Filth and Wisdom

Release Date: October 17, 2008
Limited release

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, October 7, 2008
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Madonna: The Borat Years

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The instant Madonna started dating Guy Ritchie, we all began to live in fear of this scenario. A career-minded entrepreneur shacking up with a profoundly talented director could mean only one thing. Eventually, Madonna would think that she had learned enough from Ritchie to helm a project herself. Scientists have tried to explain to the aging diva that this is not how the process of osmosis works, but Madonna stopped listening to anybody around the time that Crazy for You became a top ten single. If Jellybean Benitez cannot sway her, eggheads in white lab coats certainly won’t be able to do so.

And so we are left with Filth and Wisdom, a movie of such astonishing quality that its director at one point announced the intention to release it straight to the Internet. Yes, she believes this project is on a par with the dancing baby, Someone Set Us Up the Bomb, and LOLCatz. That sound you hear off in the distance is a team of movie reviewers simultaneously typing up their resignation letters.

To the amazement of the BOP staff, the latest batch of distributor release dates included the sudden appearance of Filth and Wisdom. This is the same movie allegedly targeting a debut on iTunes, perhaps fitting for a Madonna release. Instead, IFC Films has thrown us a curveball by announcing their intention to exhibit the first title from the Semtex Films production studio. This is not unlike a garage band getting signed by Sony. Apparently, IFC Films has been convinced that having Madonna in the title may be good enough for a few million in box office receipts. We remain skeptical on the point, but a movie with a budget of a million pounds doesn’t need to earn much to be profitable.

In terms of subject matter, I am of the opinion that no one cares. The people inclined to see this will do so because it’s a Madonna project, and no one else will care. Just in case someone reading this is on the fence about seeing it in theaters, well, first of all, may I ask why? Do you buy a lot of movies off of iTunes already? Is there that much discretionary income in your bank account that you want to burn through Brewster’s Millions style? If you must know, the title is described by its director (the chick in the Justify My Love video) as a comedy/drama/musical/romance. It’s always a good sign when the person making the movie can’t even pinpoint its genre.

Anyway, there is some Ukrainian immigrant who dreams of being that very same garage band musician who gets the lush Sony contract. Of course, making music ain’t cheap, so dude has to look like a lady for his paying side gig as a dominatrix transvestite (aka a Wachowski). He befriends two women who become his roommates. One of them is a ballet dancer who of course has to pole dance to make the rent (don’t they all?). The other works in a pharmacy but dreams of one day moving to Africa and helping the needy. Over time, their three lives begin to intersect in a way that I am certain would make Robert Altman proud. They may or may not live happily after, as punk band dominatrix transvestites, stripper ballet dancers and drug pushing African aid-worker wannabes are wont to do.

In the end, all that matters about this project is that Madonna directs. BOP isn’t expecting Snatch 2 here. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Filth and Wisdom
Main Cast Ade, Olegar Fedoro, Gogol Bordello
Supporting Cast Richard E. Grant, Eugene Hutz, Vicky Mclure, Holly Weston
Director Madonna
Screenwriter Madonna, Dan Cadan
Distributor IFC Entertainment
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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