Fame & Shame

Stardom is intoxicating for performers but may quickly turn from blessing to curse for those unprepared for its unanticipated consequences. It is especially problematic when public image and private reality are at odds.


The packaging and promotion of individuals is a way of monetizing talent. However I find it sad to see people transformed into products. I think the cost to the human spirit of such ventures is not worth the potential damage.

Strike A Pose directed by Ester Gould and Reijeer Zwaan (Netherlands/Belgium) 2016, recently showcased at Frameline 40, looks into the highs and lows of seven dancers who performed with Madonna. They were highly visible during the 1990 Blond Ambition tour but were left adrift after it ended.

The 1991 film Truth Or Dare, was supposed to be a personally revealing behind-the-scenes documentary showing the singer personally interacting with her dancers. The sexual orientation of the young men was publicly exposed during a time when AIDS-HIV was a frightening specter and homosexuality widely condemned in mainstream culture.

Strike A Pose is a beautiful exploration of a multi-layered story that looks at both the remarkable promise of youthful artists and the more difficult phase of their lives as they approach middle age. Secrets are reluctantly shared and the warmth of friendship is rekindled, at least momentarily.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.