Back in the prehistoric days of the internet, by which we mean pre-YouTube, BMW had the very forward-thinking idea of creating a series of short films for people to view on its fledgling website. Of course, being BMW, it wasn’t going to do things by halves and hired some seriously big names to direct and star in the films. The first two were directed by John Frankenheimer and Ang Lee respectively, to give you an idea of the budgets involved. The third one debuted at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and starred Clive Owen as the mysterious and multiskilled “Driver”.
The fourth one, entitled, “The Star” is our firm favourite however. Directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring his then wife Madonna – we told you the budgets were big – it tells the story of a superstar singer being taken down a peg or two because of her diva-like behaviour. As well as the people, the star of this particular episode is the BMW E39 M5 with its naturally aspirated V8, three pedals and rear-wheel-drive. The film series was so popular it contributed to a 12 per cent jump in sales for BMW and led to a second series in 2002 and then a follow up season 14 years later.
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: What’s going on inside a jet engine?