Dangerous Game

Say what trash you will about Madonna's acting (it's more like voguing), she doesn't work with hacks. Body of Evidence, her most recent fiasco, was directed by Uli Edel (Last Exit to Brooklyn). Now the torch passes to Abel Ferrara, a street fighter when it comes to making movies his way (Bad Lieutenant). In Dangerous Game (originally Snake Eyes), Madonna plays Sarah Jennings, a TV bimbo who wants to act in a serious movie, Mother of Mirrors, about the breakup of a hedonistic marriage. The director is the very intense and Ferrara-like Eddie Israel, played to the manner born by the superb Harvey Keitel. Israel is skeptical, but hiring the babe gets his arty film financed. (Dangerous Game is financed in part by Madonna's Maverick productions.)

Art and life imitate each other with a vengeance in this mesmerizing jigsaw, especially when Ferrara's real wife, Nancy, shows up as Israel's wife. She berates Israel for fucking Jennings, who is also fucking leading man Francis Burns (the able James Russo). Israel tries to coax tears and a performance from Jennings by viciously insulting her off camera. Did Ferrara use the same method? No matter. Madonna's take on an emotional crackup comes up snake eyes either way, and Ferrara's Dangerous Game stops being worth the playing.

From The Archives Issue 198: October 23, 1975
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