Madonna's first feature-length directorial effort "W.E.," -- about the affair between King Edward VIII and the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, for whom he abdicated his chance at the throne -- debuted to poor reviews at the Venice Film Festival.
But it's who she thanked in the credits that's proving more interesting than the film itself.
As the credits roll at the end of the film, which Madonna also co-wrote, is a list of 120 "Thank Yous." The most surprising names included, "Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl and Hitler-loving fashion designer John Galliano," reports The Daily.
The surprising credits were first mentioned by In Contention writer Guy Lodge, who suggests in his review of "W.E." that there may in fact be fair reasons for these credits. He writes:
The names may be there for perfectly fair reasons. Galliano is a genius fashion designer, and Madonna’s film is nothing if not well-dressed. Riefenstahl was a genius metteur en scène, and Madonna’s film is nothing if not — well, perhaps she just likes Riefenstahl’s films, even if any claim of creative influence would be on the tenuous side.
The irony of thanking two prominent alleged Nazi sympathizers, mere minutes after “W.E.” goes to manful if unconvincing lengths to discredit any suggestions that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor had similar leanings, is incidental, and perhaps a little cheap to pick on, but merely one small symptom of Madonna the Auteur’s astonishing lack of self-awareness.
An astonishing lack of self-awareness really is perhaps the best way to describe these inclusions. After all she's thanking a man who was arrested for an anti-Semitic rant that included the proclamation that he loved Hitler, and the filmmaker responsible for "Triumph of the Will."