Music Video: Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
The music video was directed by Swedish director, Jonas Akerlund, who has previously directed music videos for artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, Moby, Rammstein, and U2. His wife Bea Akerlund was hired as Gaga's stylist for the video. Gaga told MTV that she had finished shooting "[..] my video for 'Paparazzi,' which I really am very pleased with the way that turned out. It's like a short film." In an interview with The Canadian Press on May 26, 2009, Gaga cited her video as "the most amazing creative work that [she's] put together so far." She went on to describe the idea behind the video and the message it gives as,
"It has a real, genuine, powerful message about fame-whoring and death and the demise of the celebrity, and what that does to young people. The video explores ideas about sort of hyperbolic situations that people will go to in order to be famous. Most specifically, pornography and murder. These are some of the major themes in the video.
The video was supposed to premiere on June 4, 2009, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, on Channel 4. However, while touring in Australia, Gaga posted a message on her Twitter account on May 29, 2009 saying "Stop leaking my motherfucking videos", which referred to the video being released without the singer's consent.
The music video is an eight minute mini-movie starring Gaga and Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard as her boyfriend. It features a murderous plot line involving a doomed starlet who is constantly followed by photographers. The video opens with a shot of a seaside mansion, where Gaga and her boyfriend are shown lying on a bed. They move to the balcony and start making out, but a hidden photographer takes pictures of them. Gaga realizes that her boyfriend has set the paparazzi to photograph her and tries to stop him. However, when it becomes futile, she smashes his face with a champagne bottle. The enraged boyfriend throws her over the balcony. Gaga lies at the ground in her own blood as paparazzi take pictures of her bloody body and tabloid headlines proclaim that her career is over. According to Rolling Stone this scene pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock's film Vertigo.
Gaga is shown getting out of a limousine, being carried by male dancers to a wheelchair. Gaga wears a bejeweled neck brace and a side halo on her hair in this sequence. As the dancers gyrate around her, she takes off her black body suit and starts walking down the carpet with the help of a pair of crutches while wearing a metallic bustier and a matching helmet. According to Entertainment Weekly this cyborg like leotard is similar to an outfit in George Michael's "Too Funky" music video. These scenes are interspersed with scenes of dead models including one whose face is wrapped in plastic, one who is hanging from a noose and one who appears to be oozing gold colored blood from her mouth. Next Gaga is shown on a golden couch where she makes out with a trio of hair metal rockers during the line "Loving you is cherry pie". The trio, known as Snake of Eden, are from reality television dating program Daisy of Love. According to MTV this scene is a reference to the song "Cherry Pie" by American glam band Warrant. This sequence was dedicated to Gaga's initial days as a dancer at rock clubs. An alternate version of the video replaces the scene with Gaga sitting on a spotted horse with a purple mane. The video continues through the intermediate bridge with Gaga wearing a dress made up of film strips and a towering feathered Mohawk headdress. Her trademark dogs, two harlequin Great Danes, are also shown during this scene.
In the next scene, Gaga and her eye-patch wearing boyfriend are reading magazines on a sofa in a quaint tea room. Gaga wears a flamboyant outfit of yellow jumpsuit with circular glasses and circular shoulder pads. The Guardian compared this look with that of Minnie Mouse. She finally takes her revenge on her boyfriend by discreetly poisoning his drink with white powder concealed in her ring. As he falls dead she calls 9-1-1 and declares that she just killed her boyfriend. The police come and she gets arrested for the murder. Gaga, wearing a tall, blond, corkscrew wig, walks to the police car as the paparazzi surround her once again. Images flash by, with newspapers proclaiming her innocence and that Gaga is back in the spotlight and has regained her fame. The video ends with Gaga posing for mug shots like a fashion model while wearing a tulip shaped metallic dress similar to the single cover. The Daily Mail compared this dress with a similar outfit worn by singer Beyonce Knowles on her I Am... Tour.
Rolling Stone writer Daniel Kreps compared the video with the music video of "November Rain." The scenes of the dead models were described as stomach turning while he complimented the video for "brimming with cinematic style [so] that it's hard to take your eyes off it, though it will likely be labeled as a little self-indulgent." He also commented on the leaking of the video saying that it "warranted more than just a simple leak; it deserved a red carpet." Anna Pickard from The Guardian complimented the video saying that "quite a lot of work has gone into it". However, she opined that the video was too long.
The video was nominated for five VMAs for the 2009 awards in the categories of Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Along with four other nominations for "Poker Face", she and Beyonce were tied for most nominations this year. The video won the award for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects.
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