Lonely Planet Writer

New York set to host Madonna Film Festival to mark 25 years since Blond Ambition tour

Metrograph, a new independent cinema in New York City, is hosting a week-long retrospective of Madonna films, starting next week.

Madonna lying on a sofa in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. New York, 1985
Madonna lying on a sofa in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. New York, 1985 Image by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Beginning with a screening of Madonna: Truth or Dare,  the documentary on her Blond Ambition tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Announcing the screening, the theatre said  it is “a crucial film for generations of the LGBTQ community, exhibiting a degree of honesty and non-judgment toward sexuality rarely seen in mass-market entertainment of the time.”  The first  showing of the movie will be followed by a Q&A with Alek Keshishian, the film’s director, moderated by Chelsea Handler.

Madonna performing in the Blond Ambition tour 1990.
Madonna performing in the Blond Ambition tour 1990. Image by Michel Linssen/Redferns

Another screening on 31 August will feature two Blond Ambition dancers – Jose ‘Xtravaganza’ Gutierez and Salim ‘Slam’ Gauwloos – and is being hosted by the Dance Film Association.

The week-long celebration will show other other Madonna movies, including Desperately Seeking Susan, her first starring role in 1985 that  featured her hit Into the Groove. Also being screened is Who’s That Girl from 1987,  1992’s baseball movie  A League of Their Own with Tom Hanks, Dick Tracy which she starred with her then-boyfriend Warren Beatty, and Dangerous Game, a 1992 indie hit she starred in with Harvey Keitel. Each film will be accompanied by a selection of Madonna’s music videos.

Madonna and George Harrison promoting their movie 'Shanghai Surprise' 1986.
Madonna and George Harrison promoting their movie ‘Shanghai Surprise’ 1986. Image by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

However, notable by its absence from the movies being shown is Evita, which she won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Eva Peron.  Two movies she made with her now ex-husbands (Shanghai Surprise with Sean Penn and Swept Away with Guy Richie) also didn’t make the list.

The Metrograph opened earlier this year in the Lower East Side. It has two screens, as well as a restaurant and a bookstore. The programming focuses on archival print screenings, exclusive premieres, and events for cinephiles.