Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strike a Pose (2016) Tribeca 2016

Centered on the lives of the male dancers who toured with Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour back in 1990, STRIKE A POSE attempts to look at what happened when the tour ended. Sadly the film is poorly organized to the point that despite pulling it together in the final 20 minutes you'll be walking out disappointed.

First things first, if you are looking for more than fleeting snippets from the tour and the TRUTH OR DARE film that went behind the scenes look elsewhere. There is only enough material here that could be used under the fair use doctrine. Its obviously the result of the dancers suing Madonna over TRUTH OR DARE. There was no way that the film could ever get the rights to footage with so much bad blood over the matter.

The film is squarely focused on the seven male dancers who were Madonna's who relate what life was like on the tour and what happened to them afterward as a result. We see how the connection to Madonna made them minor celebrities and how that sent them into unexpected and sometimes dark places. The film also touches on how, as a result of being in the film the men were seen by many gay teens as a symbol of hope. The film ends with a reunion of the men after 25 years.

The problem with the film is that outside of the final twenty minutes the film jumps through time and space seemingly at random to the point no story is told completely and things are suddenly mentioned  (one of the dancer's addiction to heroin) as if we had been told that earlier.

I can't say enough bad things about the editing of the first hour. Its horrible and it largely takes what should have been a deeply moving film and tossed it out onto a trash heap. Its either the result of not having enough footage to tell the whole story or there was someone who was way too close to the story editing the film.

After the first hour the men come together for a dinner that is deeply moving despite being undercut by the previous hour which reduced the men to simplistic notions. I got misty a couple of times in this final section, but at the same time I was so disappointed that the rest of the film wasn't as good as this piece. Its so good you can feel all the stuff that should have gone before but didn't. It made me wonder what was left out because in these 20 minutes the men are sharp and on point.

The final 20 minutes saves the film from being one of the worst films of 2016 to make it one of the biggest disappointments.

Please someone take the raw footage and recut this film

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