the “religion-lite” of so many of the stars. Buddhism is a charming faith; very peaceable and calm and full of love for all living things. It allows you to affirm that your cat has a soul. It is also agreeably “lite” on matters of sin and transgressions, with no tiresome Ten Commandments or other heavy prohibitions.
I was surprised, thus, when Madonna first announced she was drawn to Judaism, since it is notoriously difficult to become a Jew, and real Jews seldom truly accept the converted goy. But then the lady announced, further, that her religious commitment was towards a particular kind of Jewish mysticism known as the Kabbalah. The children’s books that she has written are encoded Kabbalah messages.
Kabbalah no doubt answers that human — and specifically feminine — need for spiritual enlightenment, and “the path”, as eastern mystics call it. The word is Hebrew for “received tradition”, and the Kabbalah texts are all based on ancient Jewish sacred lore, which means that they are probably wise and sensible, being the accumulated knowledge of countless Jewish mothers telling their rabbi sons how many beans make five.
Kabbalah, however, has been somewhat rebranded and repackaged for a new age, and you can become initiated in its mysteries in 10 easy lessons for ?180 (US$327). (The Kabbalah headquarters in Britain are in Bond Street, one of the best parts of London. The property cost more than ?3 million, to which Madonna gave a hefty contribution. Financial contributions are usually part of the commitment of faith.)
There are those who express scepticism about Kabbalah’s capacity for mysticism, since much of it seems to consist of down-to-earth advice about ways of living: how to find the right man, raise children, get the best kind of job, maintain health — and then how to share.
Some think it endorses capitalism a little too warmly. There is a lot of drinking of water — water as the essence of life and symbol of blessing features in all semitic faiths, including Christianity — and there is religious jewelery, like pretty rosary beads.
Some go further than skepticism, and criticize Kabbalah as a cult. The Jewish British TV personality Esther Rantzen has claimed that her own daughter was at one point near to being exploited by the Kabbalah “cult.”
But if Madonna herself feels — now, apparently supported by her husband, Guy Ritchie, in this movement — that Kabbalah has given her enlightenment and supplied her with “creative guidance,” fair play to her. For many women, some form of religious sensibility is what gets them through the night, and helps them lead the examined life, too.
Annie Besant campaigned with Charles Bradlaugh for atheism and birth control, but afterwards turned to theosophy. Sylvia Pank-hurst became a Catholic in later life. Nora Joyce went along with her husband’s insistent secularism while he was alive, but once he died she quietly went back to church and devotions. It’s a girl thing, you see.
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Madonna reveals raunchy routine

Pop queen Madonna has developed a saucy post-show ritual, she massages and bathes her director husband Guy Ritchie to help her unwind. The American Life singer – currently trekking around the world on her Reinvention Tour – admits she relies on her raunchy bathroom antics to help her get to sleep after her stage show. She says: “Guy’s waiting for me to come home and give him a massage. He talks to me in the bathtub, though. “That’s my ritual. I come home and get in the bathtub and he talks to me.”
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Bill Clinton gives preference to VIP’s!

Bill Clinton may just have lost himself a few readers after he reportedly angered 2000 fans who were waiting in line to get his signature on their copies of his recently released autobiography “My Life,” by giving preferential treatment to VIP’s. According to The New York Daily News, VIP’s were allowed to skip the line and even personally escorted in some cases. His VIP list also included Madonna’s Re-Invention tour crew. The former president has now come under fire for his hypocritical behavior, as he had claimed that he represented the common American citizen, while he was fighting the elections. “I stand for all the people who do the work, pay the taxes, raise the kids and play by the rules the hardworking Americans who make up our forgotten middle class,” Clinton had reportedly said at he 1992 Democratic Convention.
source : ani