Madonna Releases Exhilarating ‘Madame X’ Concert Film

Let’s just say it: witnessing 78-year-old Mick Jagger strut and swagger effortlessly through the first dates of the Stones’ 2021 No Filter Tour is the real life equivalent of watching twenty bad guys all shooting at James Bond and him coming away completely unscathed. It pretty much defies all belief.

But while Mick has a couple of decades on Madonna, there’s nevertheless something particularly astonishing about how Madge still utterly and totally commands a stage. After all, she has no Keef or Ronnie to draw away some of the attention; night after night, it’s all eyes on her. And if you missed the jaw-dropping extravaganza that was the 2019/2020 Madame X Tour (it concluded in Paris just before the first COVID lockdowns), it’s now all officially documented in a thrilling concert film of the same name, which will be streaming exclusively on Paramount+. (The digital soundtrack, Madame X – Music From the Theater Experience, was released via Warner Music Group this past Friday.)

The 1:15 trailer is nothing short of exhilarating, mostly because the performances it was based on surely also were. The film itself was shot during a six-date stint at Lisbon’s Coliseu dos Recreios, between January 12th and 23rd of last year, holding to the concept of Madonna taking extended residencies in just ten cities across America, the UK and Europe. (With apologies, surely, to fans in such places as Detroit, Warsaw, Shanghai…)

The clip opens with Madonna looking like a character straight out of Weimar cabaret central casting, provocatively puffing away on a cigarillo. We hear a whisper of a voice conceding, “Sometimes I feel foolish…” before the words, “A New Democracy” light up intently behind her. It’s an appropriate slogan, surely, as she has really always belonged to everyone – at once a cultural icon, a gay icon, and also a populist one. (Who but maybe maybe Mitch McConnell doesn’t have a favorite Madonna song they always giddily sing along to?)

The trailer then launches into quick-cut, hyper-sensory mode, and we see the glitter Madonna, the boho Madonna, the goth Madonna (complete with cross-adorned black dress and X eyepatch)…it’s a little hard to keep count. The sets are dazzling, the productions are head-spinning, and there are seemingly coded messages being projected into the spectacle (“Protect Me,” for instance) at regular intervals, assuring that there’s something to think about while you’re dancing with abandon to nearly every song.

Towards the end, the we hear the urgent lyrics to ‘Ciao Bella’: “Have you ever been to the land where you can find yourself? Have you ever been to a place where you can rest yourself?” It’s a line of questioning that can sum up Madonna’s entire career, especially from the point of view of her most devoted fans. And wouldn’t you know, the new Madame X concert film is most definitely that place.

Madame X is available to stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia, the Nordics, and Canada. Fans outside of those markets can watch it on MTV.

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