Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Video Monday: Madonna



In honour of last night's Oscar telecast, this week's music video selection is a performance by Madonna of the Oscar-winning Best Song from a Motion Picture, "Sooner or Later", written by Stephen Sondheim for the film Dick Tracy. That's right. This performance is almost 20 years old!!! I was in Basic Training when the 1991 Academy Awards aired on television, so I missed out on this. The Academy Awards nomination used to be announced around Valentine's Day and the actual ceremony was held in April. From my adolescence, I remember the calendar very well: the American Music Awards were in January, the Grammy Awards were held in March, and the Academy Awards were televised in April.

I'm really glad that it was moved up, though, because April is too late in the year to hold an awards show honouring the best in movies from the previous year. I believe that the schedule was changed in 2002 or so, partly because of the over abundance of award shows on television, but mostly because of the sometimes nasty campaigning that went on behind the scenes. I remember that it was particularly nasty against A Beautiful Mind, in which some critics were claiming that it shouldn't win because the film distorted the truth about the Nobel laureate's life. The first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Rings, seemed to inspire the nastiness, as some really wanted this fantasy film to win that year. The Academy ultimately did award the trilogy after the final one was released in 2003, and Return of the King swept one of the most boring Awards shows ever: it won every single category it was nominated in.

As for Madonna's performance...well, she seems to channel Marilyn Monroe every so often. Its one of the personalities she seems to come back around to every few years or so. Madonna is an icon in her own right, so it makes you wonder why she can't invent her own persona for a performance like this. Its interesting that near the end of the song, she adds her own comments to the lyrics when she coos to General Norman Schwartzkopf to tell her all about it (that would be about how he strategized to "win" the Gulf War in 100 days). Yeah, I'm sure that he really wanted to tell her all about it. However, it is interesting to note that during the 2004 campaign, Madonna was a big endorser of General Wesley Clark for president. She obviously has a thing for generals.

Anyhow, enjoy this throwback to twenty years ago and let's all just feel old, shall we? I can't believe that its been twenty years. I'm not liking this aging thing at all. Time needs to slow down!!! Sooner or later, we're all gonna be OLD!!!

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