Madonna has always been a keen student of pop-culture history, and her creative powers were probably at their peak in the late 1980s on the album Like a Prayer. But while the title track generated the most controversy, the multimillion-dollar video for “Express Yourself” generated the most praise. Shamelessly ripping off the 1920s Fritz Lang classic Metropolis (the epigraph of the clip “Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind” paraphrases a recurring mantra of the movie), a young director by the name of David Fincher expressed himself by harnessing all of Madge’s signature leitmotifs (the blond hair! her outfits! naked men! a running metaphor to do with a cat!). The video is as powerful to watch as the star herself.