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An experimental film from the '70s reveals Madonna's first artistic era: teenage egg monster

Photo: Ben Stansall (Getty Images)

Across Madonna’s career, she has (apologies) expressed herself through a variety of different artistic personae. There’s the early years of bubblegum pop star; classic Hollywood Madonna; the conical bra, parent-scaring Erotica era Madonna; and the turn-of-the-millennium Kaballah spiritualist. Among all of these reinventions, only one form of the artist is barely remembered at all: the young art film Madonna who delighted in doing gross shit with eggs.

All the way back in 1974, a 16 year-old Madonna, superstardom just a glint in her eye, starred in an experimental short film called The Egg that is, naturally enough, about two teenagers doing weird, disgusting stuff involving eggs. Its Super 8 grain making the whole thing look like an unearthed home video, the brief clip sees Madonna spitting up frothing egg whites and pouring the yolk over her face in complete silence before lying down to sunbathe in a bikini. As these things naturally go, another young woman comes along to crack an egg on Madonna’s bare stomach, allow the sun to cook it, then begins to eat it with a knife and fork (after applying a dash of salt and pepper, of course).

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As Boing Boing highlights, The Egg was directed by Wyn Cooper, another student at Madonna’s Detroit high school for a film class assignment, which goes a long way toward explaining the pseudo-profundity of the creepy short. Apparently, the director and his eggy muse became friends and would drive around listening to Bowie and smoking weed, something else that adds to a very specific image of young Madonna as the sort of teenager who would be totally down to play with raw eggs for the sake of art.

In short, The Egg is an interesting (albeit super gross) bit of insight into a hugely influential pop star’s youth. It reveals, in a roundabout sort of way, how everything Madonna was able to accomplish in her career is linked to her teenage self: if you’re willing to gargle egg yolk for a friend’s high school movie, no other performance, no matter how daring, can seem all that intimidating.

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[via Boing Boing]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.