The Absurd Genius of the Bad Romance Video – ThinkProgress

The video for Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” dropped yesterday, and even more than her epic sex-murder-high-fashion-and-Alexander-Skarsgard video for “Paparazzi,” it seems like a distillation of everything that’s made her as successful as she is. And it may be the video that’s converted me, on a really genuine this-girl-is-compelling level. Not that it’s not incredibly strange:
I think one of the reasons I admire Lady Gaga is that more than almost anyone else, she seems willing to embrace the grostesquerie of high fashion. She’s comfortable in the distortion of shapes, the tortorous high heels, but she’s comfortable in them not entirely because they make her sexy. Whether it’s the eye makeup that makes her eyes look uncomfortably big in the bathtub scene, or the twisted hands coming out of the white coffins, Gaga’s at home in both deformity and glamor. It’s an aesthetic that goes with the lyrics: “I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything, as long as it’s free.”And because she embraces that grotesquerie, Lady Gaga’s one of the few artists who is able to walk over the bridge between beauty and high fashion into the land of the truly fantastical. The crowns on the white semi-gimp suits from the opening sequence, and from the red dress she wore at the Video Music Awards remind me overwhelmingly of Cathedral Head, from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. They’re just stunning.As a performer, she’s just astonishingly protean in this video. Whether she’s eyeless in the opening sequence, looking disturbingly like an anime character in the bathtub sequence, looking exactly like Amy Winehouse in a posed profile set against a burning bed, staring out from a diamond eyepiece, suspended in time as she’s up for auction, or shot straight on, up close, and incredibly vulnerable, she looks like a half-dozen different women. And that’s in about five minutes.

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