Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 28 November 2011

Video Gaga? Various Analyses

From the far reaches of the web, a rather curious take on Lady Gaga...a force for a global conspiracy?!
an extract:
Gaga is not giving birth to a human but to a “new race” within humanity. The symbolism of the video makes it clear that this birth is not natural, but artificially provoked. A twisted immaculate conception. As is the case for most Lady Gaga videos, the theme of mind control is important in the video. It is the process through which the metamorphosis will take place.  In Monarch programming terms, we are witnessing the birth of a new persona within the “core personality” of humanity. The birth is happening within the minds of people and is visually represented by creepy facial horns.
If you really want to read more: source.
The same site also prognosticates on Britney Spears: an extract:
Britney indeed bears many classic symptoms of a Monarch programming victim. Further, the video of Hold it Against Me contains many visual clues that hint at Britney’s mental prison.

The next one I came across via Ellie's blog, a detailed look at Bad Romance. The writer sees Gaga as a feminist icon - I'm not so sure, tho' there is definitely a case to make for that interpretation:

The Art of Gaga- Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance Music Video Explained

[http://elenamusic.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/the-art-of-gaga-lady-gagas-bad-romance-music-video-explained/]
Lady Gaga is an artist.
What is an artist? Musicians have blurred the lines between artist and being godly, being a role model and having something to say, or someone who is just famous for the sake of being famous. But, what is an artist?
An artist is someone whom their creations conveys a message. As the observer, we are the ones to decipher the creation and come to our own conclusions of what the message is. The message and the medium, however creative they are, contribute to how interesting the artist is.
Lady Gaga is an artist because she has a lot to say, and a very colorful way of saying it as well. I would overhear people saying, “she can’t sing” and I think that’s ridiculous. Of course she can sing, she has an amazing voice. I respect Lady Gaga as an artist because in my own interpretation of her music and music videos, I get a message that wants to change things. She sends messages to express female frustration, and is changing art to shake things up in the world.
Even though these music videos have been out for a while, I wanted to write my own interpretation of these music videos. I would talk to my friends about the importance of “Bad Romance” and “Telephone” and my friends would say it was garbage. How could I have such a different opinion about these videos than my friends? Didn’t we see the same music video? These music videos make the observer think, you have to think critically of what the message is. Here’s my interpretation:
Lady Gaga- Bad Romance

In Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video, we are subjected to different scenarios. We have the the coffin scene, where Gaga is coming out of the “coffin”, so to speak, as a monster. I think this music video was kind of the birth of Gaga’s journey as a true artist. She was coming to make a statement. Also as a self-proclaimed “monster”, she is also telling the viewer that it’s ok to be different.
We also have the scene where Gaga is in a sheer, skin colored outfit. She has pink hair and she is being tied down and being forced to remove her clothes. In this scene, the big eyes represent innocence to me, and the people that are taking off her clothes are taking away her innocence, forcing someone against their will. Also, the fact that they are taking her clothes away, they are stripping her into a sexual figure.
One of the biggest scenes to me is when she is in the diamond outfit, dancing in front of all the suitors while they are bidding on her. She is a courtesan, a prostitute, being forced against her will to be sexual for these men. She is reduced to a financial figure for her sex. She obviously resents the fact at the end of the video. Where you see Gaga strutting to the bed to the suitor who was the top bidder. She kills him. An act of revenge against everything that happened to her. Her being stripped away of her innocence, being reduced for a sexual figure to be bid on by men.

It’s a very feminist video. There are also images of her as a “monster” and it’s very obvious that she shape has been altered in the video. Her spine is protruding out of her skin, and her curves are accentuated. Has she turned into a sex monster? This video is retaliating against men. It is showing how women are shown in the media, and in real life as sexual objects, only there to tantalize and satisfy men. It has made women into sexual monsters, both wanting to be sexual, but fighting against the stereotypes men put upon them. And in the end, Gaga is taking a stand, that she is not going to be ruled by a man, that she is her own woman.

What about the violence? Is that called for?
There is a lot of violence in movies, men make the violence and now it’s tolerated as a male thing. It’s also tying into the gender stereotype that only men can get angry. When men get angry, they get violent. Women are not supposed to get angry, and hence, not be violent. The violence is a masculine trait. Gaga takes on this masculine trait to express her revenge, and assert her independence from men. The lyrics “I want your loving and I want your revenge” fits in perfectly with the images portrayed. There is definitely confusion in today’s age of what is a strong woman. Is she sexual and successful? Is she desired by all men and at the same time making a lot of money?
Why do people question Lady Gaga’s sex? Is she a man or a woman? She is taking feminism head on, using masculine traits to assert her womanhood. She really has picked up where Madonna has left off. Madonna started a lot of controversies with her sexual videos, questioning women’s roles in society. She wanted to show women could be successful and  sexual at the same time. Gaga is sending her own message, and using violence and intense visuals to assert her femininity, and masculinity at the same time.
I think it’s brilliant what Lady Gaga is doing to bring the music video back. There is so much open to interpretation and people can conclude their own vision of Gaga’s music videos. What does she say to you? The fact is that she’s shaping a new era of how women are looked at. Am I just reading in between the lines too much? I know I’m not because that’s the point of art, to take away from it your own interpretation of the art. To question, think and make the art mean something to you.
I will also review the music video “Telephone” because we open up even more cans of worms.
What does Bad Romance mean to you?

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