Monday, February 6, 2012

Madonna's Sunset Boulevard Show

There was a strange Gloria Swanson moment during Madonna's show right about in the middle when she was surrounded by fantastic dancing and lights and strobes and people doing flips and singing and all that activity swirling around her like Gloria Swanson walking slowly toward the camera for her final closeup with Max urging her on. "They have come for you  madame!" And it was surreal. Morphing herself into the latest hiphop rapish dancing whatever Madonna became that dated person in strange contrast to the very frenetic quality that used to be her.

And you say well she is fifty three. But it was the deliberate pumping of her new music over her old (what the Superbowl audience wanted) that really was  her undoing. She was running to keep up with herself and the careful flips and careful steps made me think of my mother at weird times. Not that my mother was a dancer but there was a certain careful quality to Madonna exacerbated by the show that could go on with or without her. The chariot bit didn't help, Cleopatra yeah sure, but all the vivacity that was her was overshadowed by the Grand Dam.

And so Gloria Swanson was suddenly there. Right in the middle of the show, moving through the waxworks, a shadow of her former self in the woman in the middle of the circus, with her careful determination to keep age at bay and like Gloria trying to impress her young man or us with her very modern songs and her show striving to be so up the minute. In the middle of it all I felt a little sorry for Madonna.

I cant help but think if she had gone out there and belted out her old songs and just reveled in who she was and is...then she could have avoided the old car and the creepy mansion of her menagerie that just made us think how unforgiving our society is with people that age. So I suppose it was fitting she disappeared in a hail of smoke, a phantom that was never really there in the first place, walking every closer, Max...Max....they have come for me at last....

Books by William Hazelgrove