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Music Video: Lady Gaga - Telephone (feat. Beyonce)

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The music video was filmed January 28, 2010 by director Jonas Akerlund. New York magazine reported that the concept of the video involved Beyonce bailing Gaga out of jail. Published photos from the set portrayed Gaga and Beyonce shooting for scenes of the video in the car that Uma Thurman's character drove in Quentin Tarantino's 2003-04 film Kill Bill, called the "Pussy Wagon." Other concepts of the video involves scenes at a diner, a cameo from singer Tyrese Gibson, and a prison shower scene. Gaga and Beyonce wore "destroyed denim pieces" by designers Frank Fern�¡ndez and Oscar Olima. With E! Online, Gaga explained the deeper meaning behind the video.

"There was this really amazing quality in 'Paparazzi', where it kind of had this pure pop music quality but at the same time it was a commentary on fame culture. [...] I wanted to do the same thing with this video.. [...] There certainly is a Tarantino-inspired quality in the ['Telephone'] video, [...] His direct involvement in [it] came from him lending me the Pussy Wagon. We were having lunch one day in Los Angeles and I was telling him about my concept for the video and he loved it so much he said, 'You gotta use the Pussy Wagon.'"

On February 5, 2010, Gaga had an interview on KIIS-FM with Ryan Seacrest. She commented on the video saying, "What I like about it is a real true pop event, and when I was younger, I was always excited when there was a big giant event happening in pop music and that's what I wanted this to be." Semi Precious Weapons confirmed to MTV news that they have a cameo in the music video.

The music video has a decent amount of product placement and is over nine minutes long and begins where "Paparazzi" left off, Gaga was arrested for killing her boyfriend by poisoning his drink. She is taken to a women's prison, where she is led to her cell by two transvestite prison guards. She is stripped of her shoulder-padded dress and left standing nude, being mocked by the other prison inmates. One of the guards comments, "I told you she didn't have a dick", referring to the rumors that Gaga is intersex. For three minutes, the video shows Gaga's activities in the prison--including kissing another female prisoner in the exercise yard, wearing sunglasses made out of half-smoked cigarettes, and catfights in the commissary. In the commisary she wears diet coke rollers in her hair, and goes completely nude. It is also noteworthy that, during the scene in the exercise yard, extracts of Gaga's songs "Paper Gangsta" and "I Like It Rough" from her debut album, The Fame are played in the background. Gaga's sister, Natali Germanotta, makes a cameo in the commissary scene. After that, Gaga answers a call from Beyonce, and begins to sing the song. She performs the first verse and chorus with other scantily-clad inmates, followed by a bridge featuring Gaga wearing only yellow "Caution" tape.

Gaga is bailed out and exits to find Beyonce waiting for her in the "Pussy Wagon". Beyonce is nicknamed Honey Bee, a reference to the character Honey Bunny in Tarantino's 1994 crime film Pulp Fiction. After an exchange of dialogues, they travel through a desert and pull over at a diner. Beyonce sits opposite to Gibson, but tires of his stupidity and poisons him. The video then shifts to an intermediate sequence called "Let's Make a Sandwich". Gaga stands in a kitchen, wearing a folded-up telephone on her head, while dancers cavort behind her, wielding salad tongs and assorted cutlery. Ultimately, she prepares a sandwich and eats it, after a dance sequence. In the meantime, she mixes poison into all of the dishes she is preparing for the unsuspecting customers causing everybody, including characters played by Semi Precious Weapons and her trademark harlequin Great Dane, to die. Gaga and Beyonce do another dance sequence, wearing American flag dresses and shredded denims, while strutting around the dead bodies. They then leave in the "Pussy Wagon" and travel on a highway as news reporter (played by Jai Rodriguez) reports the murders. The last shots show Gaga and Beyonce travelling through a desert with police sirens wailing in the background. The video ends with the line "To Be Continued..."
[edit] Release and reception

On February 15, 2010, three film stills from the music video were posted on Gaga's website. The stills depicted Gaga in three separate scenes: a kitchen scene where she wears a plastic chef's hat and a telephone made entirely of hair on her head, a scene in a diner with her dancers, where she is seen wearing an American flag patterned bikini and bandana, and a black and white photo of Gaga wearing a hat made from multiple triangles and corded telephones. The video was originally slated to premiere in February 2010 but was pushed back to March 2010 instead. On March 9, 2010, more stills of the video were posted online. The video premiered on E! News and Vevo.com on March 11, 2010.

James Montogomery from MTV commented: "With 'Telephone', Gaga has entered the rarest of pop stratospheres, up there with the Madonnas and the Michael Jacksons." Matt Donnelly from Los Angeles Times said that "Telephone" music video is a "visual feast, packed with fantastic fashion, girl fights, poisoned diner food, an army of headpieces and lots of Gaga goodness." Amy Odell from New York magazine said "This is Gaga's video, but Beyonce is the best part: she actually shows the angry, crazy side that we just knew lurked beneath her too-perfect facade." Monica Herrera from Billboard wrote: "[The video] more than measures up to the hype. [...] 'Telephone' clip is chock full of intrigue, prison fights, makeout scenes, mass poisoning and plenty of skin-baring versions of what you might call 'outfits'." Tanner Stransky from Entertainment Weekly said: "Is it as good as her epic 'Bad Romance' video? Sadly, I don't think so. But it's better than anything else out there." Bill Lamb from About.com said: "It would be nearly impossible for it to live up to the advanced hype, but the Lady Gaga video for 'Telephone' has arrived, and, to these eyes, it is worth watching." Sandy Rios, president of the Culture Campaign criticised the video on Fox News in an interview with Megyn Kelly, calling it "disgusting... poison for the minds of our kids". Critic Armond White, of the New York Press, described the video as "cruel and ugly" also stating that it "epitomizes the insanity of the contemporary pop mainstream" and pays "homage to Tarantino's influence" in distorting "pop culture pleasure into nonsense".

Tags: Lady Gaga SKI Pop Explicit Beyonce Telephone Sandwich Bad Romance

 



 

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