Mar. 12th, 2010

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Way back when, I mentioned a bizarre pop starlet named Lady Gaga. Since then, she's broken through, and is now everywhere, all the time. The sun never sets on the Gaga Empire.

In a remarkable show of consistency on Lady Gaga's part, everything I said in that entry still holds true, especially the part about false social constructs and the part about her music burrowing its way into your cranial folds so that during important moments - say, addressing the United Nations - you will stand before the throng and say, "I promise this, promise this. Check this hand, 'cause I'm marvelous." (And if movies have taught me anything, the UN will give you a standing ovation and/or break out a dance party over the credits, depending on whether you've been in a drama or a road-trip comedy.)

I'm checking in with her now to run down her crib notes for her latest video, "Telephone."

WHAT THE ACTUAL SONG IS ABOUT
- Girl in a club on the phone with her boyfriend, who has called several times that night.
- She's out dancing with friends, and she's sick of him trying to reach her.
- She tells him to stop calling, presumably breaking up with him.


THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THIS SONG
- Russ Meyer girls-in-prison pulp movies
- Truck stop diners
- Unlawful fugitive road-trip movies
- Living on a sheep farm
- Cooking shows
- Mass murder
- Tiger suits with exoskeletons

Gaga made this list, looked it over, and said, "We don't have time to find sheep. Let's just film the rest."

Below, the NOT SAFE FOR WORK ten-minute video for "Telephone."



Say what you will about this video (and I actually don’t like it, for several reasons), she still managed to turn in a product that widens her image. She's previously existed in the space-alien realm, but she hit the Russ Meyer trash-movie rockabilly revenge angle as hard as she hits everything, taking genre trappings (women-in-prison, greasy spoons, cigarettes) and pushing them into the absurd. The lit-cigarette sunglasses in particular made me groan, then laugh, as I'm pretty sure is their purpose. (If we are supposed to take them seriously, then she and I need to talk.)

Best part: at the 6:21 mark, one of the backup dancers slides across the bottom foreground of the frame, listening to the head of lettuce he has pressed to his ear. That right there? Is ART.

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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