ACT: Lady Gaga
TRACK: Bad Romance
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
"Bad Romance" explores Gaga's attraction to individuals with whom romance never works, her preference for lonely relationships and the paranoia she experienced while on tour. The main idea behind the video is that of Gaga getting kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and then sell her off to the Russian mafia for a million rubles. [Wiki]
Jennifer Cady of E! was also impressed by the video and commented, "This music video really makes us appreciate everything Gaga actually brings to pop music. She's exciting to watch, plain and simple. ... We need someone like Gaga to really bring it. To put actual thought and care into her product so that it feels alive".
The video and its choreography also drew many comparisons with the music video of Michael Jackson's Thriller, both having robotic, zombie-like arm movements and morbid themes. [Wiki]
- Laura Mulvey came up with the theory of the male gaze where the media is constructed with a male audience in mind. Lady Gaga as a post-feminist would argue against this theory as she believes she is being in control of her body and the image she puts out to the world.
- In this music video, she wears several different costumes that all show skin or being her being in the nude.
- There is evidence of the male gaze in the video as there is a group of men watching her perform.
- Lots of the costumes are revealing and Mulvey would argue that Gaga is not in control of her body and that she is being objectified.
Feminist vs Post-Feminist
- As a post-feminist (or not) , Lady Gaga would find that she is being empowering as the ending suggests she 'conquered' these men that tried to take advantage of her.
- Lady Gaga's image is her own and as an article from The Guardian says "She has spoken of her early fights with her record label over her aesthetic, saying that "the last thing a young woman needs is another picture of a sexy pop star, writhing in sand, covered in grease, touching herself". [Source]
- Lady Gaga believes that all women are ownerships of their own bodies.
- She claims that she is not a feminist and that she is just trying to show her fans "I want my fans to love themselves. It's almost like I want to hypnotize them so when they hear my music they love themselves instantly".
- Stereotype of Russians drinking Vodka
- Product Placement of Nemiroff Vodka - intertextuality
- Product Placement - Beats Headphones - becoming popular to have in MVs as it gets in more money to the industry.
- Women dancing for the men is normative - is set up like a strip club
- Different ways to interpret this scene, is Gaga passive or active? - Stuart Hall
- Male audience objectifying a female
- These men are a representation of the audience
- Could be read as Gaga critiquing the male sex for looking.
- There is a scene with Gaga dressed similar to a doll and is exaggerating that she is being objectified and questioning the men.
- Andrew Goodwin argues that music videos are made up of 7 conventions. With this music video, Lady Gaga's dance routine has elements of the dancing from Michael Jackson's Thriller Music Video.
- Also Stuart Hall's theory of preferred readings - an older person might not know the video or the iconic dancing from Michael Jackson and the references to the bra, they might actually know depending on the age of the person.
- Intertextuality of Katy Perry's music video 'California Girls' which has Katy wearing a bra that shoots cream.
- Also Madonna's music video of 'Vogue' which had Madonna in a bra that is pointy.
- Writing things on twitter or posting pictures of products with the artist would make the fans want to try and buy the same one.
Hegemonic vs Counter-hegemonic
- Hegemonic for women to wear makeup
- counter-hegemonic - having an innocent look at around 42 seconds almost like a doll.
- Wearing high heels and strange outfits is hegemonic for Lady Gaga as she is known for her crazy dressing up.
Simulacra - Baudrillard
- Lady Gaga's dancing routine is very significant of someone who is possessed.
Richard Dyer - Star Theory
- Lady Gaga could be seen as someone who is being manufactured to act out and have a completely different style in front of the media but in reality is just a normal person.
- Also Lady Gaga might even be only extreme in her music videos and looks for the profit and so that the music company/record label can get even more money from their artist.