Cinemadonna - A Certain Sacrifice
August 24th, 2014
Todd: Now, in previous episodes, I said things like...
Todd (VO): ..."this was Madonna's first movie," "this was Madonna's first starring role," etc.
Todd: And that was true. However...
- Clips of A Certain Sacrifice
Todd (VO): ...in 1979, an unknown 21-year-old named Louise Ciccone got paid $100 to star in a low-budget independent film. That film was called A Certain Sacrifice, but unfortunately, did not get released. I mean, obviously, it was a cheapo, no-budget loser of a movie, and it had no potential audience. How could this ever get released? Wasn't gonna happen.
Todd: The only possible way this piece of trash would ever see the light of day [brief clip of "Express Yourself"] is if one of its actors became the biggest superstar in the world. But what are the odds of that?
- Cinemadonna intro
- Early appearance of Madonna
Todd (VO): When Madonna starting making real movies in 1985, [brief clip from VH1's Driven] director Stephen Jon Liwicki dusted off his unseen masterpiece, recut and repackaged it, and put it out on video despite [New York Post headline: "Madonna Seeks Nude Movie Ban"] Madonna's frantic attempts to bury it.
Todd: Now think about that—this is a woman both [clip of "Justify My Love"] notoriously without shame, and who has made a whole second career out of starring in stinkbomb movies.
- Scene from A Certain Sacrifice
Todd (VO): Yet this is something she never wanted anyone to see ever, and if you ever see this movie, that will make complete sense. Madonna is defined by her ambition, and nothing close to ambition is evident in this movie.
Todd: Fortunately for her, I can't imagine too many people watch it,...
Todd (VO): ...even though it is a movie where Madonna—the biggest, hottest celebrity in the world—got topless before she was famous while playing a dominatrix with a male, a female, and a transsexual love slave. I imagine it attracted a lot of curiosity in 1985—especially if you're a sick, sick pervert—but no matter how much of a fan you are of Madonna, celebrity nudity, trashy movies, or youthful bad decisions, there is literally no reason to ever watch this. Ever.
Todd: I mean, look at this.
- Movie begins
Todd (VO): Yeah, this was clearly edited by a video dating service of some kind. Worse, the director apparently re-scored the whole movie with what sounds like somebody doing a bad Joy Division impression on a dying Casio. ["Pomp and Circumstance" plays on...what sounds like a dying Casio] Now, Certain Sacrifice is, in its own way, a message movie. That message is...
Todd: ..."Gosh, making a movie is way harder than we thought."
- (Add text)
Todd (VO): Now, I've heard it called a student film; student of what, I don't know, but certainly not film. I've also heard it called an art movie, which makes sense if, by "art," you mean artless, and by "movie," you mean maybe not even a movie technically, as, according to sources I've read, it was never even finished because of money issues, which I totally believe. These are scraps of a movie stitched together with B-roll and narration from the love child of Cheech Marin and Wolfman Jack.
- Narrator (Chuck Varesko): You see, it was not so long ago that I knew this girl named Bruna.
Todd (VO): But nowadays, any jackoff can make a reasonable approximation of a movie. Film it, edit it, upload it to YouTube just using their iPhone. But back in the day, you needed actual equipment and people who knew how to use it, and they clearly did not have them.
- Bruna (Madonna): I'm a dodo girl and I'm looking for my dodo boy.
Todd (VO): So what is this almost-a-movie about? Well, it's difficult to say. The hero appears to be a guy named David, or as he calls himself, Dashiel.
- Narrator: But on the street, his name was Dashiel.
Todd (VO): And he finds himself alienated by his stifling, square environment.
- Narrator: He was suited for his original environment.
Todd (VO): After all, look at all the horrors of his childhood.
- Father (Joseph Pattnosh): Set this goddamn table, and go out and rake those leaves!
- Young David (John Joseph Pattnosh): I rake the leaves every day!
- Father: Every other place around here looks very good, this place looks like a dump! Rake those leaves!
- Young David: [raking leaves] Same old stuff all the time. Always a ... to this family.
Todd (VO): In another era, he would have been able to soothe his pain with Linkin Park songs, but back then, poor David had no escape. And tragically, he doesn't fit in at college either, with all its obnoxious, racist rich kids, and bunch of phonies telling him what to do.
- Professor Mann (Karl Ludwig Selig): And certain sacrifices have to be made.
Todd (VO): Yes, indeed. Specifically, we're going to sacrifice all dignity right about here.
- Mother (Ann Pattnosh): Why can't you act normal?
- Dashiel (Jeremy Pattnosh): I don't wanna be normal!
Todd: [chuckling] Oh, wonderful.
- Dashiel: And I don't want normal people's problems!
Todd (VO): Yeah, he's his dad's kid, alright. I think not wanting to be normal is a normal person's problem.
Transcript in progress