- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 24 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: June 23, 2009
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Seville Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Having tackled the world of music, acting, and children's publishing, Madonna has turned her attention to directing, making her feature film debut with FILTH AND WISDOM. Set in a London flat, the film follows the episodic adventures of a colorful cast of characters, including a reluctant stripper (Holly Weston), a blind poet (Richard E. Grant), and a frustrated pharmacist and his would-be do-gooder assistant, as they struggle with personal demons and unrealized dreams. At the center of all of this is A.K. (played boisterously by Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz), acting as ringmaster-cum-dime-store-philosopher.
Madonna creates a world unto itself, where characters sip brandy and smoke cigarettes while sitting in empty bathtubs. While the tone is comic and light, the film occasionally veers into the realm of the overly quirky. But what this bohemian tale lacks in originality, it makes up in charm and vivacity. Madonna shows off her inner cinephile with influences from the directors of the French New Wave, while remaining true to her own signature style, filling the frames with outlandish costumes and erotic imagery. She embraces an improvisational style that is visually striking and well complemented by the frenetic soundtrack, which is scored by Gogol Bordello. While FILTH AND WISDOM's cartoonish film-school aesthetic could have been grating, the film's boundless exuberance and bohemian style prove to be a winning combination.