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Madonna News - November 2006

Madonna won two Billboard Touring Awards

Madonna won the top boxscore award for her $22 million, eight-sellout stand at London’s Wembley Arena on her Confessions tour, while Madonna’s team of Guy Oseary and Angela Becker won the top manager award.
source : billboard

Madonna ‘Confessions Tour’ Taps STEELE For Massive Show-Open Video

Leading digital studio, STEELE, completed work on a colossal show open music video for the Madonna Confessions Tour that recently swept the globe. The eight-plus minute video extravaganza features the singer performing on stage, accented by seven giant screens placed throughout the arena, and introduces the audience to Madonna’s new song, Future Lovers. NBC will air the concert, titled ‘Live to Tell’, later this month.

As the arena lights dim to open the concert, an eerie underscore kicks up, and the video screens flicker to life. On screen, Madonna stoically strolls through a dimly lit horse stable before turning to the camera with the spoken-word opening of her hit song. “I’m gonna tell you about love,” she proclaims, “Let’s forget your life.Come with me,” she whispers.

“Aside from the artistic demands for such a creative project, the logistical issues of the show’s innovative video interaction made for a complex post process,” said Jerry Steele, co-founder and supervising visual effects artist, STEELE. “There are multiple streams of video that play back at once on the giant screens, some of which physically move to form a single picture at a precise moment. You literally can’t be off by one pixel or frame.”

One of the most striking visual effects sequences involves a pair of scenes in which horses rise from the earth at the beginning of the video and descend into the ground at the conclusion. Monique Eissing was STEELE’s lead visual effects artist on the job. “One horse was filmed in multiple plates, each with very specific framing requirements,” explained Eissing. “I created and composited new, single pieces of land and sky so I could line up the horses as desired while not repeating the patterns of each plate. And, because there was dust blowing in the air, a desired design element, the challenge was to comp in new dust and create seamless connecting points among the plates so that it all looks like one shot.”

Even before Madonna’s live introduction, the opening video takes center stage, as she interacts with horses on screen and performs a hypnotic dance in the stable. While the audience is busy watching the screens, a giant disco ball descends to the end of a catwalk that extends deep into the arena seats. The disco ball opens like a flower, and out steps the ultimate ringmaster, Madonna, riding crop in hand, singing in front of the beautiful images on the screens.

“I feel very privileged to have worked on this project,” added Eissing. “It was one of the most original and challenging jobs I’ve ever been involved with.”

Acclaimed fashion photographer/director Steven Klein directed the Future Lovers video (via DNA), which was the offspring of his exclusive photo shoot for W magazine, coinciding with the release of Madonna’s new album, Confessions on a Dance Floor.

The offline was handled by Clark Eddy using Apple’s Final Cut Pro. Stefan Sonnenfeld of Company 3 provided color grading for the video.

Brian Adler, STEELE’s executive producer / creative director, commented on the collaboration involved in the massive undertaking. “Future Lovers was a true group effort among some of the most creative people in the world: Jamie King’s show design, Jean Paul Gaultier’s costumes, Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography, Steven Klein’s amazing photographic eye, Clark Eddy’s visually complex cutting, and of course, Madonna as the inspiration to everyone. We’re honored to work among such world-class company. Creating the visual effects and putting together all the pieces was an incredible experience, and seeing it come to life in front of a live audience was a huge thrill for all of us at STEELE.”

STEELE conformed more than 50 percent of the program in Final Cut Pro while completing the rest of the conform and effects shots on the Quantel eQ and Henry.

The Confessions Tour kicked off on May 31 in Los Angeles.

Confessions Tour Director: Jamie King
DP: Janusz Kaminski
Costumes: Jean Paul Gaultier and Arianne Phillips

“Future Lovers”
Director: Steven Klein
Producer: Hagai Shaham
Production Co: DNA
Editor: Clark Eddy
Offline Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors

Post Prod: STEELE
Editing/Effects: Monique Eissing
Executive Producer/Creative Director: Brian Adler
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld, Company 3

source : musicvideoswire

2 Malawian Officials Praise Madonna

Two senior Malawian officials have praised Madonna for adopting a child from their country – and rebuked those who have criticized the pop star.
Madonna’s efforts to adopt a motherless 13-month-old boy, David Banda, from the African country have set off a media storm. The 48-year-old singer and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, who have a home in London, were granted an interim adoption order by Malawi’s High Court last month.
Some critics have said it would have been better for the child if Madonna had helped his impoverished father, Yohane Banda, to care for him in Malawi. Madonna has said Banda refused her offer of financial assistance to help him keep his son.
“What Madonna has done is great,” said Education Minister Anna Kachikho during a visit Thursday to a school in the Scottish capital.
“Here is Madonna who has picked a son from a Malawian father who has lost a wife and nobody takes care of, and she says, ‘I would like to educate and bring home that child.’
“I’m against whatever people are saying against Madonna, if there is credit to give we should credit Madonna because she is saving the life of this young David. Why condemn Madonna? … We should thank Madonna,” she said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Joyce Banda – no relation to the boy – said Madonna’s charity, Raising Malawi, had helped several thousand children in the southeast African nation.
“On top of all that she has opened up her home to this one child. So it’s not just about David, it’s about her reaching out to Africa, to a country called Malawi, to empower 4,000 children which not many people have done,” Banda said. “So the Malawi government is grateful.”
The ministers were attending the launch of two Scottish-led training programs aimed at helping teachers from Malawi.
source : ap

Madonna on Billboard Charts – 11182006

Top Electronic Albums :
07 (07) Madonna – Confessions On A Dance Floor

Hot 100 Singles Sales :
03 (–) Madonna – Jump (NEW)
25 (30) Madonna – Get Together
43 (44) Madonna – Sorry
46 (–) Madonna – Hung Up (Re-entry)

Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
27 (27) Madonna – Jump

Hot Dance Music/Club Play
01 (02) Madonna – Jump

Dance Radio Airplay :
01 (01) Madonna – Jump

Hot Dance Singles Sales :
08 (08) Madonna – Get Together
12 (14) Madonna – Hung Up
14 (12) Madonna – Sorry

Madonna bruised by paparazzi

Madonna is sporting a bruise on her cheek after getting jostled by the paparazzi at Heathrow airport over the weekend – while she was holding her adoptive son, David, a source close to the singer tells People.
“She had the baby in her arms when it happened,” says the source. “When she landed in London, there was a lot of pushing and shoving. She was jostled around. She got hit in the paparazzi’s commotion.”
David, the 1-year-old she is in the process of adopting from Malawi, was not hurt in the scuffle. “Thank God the baby is OK,” says the source.
Over the weekend Madonna returned to London from New York, where she’d spent the week promoting her newest children’s book, Too Good to Be True, and her upcoming NBC TV special Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live from London, as well making several media appearances to respond the controversy surrounding David’s adoption.
source : people

Alicia Keys supports Madonna adoption

Alicia Keys has voiced her support for Madonna’s attempt to adopt Malawian David Banda – and believes celebrities have a important part to play in the fight against poverty. The ‘Fallin” star, who hosts her annual Black Ball charity gig in New York on Thursday, was disappointed by the backlash Madonna received following her decision to adopt the 13-month-old last month. She says, “I think (it’s) horrible, and I think (it) really degrades and tries to discourage people who do have a voice, who do have power, who do have money, who do have the ability to reach out to people and get involved in situations. “I do think that it has become more on people’s radars, whereas before it kind of came across as, ‘Oh, it’s so far away.’ It’s really positive to know that it is a global community. “That’s why when I speak and I use my voice, I like to emphasize the way that everyday people like you and me can really be a huge hero.” The Black Ball, which raises money for HIV and AIDS sufferers, will feature performances by Keys, David Bowie and Damian Marley.
source : contactmusic

Madonna: Abba is so fabba

Madonna has helped write the sleeve notes for the Abba Greatest Hits album, out yesterday.
She says of the Swedish supergroup: “Abba’s timeless music continues to inspire me. It’s joyous. Standing still when you hear Abba is impossible.
“When I started recording my Confessions On A Dance Floor album, Stuart Price (her producer) and I played their music constantly.
“Hung Up is my homage to their contribution to music.”?
My own confession is a guilty love for Abba – who have to be the best pop act of all time.
But I’m in good company. They are also Noel Gallagher’s favourite group.
source : thesun

Madonna nominated for 2 “Premios Principales 2006

Madonna is nominated for Best International Artist (Mejor artista internacional) and Best International Song (Mejor canciA3n internacional, for “Hung Up”) in the “Premios Principales 2006”. Click here to vote.
source : hec from madonnanation

Brad Pitt on Madonna’s adoption

Brad was asked about the furore surrounding Madonna’s adoption of Malawian baby David Banda and unsurprisingly he is backing Madge all the way.
He said: “They are trying to give a kid a home and education who probably wouldn’t get that and good health care.
Pitt, who worked with Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie in Snatch, says he is sure they had the best intentions when they gave the boy a home.
source : itn

Time Magazine’s Interview with Madonna (Full)

The Empress Strikes Back
Madonna, facing criticism about her new son, comes out swinging

On Oct. 12, Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, were granted temporary custody of a 13-month-old Malawian orphan named David Banda. This sparked a storm of accusations, ranging from the criminalthat Madonna used her fame to bypass adoption proceduresto the scathingthat Madonna is a dilettante, treating an African child as this season’s must-have accessory. The legal issue has been laid to restno laws were violatedbut Madonna still had plenty to get off her chest in a rare print interview with TIME’s Josh Tyrangiel.

TIME: Why do you think people are so upset by the fact that you adopted a Malawian child?

Madonna: People or the media? Because I don’t think people really give a shit. But when you throw in things like, I’m a celebrity and I somehow got special treatment, or make the implication of kidnapping, it gets mixed into a stew and it sells lots of papers. But care? People don’t care and the media certainly doesn’t care. What they should care about is that there are over a million orphans in Malawi, and following me around is just a gross misappropriation of attention and money. But I do think there’s a certain amount of nationalism and racism thrown in there. I mean, there’s a lot of Britsreporters on the streetwho’ve said, “Why don’t you adopt a kid from Britain?” Or, “Why did you adopt a black child?” So a lot of people’s hangups and ‘isms’ are sort of mixed into this, too. It’s just kind of a cocktail for disaster in terms of media perception.

One of the ‘isms’ that you’re frequently accused of is dilletantism. You’re new to Africa and these issues and there’s a perception that you’re jumping on a bandwagon, and bringing a child into it, too.

Well that’s not my problem. I don’t care. I could know about the situation for two weeks and want to do something about it or I could know about it for years and deliberate on a plan of action. Which is better? That I found out about an issue and instantly wanted to take action, or that it took me years to get my shit together? Look, I could have joined the U.N. and become an ambassador and visited various countries and just kind of showed up and smiled and looked concerned. But that’s not getting to the root of the problemand by the way, neither is building orphan care centers and giving people food and medicine. But it’s a start. I’m saving people’s lives. And whether I have earned the right to do it, or the respect of people who think I may not have the right to do it, is completely and utterly irrelevant. And in any event, no, I’m not interested in going in there like a dilettante and being an idiot and going ‘Ok, I’m going to build 10 orphanages and I’ll see you guys later!’

So this is a lifetime commitment?

Absolutely. I’m starting with Malawi. It’s a small, peaceful country, so I feel like it’s a safe place to start. And if it works, I’ll expand. But it is the beginning and I know I’m going to get a lot of criticism and take a lot of shit for it, and it’s kind of like, Go ahead, haze me, have a laugh, and come back and talk to me in five years.

You’ve been through other hazing periods in your career. Is this one different than…

Yeah, because a life is at stake. And in all those other hazing periods people were just trying to f*ck with me. Now they’re going into a village and terrorizing innocent people who live simple lives, terrorizing the father, terrorizing the children that I already have. There are a lot of people who are indirectly being effected by it. That’s the difference.

You met Mr. Banda once, in a courtroom. What did you say to him?

Obviously when you’re sitting across from the father it’s really heart wrenching. He was looking down at the ground all the time and I felt so bad for him. I said, ‘I feel for you and I want what’s best for David. So if you want him, I don’t want to take your son from you. I just want to save his life. I can’t live in Malawi. I can’t move my family here. He would have to come and live with me and I would raise him as a son. But there’s another option. I can just give you money, and you can raise him.’ And he said no. But he still had a very hangdog expression, which crushed me. It was very confusing, and I’m sure he was very confused. Look, his wife dies, his other three children die, the guy’s been grieving and been through hell. He gives his last son to an orphanage at the age of two weeks… to a certain extent he was ready to move on with his life. Then suddenly I show up and someone from the village says ‘Hey, this white woman’he didn’t know who I was’wants to adopt your child!’ And once the press got involved everyone said Oh God, now we better cross our t’s and dot our i’s to make sure we actually aren’t jumping queues, because we’re going to be scrutinized. So the process became extremely tedious and the court dates kept changing and we kept getting conflicting information. It became so difficult that every day I thought, ‘Ok, forget it. We’ll find a family here to look after him.’ Meanwhile I had been given permission to take him to my hotel because I had to take him to a clinic to get chest x-rays and a proper medical examination to see why he wasn’t breathing properly. And I just keep thinking, ‘Oh god, I don’t want to get too attached because what if it doesn’t happen?’ It was all very strange and weird, and I’d go to bed every night and think ok, whether someone else ends up looking after him or you end up looking after him, he’s better off now than he was. But it was one f*cking thing after the next, everywhere we went. So the idea that people think I got a shortcut or an easy ride is absolutely ludicrous. I have never worked so hard for anything in my life, and I’ve never been given such a hard time. And my celebrity has worked against me in every way… And by the way, say I did cut the queue? Say I did cheat and not have to wait two years to adopt a child? Well good for me! Do you know how many children are going to die in the next two years? It’s a stupid law. Change the law.

Do you worry at all that you’ve saved this child from physical misery…

From death. Death. He would not have lived.

Ok. But do you worry that you’ve saved him only to introduce him to a much more abstract kind of misery? There were hordes of photographers documenting his arrival in England.

Well my other children are exposed to that and they’re not miserable. I think I have a very good life, and a good life to offer David. You know, it’s like the old saying, civil rights don’t mean shit if you’re dead. Even if I’m the worst mother in the world, I’m still better than death! [laughs]

Is being Madonna still as fun as it used to be?

Fun? Oh, I don’t know. Fun. [Several second pause] Fun’s kind of an overrated word. I’m not sure what you mean by that. Do I enjoy aspects of my life? Because what being Madonna isare you talking about my professional career?

All of it.

Well, I do get joy out of it. It’s not smooth sailing by any means, but I enjoy a great deal of it, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. But I also know that if you’re going to try and change thingschange anything reallyyou’d better be prepared to find yourself in the headquarters of hell. That’s just how it works. But with resistance comes growth. If you go to a gym and lift weights and its easy then your muscles aren’t going to grow. Your muscles grow because you’re struggling against something.

Do you enjoy the resistance as much as you used to?

Sometimes. Sometimes I do. There is a part of me that is secretly enjoying pissing people off, because I know that when you’re pissing people off you’re often doing the right thing. What I hope I’m doing better now than I used to do is picking the right battles to fight, and not just being provocative for the sake of being provocative.

source :

Madonna burning up streets

Since arriving in New York on Monday to promote her new children’s book – and defend her adoption of a 13-month-old urchin from Malawi – the Material Mom has been acting like a speed freak.
She’s ordered her chauffeurs – one a retired cop whose brother is a state senator – to leave the paparazzi in the dust.
As a result, the drivers are breaking every rule – using fake police lights and flashers, zooming through red lights, making illegal U-turns and burning rubber on major thoroughfares.
In fact, Post reporter Marianne Garvey watched Madonna’s drivers zip through 40 red lights in four days as startled pedestrians shook their fists in anger.
One driver, who identified himself only as Abel, explained, “Some days she gets in back and says, ‘Abel, I don’t want to be followed’ – and I know what to do.”
“She enjoys this,” he added. “She likes it when we do bad things.”
Madonna has a right to be wary. She’s regularly followed by three paparazzi on bicycles, two on motorbikes and others in three cars. Still, state law specifies that only law-enforcement and government vehicles are allowed to use lights and sirens.
The star’s lead driver is Patrick Golden, a retired police officer whose brother is also an ex-cop, State Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn. The caravan consists of two enormous jet-black SUVs, a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Cadillac Escalade. Both have black-tinted windows to keep the superstar safe from prying eyes.
The Tahoe, driven by Golden, has a siren and flashing lights. It leads the way while Madonna rides in the Escalade, sometimes accompanied by two bodyguards.
She’s hardly the first person to think she owns the road. In February 2004, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the lights and sirens removed from the cars of more than 250 city officials after Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Roman was caught using her lights and sirens to beat traffic. The penalties range from traffic-violation fines of $375 to $750 to arrest for impersonating a cop.
source : nypost

Bono praises mother Madonna

Rock superstar Bono has backed Madonna’s controversial adoption of a needy African child, saying “I think it’s really great”.
The U2 singer, who is also perhaps the best-known anti-poverty campaigner in the world, has praised Madonna and her husband Guy Richie for the adoption of David Banda, a child from Malawi.
“I’m very happy that Madonna should offer succour and more than that to a young boy,” Bono said. “He’s got a great opportunity now.”
Bono, who is in Australia for U2’s Vertigo tour, revealed he and his wife were once offered an African child by a father desperate for his son to have a better life, but they were unable to take him home. Bono said the child, whose face haunts him to this day, is the reason he began campaigning for African poverty relief.
“One of the most profound moments I’ve had, one of the reasons I think I’m doing what I’m doing, was because in the 1980s I was working with my wife Ali in an orphanage in northern Ethiopia,” he said.
“On the last day, a man came to me with me with his son and offered his son to me, by saying ‘if you don’t take my son, he will surely die. If you take him, you can give him a great life’.
“I could tell this man loved his son, he was a very noble-looking man, and it was ripping his heart to say this. And I didn’t, I did not take that [boy].
“It was not the rules of engagement in the camp we were working in, we couldn’t do that. It’s strange, because I can’t remember the boy’s name, but I think about him all the time.
“Oddly enough, when people ask me ‘why are you doing that’ [the activism, the campaigning], his face comes back.”
Bono said he and Ali had an emotional moment in their Dublin kitchen a few weeks ago, when prints from their first-ever African trip (which were being used for a new book) revealed a photo of the boy.
“I didn’t know I even had a photograph of him,” said Bono, who was openly emotional about the discovery of the picture.
“So I’m very happy that Madonna should offer succour and more than that to a young boy. He’s got a great opportunity now.
“There’s so many children in the world – there’s really enough to go around.”
Madonna has come under fire for taking the Malawi boy back to Britain. But the singer said she had been astounded by the criticism.
The support from Bono, who has an in-depth knowledge of African health and social issues, is a much-needed endorsement for the singer’s actions.
Bono, who is due to perform at U2’s opening Australian concert in Brisbane on Tuesday night, also revealed the band was planning a new album. “I think a U2 album will not be that far away, I hope,” he said. “We’ve hit the vein, I think.”
source :