February 28th, 2011
05:14 PM ET
The egg/incubator that carried Lady Gaga as she arrived to the Grammys? Oh, that was only the beginning.
The pop star stretched the rebirth concept even further with her video for “Born This Way,” which premiered Monday. Between the unicorn, the outer-space, kaleidoscopic birthing scenes and that giant pink ponytail juxtaposed against skeleton makeup a la model Rick Genest (also known as Zombie Boy, who appears alongside Gaga in the video), it’s understandable that the reaction has swung from positive to negative and every bit of confused in between.
The just over seven-minutes long clip, which Gaga directed with fashion photographer Nick Knight and choreographer Laurieann Gibson, has got a lot to take in.
It all begins with the “manifesto of mother monster,” with Gaga weaving a tale of creation: “On GOAT, a government owned alien territory in space, a birth of magnificent and magical proportions took place,” she explains. It was the birth of a "new race, a race within the race of humanity, a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment, but boundless freedom.”
Yet at the same time, there was also the birth of evil…so of course Gaga had to break out the big guns.
And then – and only then – do we get to the song and dance segment of this saga.
"Once...'Born This Way' proper begins, it becomes a much more standard video. Born-again Gaga line-dances in a chain bikini that seems left over from 'Telephone.' Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t go further with this. Since she’s just been born, shouldn’t she be in her birthday suit? For modesty—if such a thing concerns her—she could be covered in glittery amniotic fluid!"
And then there are the references to source. While Gaga told BBC's Radio 1 that the video's "very inspired by, especially in the beginning, Salvador Dalí and Francis Bacon, the surrealist painters," Rolling Stone also interpreted hints of Madonna and Fritz Lang's "Metropolis."
But perhaps we’re missing the point by trying to understand it, and should simply enjoy it for what it is.
“It's part fantasy, part hopeful reality. It's about the future and the past (especially at clip's end, when Gaga sports Madonna's near-trademarked tooth gap)," MTV observes, "but really, all of that pales in comparison to the sheer spectacle of the thing.”
What did you think of the video?
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