Reminds me of her 1994 Wayne Maser Esquire shoot
So Madonna looks flawless (in the good way) on and in Interview (May 2010) thanks to inspired shots by Mert & Marcus that in turn seem inspired by Gary Heery's fantastic first-album cover shoot and Steven Meisel's 1991 Vanity Fair shoot (inset) and perhaps accidentally similar to Tom Munro's recent work with her. But despite parallels, the shots are not knock-offs, and a couple of them threaten to become instant classics.
How much do we love that she wore jewelry so reminiscent of her early '80s accessories? In fact, some of them actually are her early '80s accessories, I bet, since they're credited as the artist's own.
The interview, a long chat with Gus Van Sant, shows off Madonna's excellent taste in movies and seems to be a sort of reminder of who Madonna was and who she still is—if she weren't talking about the movie she's co-written and plans to direct (W.E., which she clarifies is not all about Wallis Simpson), it's the kind of interview she could have given 20 years ago.
Of particular interest to gay fans:
"But you know, what [Milk] triggered for me was all my early days in New York and the scene that I came up in-you know, with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. It was just so alive with art and politics and this wonderful spirit. So many of those people are dead now. I think that's one of the reasons I cried. In fact, the character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom , is this blind professor who was based on my ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn. Growing up in Michigan, I didn't really know what a gay man was. He was the first man-the first human being-who made me feel good about myself and special. He was the first person who told me that I was beautiful or that I had something to offer the world, and he encouraged me to believe in my dreams, to go to New York. He was such an important person in my life. He died of AIDS, but he went blind toward the end of his life. He was such a lover of art, classical music, literature, opera. You know, I grew up in the Midwest, and it was really because of him that I was exposed to so many of those things. He brought me to my first gay club-it was this club in Detroit. I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn't fit in anywhere. But when he took me to that club, he brought me to a place where I finally felt at home. So that character in Filth and Wisdom was dedicated to him and inspired by him. I don't know why I'm bringing all this up, but I guess it's just coming from that world in Michigan and the trajectory of my life: after going to New York and being a dancer when the whole AIDS epidemic started and nobody knew what it was. And then suddenly, all these beautiful men around me, people who I loved so dearly, were dying-just one after the next. It was just such a crazy time. And watching the world freak out-the gay community was so ostracized. But it was also when I was beginning my career. . . . I don't know. Your movie really struck a chord for me and made me remember all that. It's a time I don't think many people have captured on film. It's a time that people don't talk about much. And even though there was so much death, for me, New York was so alive."
Seeing a thriving, last-century gay culture depicted on film seems to have jogged her memories of the period directly following.
This is the umpteenth time Madonna has spoken of the impact gay men have had on her life, but I feel like no matter how many times she says it, there are always those who think she's using gays for money. (Which she is, but she's using everyone for money so she's a capitalartist, not a gay-casher.)
Major missed opportunity—Van Sant speaks with her about Malawi, but doesn't bring up the persecuted couple so in danger there as we speak.
An "Erotica"-style video of the shoot by Fabien Baron ("why was he chosen?") is here. More images after the jump...