Post-Modernism textual analysis
Lady gaga- “paparazzi”
The music video “paparazzi” is performed by Lady Gaga and directed by Jonas Akerlund. The music video is relatively new having officially been released in July 2009. The music video is both narrative and performance based; the narrative is based around the Lady Gaga’s rise to fame and relationship with her boyfriend. The video has many post-modernist features such as Homage/pastiche, intertextuality, binary divisions and references to popular culture.
The music video begins with close ups of flowers and then a cut to a LA mansion. The LA mansion may remind some audiences of those in the TV series Sunset Boulevard (1950); this is an example of intertexual reference. This may give some viewers pleasure if they are able to understand this intertextual reference; it also represents lady Gaga as a creative artist. The close up of flowers in the opening scenes connote innocence and purity, this may be the way that Lady Gaga is trying to portray herself at the start of the music video. There is also an opening title sequence in this music video at the start; this is an unconventional feature of a Pop/Dance music video. The opening title sequence is a feature of classic Hollywood music videos which maybe a hint to audiences that this music video contains a narrative, this is also an example of pastiche. Next we see a mid shot of a flower with lady Gaga written next to it, this further reinforces that Lady Gaga may be trying represent herself as pure and innocent.
Next there is a cut to the main bedroom of the Hollywood mansion, where we see Lady gaga and her boyfriend making love. There is still no music being played which is unconventional of Pop/ Dance music videos but expected in Post Modernist music videos as these videos are more reliant on style and not the content of the music video. Lady Gaga and her boyfriend move to the balcony where her boyfriend pushes her off. This shows that the narrative of the music video is going to revolve around Lady Gaga and her boyfriend’s relationship.
We then cut to the next example of homage, this time of Alfred Hitchcock’s film “vertigo”. Homage is commonly used in this music video for the audience’s pleasure as those who can understand them will appreciate the music video more. Next there is a cut to the first scene where music is being played in, this scenes shows a lady Gaga pull up in a limo in front of her house. Here we finally see a conventional feature of Pop/Dance music videos, which is back up dancers. This scene leads on to the first piece of binary division in the music video, which is lady Gaga’s robot costume making her look half human and half machine. It could also be argued that intertexuality is being used in this scene as Lady gaga looks similar in this scene to the fembot character in, “Metropolis”. Some auduience may gain pleasure from this scene especially if they are fans of this well known film.
The next scene is of lady gaga and female back up dancers, in this scene lady Gaga is showing off her dancing talents. Her costume in this scene is very unusual which may interest those who are into fashion, as Lady Gaga to some may be seen as a fashion icon. Here costume in the next scene is very interesting as she is wearing minie mouse costume and glasses. Here Lady Gaga is making reference to popular culture and maybe declaring her intentions of becoming an icon like Minie mouse. Referencing to popular culture is a stereotypical feature of postmodernist music videos.
Next we see another Post modernist feature of this music video which is blurring of fiction and reality. This occurs in the next scene where the audience are lead to believe that Lady Gaga is getting arrested for the murderer of her boyfriend, which is fiction. The reality which is shown in the next scene is the media attention and press (newspaper headlines shown in video) she gets as a celebrity. The music video ends in a stereotypical Hollywood film style, with the words “the end”.
Overall, we can say that this is music video makes use of many post modernist features which provide audiences who can understand them pleasure. The blurring of fiction and reality may also provide some viewers a form of escapism from everyday life, as they are drawn into someone elses life forgetting about theirs for a while. However, those who are unable to understand the use of homage and intertextuality in this video due to age are left to enjoy the music, dancing and fashion costumes. For this reason I believe this video does very well in attracting large audiences from a range of ages and interests.