Madonna’s “Truth Or Dare” among Vulture’s 50 Best Music Documentaries of All Time

The past few years have been something of a golden age for music documentaries, opening up the field for films about less obvious stars. The list of 50 documentaries made by Vulture features old classics, new favourites, and a few films that deserve a wider audience. Madonna‘s Truth Or Dare is part of this list, of course, and it’s at #16.

16. Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
It’s Madonna Louise Ciccone’s sublime self-awareness that makes Truth or Dare such a kick. Knowing that everything she’d do in front of director Alek Keshishian’s cameras would be scrutinized by fans and critics alike, Madonna put on a show, obliterating the line between her private life and her public persona. She does a provocative bump-and-grind onstage, and then backstage fellates an Evian bottle in between explicit conversations about sex with her gay backup dancers. She lets Keshishian keep in her guarded boyfriend Warren Beatty’s criticism of her exhibitionism, and her own snide remarks about Kevin Costner and Oprah Winfrey. She has awkward encounters with old friends and family who remember her as a working-class kid from Detroit. The entire movie seems designed — by Madonna herself — to force the audience to question who “Madonna” is. The line between performance art and brand-building has never been so thin.


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Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson