Madonna hopes to have her next feature-length documentary ready to debut at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. A sequel of sorts to “Truth or Dare,” the film chronicles her current Reinvention Tour and the “new” Madonna, among other things. Director Jonas Akerlund (“American Life,” “Ray of Light”) said that after each night’s concert, he heads back to his hotel room to start editing, because the amount of footage he’s collected so far is massive “
Madonna’s Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the most visually magnificent of her three children’s books, but the dreary and inappropriate story is lackluster and verbose. The luscious, wonderfully ornate illustrations, which convey a sense of 18th-century Ukraine, were created by the prolific and gifted Russian-born artist Gennady Spirin, who has illustrated 33 children’s books and won a number of prizes.
Putting the name of the illustrator on the cover of a children’s book is a traditional practice when the illustrator and writer are two different people.
Apparently, however, when one has an ego fatter than the onion domes topping Moscow’s skyline, giving credit to others isn’t part of the program. Spirin, like the illustrators of Madonna’s previous two books, must settle for having his name listed on the book’s title page.
Ego also plays a huge part in this moralistic tale. We’re not talking about the ego of the characters. They are far too underdeveloped for that. It’s the ego of Madonna, who apparently sees herself as destined to improve the world’s moral tone.
The tale involves a dying little boy named Mikhail whose desperate father, the cobbler Yakov, and distraught mother, Olga, consult doctors but cannot find a cure. In desperation, Yakov visits a wise old man who claims that his prayers are powerful enough to pass through heaven’s gates. When this doesn’t happen, the old man has his grandson, Pavel, gather the village’s pickpockets, thieves and other criminals. When this gang prays, the little boy miraculously recovers.
Unfortunately, Madonna violates several rules of children’s literature, including don’t be wordy and keep it appropriate. And parents will enjoy explaining the occupation of one particular character: an arsonist. Most of all, get off your high horse, Madame Morality. This tale is humorless and heavy-handed.
In fairness, Madonna did write an appealing children’s book with her first, The English Roses, published in 2003.
She writes best when drawing upon personal experience. Roses effectively explored the difficult situation of being a motherless girl snubbed by her peers.
Her second book was weaker. Mr. Peabody’s Apples addressed gossip and lies. A cloying stench of self-pity about the media’s obsession with Mrs. Ritchie could be detected. Not that Madonna “
Callaway Arts & Entertainment is pleased to announce the release today of Madonna’s third book for children, Yakov and the Seven Thieves.
Madonna’s first two children’s books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody’s Apples , both debuted at No. 1 on the children’s picture book best-seller list of The New York Times , and remained on the list for 18 and 10 weeks, respectively. International bestsellers, the books are hugely popular in countries as diverse as England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Taiwan, Brazil, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Spanish-language editions of all of the books are widely available in the U.S.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves , written for readers aged six and up, is a 32-page jacketed hardcover. The book’s ornate and evocative images were painted by Gennady Spirin, an award-winning and internationally revered artist, who has illustrated 33 previous children’s books.
Madonna says Yakov and the Seven Thieves “is 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.”
Publisher and CEO of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Nicholas Callaway says, “ Yakov and the Seven Thieves again proves the amazing range of Madonna’s storytelling talent. Her first book was set in contemporary England and the second in post-World War II America. Now, she takes us to a completely different cultural milieu—a small 18th-century town in Eastern Europe. We therefore selected a world-renowned Russian artist, Gennady Spirin, to illustrate this book, because his traditional artistic style perfectly complements the old-world setting of the story.”
Madonna’s list of publishers continues to grow. Her children’s books will be released in 38 languages, plus a Braille edition, and in more than 110 countries.
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, headquartered in New York, is the originating publisher of Madonna’s children’s books and has licensed book rights through The Wylie Agency to 42 distinguished houses, including Gallimard Jeunesse in France, Penguin Books for Young Readers in the U.K., and Hanser Verlag in Germany. The book is distributed in the United States by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media—book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design.
The highest production standards mark the creation of Yakov and the Seven Thieves , which features premium paper and state-of-the art digital prepress and printing.
There are over 50,000 retail stores carrying Madonna’s books in the United States alone, including Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, BJ’s, Books-A-Million, Borders Group, Costco, Hastings, Musicland Group, Sam’s Club, Scholastic School Fairs and Book Clubs, Target, Toys “R” Us, Virgin Megastores, and Waldenbooks, among many others. Online stores include Amazon.com and bn.com.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the third of five children’s books by Madonna. “Each book deals with issues that all children confront,” says the author. “Hopefully there is a lesson in each book that will help kids turn painful or scary situations into learning experiences. I hope [they] inspire kids of all ages—even grown-up ones.”
As with the previous two titles, Yakov and the Seven Thieves will be launched with a major international media campaign, including television appearances and special events. Madonna’s interview with Cynthia McFadden appeared on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, June 19. A portion of the interview will also be telecast on Good Morning America on Monday, June 21.
Madonna spins another lesson-teaching yarn in her third picture book for children ‘(even grown-up ones),’ this time drawing inspiration from an 18th-century Ukrainian teacher for a tale about overcoming selfishness to help others.
Paired with ornate, awe-inspiring illustrations by award winner Gennady Spirin, the author’s tale – ‘dedicated to naughty children everywhere’ – centers on a cobbler, Yakov, who looks toward a wise man to help cure his deathly ill son.
Although the wise man’s prayers alone cannot help Yakov, the cobbler’s sincerity drives the old man to round up seven of the town’s thieves and scoundrels, including the malodorous Stinky Pasha and a one-legged rascal named Ivan the Arsonist.
When a surprising group effort leads to the son’s recovery, an explanation from the wise man reveals the miraculous reason, giving a jubilant Yakov and us readers plenty to ponder.
In her first children’s book with a pre-20th-century setting, Madonna combines storytelling resourcefulness with a non-Western theme for a read that will sit comfortably alongside her previous two books.
Without a doubt, Spirin’s artwork is the tour de force here, bringing to life Ukrainian landscapes and culture in a way that reflects the artist’s remarkable attention to detail.
For those who enjoyed The English Roses and Mr. Peabody’s Apples, this story, which follows a familiar format of old-fashioned fables, makes a fine addition to your Madonna ‘literary’ collection.
source : barnes & noble
Word on the street is, Madonna’s grown up.
Her latest children’s book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, due out tomorrow, isn’t quite what you’d expect from a star known for racy club queen antics and concerts with as much shock value as singing. But if you know anything about the 45-year-old pop chameleon, you know you can’t put a label on her .
(In fact, as she revealed Friday, you can’t even just call her Madonna any more. A follower of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, she’s adopted the name Esther as her religious name.)
The book’s release coincides with Madonna’s aptly named Reinvention tour, one buzzed about for its lack of carnal content and abundance of political symbolism.
The slim, $19.95 hardback from Callaway Arts & Entertainment features a colorful cast of characters, enhanced by Russian artist Gennady Spirin’s ornate and lively illustrations.
For starters, there’s Yakov, a humble shoemaker overwhelmed by the beauty of his 18th-century eastern European village and the sorrow of his young son’s illness.
Add a miracle-working old man, his young grandson and seven lively criminals – including Stinky Pasha (smells like the horses he steals) and Boris the Barefoot Midget (pint-sized pickpocket who’s afraid of the dark) – and what results is a tender, albeit peculiar, tale of how to make a miracle happen.
The moral lies in the thieves’ ability to heal Yakov’s son through prayer, even when the nameless, magical old man is stopped short by heaven’s locked gates. A blurb from Madonna inside the front cover is gently profound: “When we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others. We must never forget that hidden behind a large amount of darkness is a large amount of light.”
But don’t be fooled. Even though Madonna has shifted to humble advice-giver, Yakov and the Seven Thieves – the third in her series of five children’s books – won’t make its way modestly into bookstores. A major international media campaign will accompany the release, beginning with interviews on 20/20 and Good Morning America.
Publisher Nicholas Callaway said the media attention comes from Madonna’s success and talent. “Her first two books have been global best sellers,” he said . “She has an unusual gift for communicating with people.”
Callaway might just be right. Her books, promoted as “stories for children of all ages (even grown-up ones),” the singer’s tales clearly appeal to readers. In Yakov, she aims to capture some universal elements of humanity – vulnerability, honesty and even dishonesty.
“This is a well-told story that has a timeless message,” Callaway said. “I hope it will be not only as well-received, but as popular as the first two books.”
Those books, The English Roses (September 2003) and Mr. Peabody’s Apples (November 2003), are available in 38 languages, plus a Braille edition, and in more than 110 countries. The English Roses was a New York Times best seller for 18 weeks, and Mr. Peabody’s Apples remained on the list for 10 weeks.
Two more books are already in the works. The Adventures of Abdi is scheduled to hit shelves in November. The other book, due out next April, at least suggests that the old Material Girl hasn’t completely vanished. Its title: Lotsa de Casha.
source : baltimore sun
Madonna bent over backward – literally – to give a crowd-pleasing performance at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, but she still wasn’t happy.
The singer, who’s been hounded by rumors of ill-health after canceling her first tour date due to the flu and reports of backstage fainting spells, didn’t get a wink of sleep Wednesday night.
The Material Mom showed up for preshow preparations on Thursday in a “really foul mood,” according to a backstage source.
But her dancers, who started rehearsing for the tour with the famously perfectionist performer back in March, celebrated anyway. They held a private party at Show on Thursday night while a camera crew captured their off-stage antics for “Truth or Dare 2,” a sequel to the infamous 1991 rockumentary.
source : NYPost
Madonna has said US President George Bush and ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein are alike because ‘they are both behaving in an irresponsible manner’.
She pulled the anti-war video for her American Life single last year because there was a ‘lynch-mob’ patriotism in the US at the time, she told ABC News.
‘I have children to protect and I just didn’t think it was the right time.’
Madonna’s American Life video depicted Mr Bush kissing Saddam Hussein, and her tour has a strong anti-war message.
During the US interview Madonna tried to draw a line under her wild days, vowing to be ‘part of the order, not the chaos, of the world’.
She said: ‘The stance of a rebel is ‘I don’t care what you think’. But if it’s just for the sake of upsetting the apple cart, you’re not really helping people.’
‘You turn the apple cart over and then what? Then everyone’s looking at an apple cart that’s turned over and they’re like, well, now what do I do?’
The 45-year-old mother-of-two said her days of shedding her clothes on stage or in front of the camera are also over.
‘I thought I was liberating mankind but, like I said, I wasn’t really offering an alternative.’
‘To a certain extent I was saying ‘Look, you know, why do men only get the job of objectifying women in a sexual way? I want to do it too.’
‘There was an element of that, but there was also an element of being an exhibitionist and saying ‘look at me’. It wasn’t that altruistic. I can admit that.’
Madonna – who was named after her mother – said she now wanted to be called Esther as part of her following of the Kabbalah religious teachings.
‘My mother died when she was very young of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to another name,’ she said.
‘This is in no way a negation of who my mother is. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name.’
source : BBC
Madonna will appear in a taped interview on Friday’s edition of 20/20 with Cynthia McFadden – where she talks about her tour, her family life, Kabbalah and explains why she has taken on the Hebrew name of Esther.
Madonna, the master of self-invention, has come a long way since her ‘Material Girl’ days. While she has no regrets about her moves on her climb to pop diva status, she tells ABC News’ 20/20, ‘I brought a lot of chaos to people’s lives, because of my selfish behavior.’
In her latest incarnation, the wife, mother, children’s book author and still-touring pop star says the ruling philosophy in her home is ‘pick up your s–t.’
Madonna may have made a career on rebellion, irreverence and sexually charged performance, but when it comes to her children, manners are important. ‘Even my children have to clean up their mess, clean up their rooms. Manners, thank you, please, take your dishes to the sink. I mean….gratitude, being grateful, that is, that has to happen….If it’s traditional to be a decent human being, then I’m traditional,’ she told ABC News’ Cynthia McFadden.
Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie in 2000. They have a son together, 4-year-old Rocco, and Madonna has a 7-year-old daughter, Lourdes, whose father is Madonna’s former personal trainer, Carlos Leon.
Madonna says her favorite aspect of getting older is ‘getting smarter’ and gives a rare glimpse of her private life with Ritchie. She tells McFadden she believes the key step to a successful marriage is ‘learning to apologize.’ She also shares one of the couple’s daily rituals, saying that after her grueling performances, she goes in the tub and her husband talks to her about the day.
Madonna also speaks candidly with McFadden about her study of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbala, which she believes is ‘incredibly punk rock’ and anti-establishment.
‘Kabbalists believe in immortality. They believe that you can overcome death, overcome illness, whatever, so, it’s….incredibly good to be a rebel,’ she said.
Madonna also reveals that she has also taken on the Hebrew name of Esther, explaining that, ‘I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to another name. This is in no way a negation of who my mother is. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name.’
Madonna also discusses her third and latest foray into children’s literature, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, which hits bookstores June 21.
Madonna has dedicated the book to ‘naughty children everywhere,’ saying that, ‘Even the naughtiest person in the world, big or small, has the capability to do something good in the world.’
Describing herself as ‘naughty child, number one,’ she espouses the power of prayer. ‘I pray every day and I believe that it is a very powerful way to communicate, to heal, to affect change.’
20/20 will also air exclusive footage from Madonna’s Reinvention tour, which comes to New York City’s Madison Square Garden today.
Watch Cynthia McFadden’s exclusive interview with Madonna on 20/20 Friday night at 10 p.m.
source : abcnews
Assuming a newly modest public image more in keeping with that of a nice Jewish girl than a “Material Girl,” pop star Madonna says she has adopted the Hebrew name of Esther.
The Catholic-bred singer/actress said in an ABC News “20/20” interview airing on Friday that her identification with the Biblical queen celebrated in the Jewish festival of Purim stems in part from her adherence to the study of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah.
The performer, born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, recalled that she was very young when her mother, for whom she was named, died of cancer.
“I wanted to attach myself to another name,” she said according to excerpts from the interview released by ABC on Thursday. “This is in no way a negation of who my mother is. … I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name.”
The 45-year-old mother of two also insisted that despite her celebrated MTV awards kiss with Britney Spears, she has moved beyond the raunchy pop vixen image first cultivated two decades ago in such music-video hits as “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl.”
“I did spend, you know, at least a decade taking my clothes off and being photographed, saying bad words on TV, and, you know, that sort of thing,” she told ABC’s Cynthia McFadden. “I don’t regret it, but it’s just … I mean everybody takes their clothes off now. And then what? You know? And — and then what?”
Acknowledging that her association with Kabbalah has drawn criticism in some quarters as a celebrity trend, Madonna said her practice of it is sincere.
“I’m a little bit irritated that people think that it’s like some celebrity bandwagon that I’ve jumped on,” she said. “I’m very serious about it.”
As for day-to-day life on the domestic front, the wife of British director Guy Ritchie said one of her biggest mantras of motherhood has been: “Pick up your s–t.”
“Even my children have to clean up their mess, clean up their rooms,” she said. “Manners, ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ ‘take your dishes to the sink.’ I mean … gratitude, being grateful — that is — that has to happen. .. If it’s traditional to be a decent human being, then I’m traditional.”
source : CNN
The supporting acts for Madonna’s show at Slane Castle on 29 August have been named by the promoters ww.mcd.ie as The Darkness, Iggy & The Stooges and Paul Oakenfold. More acts are to be announced soon.
source : madonnalicious.com
She might still be a Material Girl, but Madonna’s no longer a Maverick.
Ending a nasty legal battle over the future of her Maverick Records, Madonna and Warner Bros. have reached a deal that removes her from control of the label she cofounded 12 years ago.
Madonna and her partners, Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev, teamed up with Warners to form Maverick, essentially a vanity label for Madonna to play music mogul. Madonna, Oseary and Dashev controlled 60 percent, while Warners owned the remaining 40.
Despite some huge early success with Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill and a roster that now includes Michelle Branch, Maverick has struggled of late.
With the partnership deal due to expire this year, Madonna and her two pals reportedly tried to sell their stake in Maverick to Warner Bros. for $60 million. But those talks fell apart and in March Madonna & Co. filed a $200 million lawsuit accusing Warner Music and parent company Time Warner of breach of contract, gross mismanagement and creative accounting.
Warners in turn launched its own lawsuit against Madonna, Oseary and Dashev, claiming Maverick was a poorly run black hole sucking to the tune of $66 million in red ink since 1999. Warners said Madonna and her partners would have to cough up close to $100 million if they wanted sole control of Maverick.
Monday’s deal scotches the dueling lawsuits. Terms of the payouts were not disclosed, but reports say that Warners bought out Madonna for less than the $20 million she initially sought.
Under the new deal, Madonna will have no say in Maverick, but she will keep recording for Warner Bros., her home base since 1984. Warners also bought out the shares controlled by Dashev, who was Maverick’s chief operating officer. Oseary will keep his shares and stay aboard as the label’s A&R chief.
“This new joint venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick,” Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen said in a statement.
In the same press release, Oseary thanked Madonna and Dashev and said he welcomed “the new independent spirit at Warner Music.” (The label was acquired in November by an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr.)
There was no immediate comment from Madonna, who is in the midst of her re-Invention Tour in support of her underwhelming latest disc, American Life.
Even without Maverick to worry about, Madonna still has plenty of extracurricular activities to amuse her. Aside from the touring, recording and child-rearing, she is getting ready to publish her next two Kabbalah-flavored kiddie books, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, due out next week, and The Adventures of Abdi, slated for release Nov. 8.
source : eonline.com
THE wait was officially over for Madonna fans today as the queen of pop’s first-ever Irish concert was officially confirmed.
The Material Girl is to stage her much-anticipated concert at Slane Castle in Co Meath on Sunday, August 29.
There had been much speculation that Madonna would bring her re-Invention World Tour to these shores.
Although it was widely known that she was being lined up for the gig, promoters MCD/Wonderland refused to confirm it.
However, a spokesman said the tour would now go ahead, subject to license.
He said it was common for tickets to go on sale prior to a final decision being made on licensing.
Tickets for the concert go on sale this Friday morning, priced 88.50 euro.
Madonna’s re-Invention tour has won critical acclaim so far, with her sold-out debut being described by the New York Times as “dense, dizzying and exhilarating”.
The multi-Grammy Award winner is one of the biggest pop stars in the world – and one of the most controversial, provoking fury from the Catholic Church with her sexually explicit stage shows and videos.
In her two-decade career she has sold over 250 million albums and had more top ten singles than any other female artist in history.
Hits have included, Like A Virgin, Material Girl, Like A Prayer, Erotic, Vogue, Frozen and American Life.
In addition to her music, the star has also acted in movies like Evita and Desperately Seeking Susan and has published an adult sex book and children’s book.
Other acts for the Slane concert have yet to be announced.
Tickets go on sale at 8am and are limited to six per person.
source : belfasttelegraph.co.uk