Monday, April 7, 2008

Madonna - 4 Minutes

Thanks to a very dear friend and fellow Madonna devotee (thanks D!), I was able to finally see the new Madonna video for "4 Minutes" and after my second viewing, I LOVE it!

With all Madonna videos, my initial viewing is always spent articulating the concept, story, fashion, style, dance routine, vision and message that Madonna is ultimately communicating and putting out there. Madonna has openly admitted in the past that she may not be the best singer, but she is interested in "pushing people's buttons" and challenging people to think for themselves - this insatiable need to always push the envelope and to be innovative and to be socially relevant is definitely one of the keys to Madonna's staying power and dominant presence within pop culture and the music industry. By consistently creating this artistic and visionary mystique, or "hype", around herself and all of her endeavors, fans and non-fans have come to expect a certain level of genius and uncompromisable artistic integrity - which Madonna has never failed to deliver.

This video was directed by French directing team Jonas & Francois, they have directed videos for Kanye West and Justice, and they are the "it" directors of the moment. The video utilizes an interesting animation style treatment that is effective and conveys the message that the world/reality is slowly being consumed and our heroine, Madonna, and hero, Justin Timberlake have only got 4 minutes to save the world. There are a number of backdrops along our heroes' journey, but inevitably the final backdrop, where a dance battle between Madonna and Justin ensues, is a digital clock counting down the 4 minutes. Story wise, in trying to make sense of the final scene, I am not really sure how a dance battle between Madonna and Justin can save the world so I am now interpreting the scene as Madonna and Justin uniting to dance and show up the black animated nemesis that is slowly moving in on them. The dance routine is slightly choreographed, but more of a freestyle collaboration of the two artists' very unique dance styles - with Madonna incorporating her trademark yoga flexibility and Justin incorporating his B-Boy/Michael Jackson moves. The subtle and clever incorporation of previous moments in Madonna's career - the use of the treadmill routine was taken directly from "Nobody Knows Me" from Madonna's Re-Invention tour and the dance battle concept can be previously seen in her "Sorry" video (both HUGE fan favorites), function to pay homage to herself and "push those buttons" that were pushed before and resulted in success. Madonna is in tune and highly aware of what her fans like and she is definitely skilled at building upon those successes. I also LOVE the subtle satire and clever use of the "wardrobe malfunction" dance move, in which Madonna and Justin rip clothes off of each other (Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson infamously screwed up a similar dance move in their Superbowl collaboration a few years ago), in this video which adds to the overall FIERCE-NESS and HOT-NESS of this video. The styling is spot on and goes with the characters that Madonna and Justin are portraying without getting to outlandish or far fetched - I believe that this is what Madonna and Justin as heroes would be wearing. The overall look of the video is slick, fresh, and very 2008. Many articles, some negative, have been written regarding Madonna's use of soft focus filters, air brushing, and the use of digital imaging post production in order to get Madonna to look this stunning - why wouldn't an artist utilize all of these technological advances to improve themselves? Don't hate - congratulate!

Disappointingly, my previous article about the 4 Minutes video premiering on an advertising micro-site - tick-tock tv on April 4 @ 4:44 PM never happened - we were just being teased....... Watch it below before it gets removed from Youtube!!!!

Yay to Madonna and this video for 4 Minutes!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Great article!

Anonymous said...

Madonna sucks!