Jan21 Hung Up #8 on Slant Magazine
Best of the Aughts: Music Videos
8. Madonna, “Hung Up” (Johan Renck)
Madonna may be wearing Karen Lynn Gorney’s thrift store hand-me-downs and dancing for her own sake, but I’d like to see John Travolta or anyone else dare to ask her if she’s in training to be anything other than the yoga-flexible, parkour-and-krump co-opting, ass-cleave-baring, DDR-oblivious, beatbox-humping trooper she is and always will be. EH
19. Madonna, “American Life (Director’s Cut)” (Jonas Akerlund)
When announcing her decision not to release director Jonas Akerlund’s original cut of the “American Life” video, Madonna claimed that she did not “want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret” its meaning. It seemed like spin control back in 2003, but that statement reads today like a damning indictment of the reactionary groupthink that gripped the nation in the early days of the Iraq War. It isn’t like either the video’s message about viewing war as a form of popular entertainment or its striking, loaded images leave much room for misinterpretation. Prescient? Yes. Relevant? Surely. Subtle? Not so much. JK
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