Medusa: Dare to be Truthful

(Julie Brown & John Fortenberry, USA, 1992)


At an Australian Film Institute seminar held at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in the early '90s, Dr William Routt of La Trobe University gave a stimulating lecture on some key figures in cinema history – Russian author Maxim Gorky, film pioneers the Lumière brothers, and MTV host Julie Brown, who acted and sang in Earth Girls are Easy (1).

Brown's centrality in popular culture is confirmed by her frequently hilarious Medusa: Dare to be Truthful.

A wicked pastiche of In Bed with Madonna (aka Madonna: Truth or Dare), this fifty-minute television special mixes up candid scenes of Brown as Medusa philosophising about fame with spectacularly funny concert mock-ups of songs including "Everybody be Excited", "Like a Video" and "Party in my Pants".

Some jokes are flat and corny – like substituting Shane Pencil for Sean Penn, or having Medusa demonstrate oral sex on a grossly huge melon instead of a coke bottle – but Brown wins all awards with her brilliant inventory of airheaded stars in the number "Vague": "Ladies with no point of view/Fellas who don't have a clue ... "

© Adrian Martin July 1993


1. William D. Routt, "Looking Forward and Backward at the Same Time, Maxim Gorky Goes to the Movies", The UTS Review, Vol 2 No 1 (May 1996), pp. 72-87.

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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