Madonna bares her breasts and (ostensibly) her soul in this adulatory, superficial documentary of her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. The young director Alek Kesishian tries to capture Madonna when she’s off guard and just being herself, but you register pretty quickly that she’s never off guard and there is no “self” to her — at least none that she lets us see. The movie shows you exactly the image Madonna wants to put across, and no more; she was the executive producer, and financed the film out of her own pocket. The backstage footage, shot in grainy 16mm b&w (like much of U2: Rattle and Hum), is straightforward, with none of the pretentious jump-cuts or off-kilter framing you get on network news magazines. But Keshishian, whose background is in rock videos, shoots the color concert footage for breathless flash; it’s undistinguished MTV blur. The movie takes on the Sisyphean task of selling this narcissist and media manipulator as an important artist working from some sexual/political agenda. (Throw religion in, too — her concerts are like Las Vegas high masses.) You come away with some admiration of Madonna’s drive and stamina (her shows seem exceedingly gruelling to do) but no sense of who she is and, if you’re not already a fan, no insight into her popularity. Me, I agree with Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs — I like her early stuff, but after “Papa Don’t Preach” I kinda tuned out. Guest appearances include Warren Beatty (Madonna’s toy at the time), Sandra Bernhard, Antonio Banderas, and most infamously, Kevin Costner, who makes the mistake of telling Madonna her show was “neat.” Kesishian’s next feature was With Honors, after which he presumably went back to rock videos. Madonna continues to be in movies, unfortunately.