“I have been a fan of Madonna from the first time I saw her perform at a small suburban night club called Images on Long Island back in 1983. She was something otherworldly to me … I was mesmerised by her beauty, her bravado and her unique street vibe.”
Talking to fellow Madonna devotee Matthew Rettenmund on his Boyculture blog, make-up artist turned indie filmmaker Guy Guido revealed the encounter behind his first short, Physical Attraction (2015.) Named after a track from her first album—as performed by tribute artist Lorelei Prince—this 19-minute piece stars Jake Robbins as Jared, whose growing obsession with Madonna leads him to drag long-suffering girlfriend Stacey (Raquel Castro) along to a New York nightspot where his idol is throwing an after-party during her Virgin Tour of 1985. Although he fails to make an impression on Madonna, Jared will have a life-changing encounter that evening. An affectionate homage to the teen films of the 1980s, awash in day-glo and pastels, Physical Attraction has a fairy-tale quality inspired by the magic of Madonna.
For his first feature-length movie, Emmy and the Breakfast Club—the erstwhile Emmy would later be renamed for brand recognition—Guido interviewed key players from Madonna’s early years, including her first band. Their memories are interspliced with reconstructed scenes from the same era, featuring a cast of new faces led by 20-year-old Jamie Auld. “He discovered me behind the counter at Doughnut Plant,” Jamie told Windy City Times. “I know it sounds phony, because Madonna apparently also worked at a doughnut shop when she first came to NYC, but it’s the truth. When Guy first noticed me and inquired if anyone had ever asked me if I looked like Madonna, I just laughed it off.”
“What struck me first was the structure of her face, the jawline, the profile, the cheekbones and especially her nose,” Guido explained. “She was busy working and looking down, but I remember thinking, ‘Please have blue eyes, please have blue eyes.’ Then she looked up, and—lo and behold—I knew I had found my girl.” Madonna’s rise to fame has previously been dramatized in a made-for-TV movie, Innocence Lost, not to mention countless documentaries, but these have mostly been sensationalised, and often misogynistic—resting on what Guido described to Digital Journal as the “misconception that Madonna was a talentless girl who used her sexuality to get herself a record deal.”
When the news broke on Friday, November 26, that the legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim had died aged 91, the world’s theatrical community went into mourning. That evening, fans lined up outside Marie’s Crisis Café, a piano bar in Greenwich Village, to sing and grieve together. On Sunday, crowds gathered for a tribute performance in Times Square, and in London’s West End, theatre lights were dimmed. Continue reading →
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