Textual Analysis (Shot by shot)<br />Lady Gaga – Paparazzi <br />
Context<br />Lady Gaga’s video for Paparazzi was released on in July 2009. It was written by Gaga and Rob Fusari, an Ameri...
Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi begins wiping in slowly from a circle from the centre. This establishing shot reveals a number of pa...
The shot which follows this is a close up of an exotic pink flower with “Starring Lady Gaga” written in bold white font ne...
The camera cuts to a long shot of a couple lying on the bed in a passionate embrace. As they start to speak Swedish, the v...
Costume <br />Lady Gaga is wearing a white lingerie piece and a white gown with feathered features which makes her look se...
The boyfriend picks up Lady Gaga and carries her out onto the balcony, resting her on the ledge next to an opened bottle o...
The couple then begin another passionate embrace. The scene cuts to the greyscale view from a camera, tilting upwards at t...
Mimicking the way the music video begins with the wiped in circle, the next scene shows Lady Gaga against a black and whit...
The next scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga lying in a pool of her own blood with men in black standing around her taking p...
The scene which follows is an extreme long shot of a black limo with a purple carpet trailing across the floor. There are ...
As the singing begins on the song, there is a cut to Lady Gaga dressed in a revealing black leather outfit who is sitting ...
There is a cut back to a long shot of the previous scene with Lady Gaga being pushed into a grand room with golden feature...
During a close up shot of Lady Gaga, two of the men stand in front of her so just her face is visible to the audience. The...
There is a quick cut and the image of three identical triplets sitting on the golden couch which was shown previously appe...
The next scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga and four dancers, all wearing white full body suits with navy blue ruffles. Thi...
At five minutes into the video, there is usage of strobe lighting, revealing Lady Gaga to be in a black outfit, with a rib...
The following scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga and her boyfriend sitting on a white sofa. He reads the paper whilst Lady ...
Lady Gaga gets up from the sofa and in the process, drops the magazine she was holding on the sofa. The headline from the ...
Costume<br />Lady Gaga is wearing a yellow outfit with the image of what appears to be Mickey Mouse on it. She also has bl...
As the boyfriend finishes his drink, there is a close up of his face to show the audience his reaction to knowing that he ...
The next scene is of Lady Gaga being taken by the police and being hounded by the paparazzi. Mimicking the scene from earl...
The final scene of the video is of Lady Gaga standing in front of a police height identification chart preparing for a mug...
Throughout the Paparazzi video, there are a number extremely quick cut away’s from the narrative which show dead women in ...
Editing <br />Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi uses very fast shots because it is a music video and the shots need to be cut to the b...
Final Analysis <br />Overall, I believe that this video is all about Lady Gaga’s transformation from Heaven to Hell due to...
Final Analysis <br />I think that this video does follow Todorov’s narrative theory in the way that it starts of in equili...
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Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

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Lady Gaga - Paparazzi

  1. 1. Textual Analysis (Shot by shot)<br />Lady Gaga – Paparazzi <br />
  2. 2. Context<br />Lady Gaga’s video for Paparazzi was released on in July 2009. It was written by Gaga and Rob Fusari, an American music producer and songwriter and is about Gaga’s struggled journey to find fame.  The Paparazzi video was directed by Jonas Akerlund, a Swedish director has worked on music videos for Madonna and U2.<br />“Paparazzi” is an eight minute music video which Lady Gaga called a mini-movie and stars the Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård as Gaga’s on-screen lover.<br />
  3. 3. Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi begins wiping in slowly from a circle from the centre. This establishing shot reveals a number of palm trees shaded in front of the sun. The next scene is an extreme long shot of a white mansion with a circle balcony on the top floor in the centre. There is a gate around the mansion with plants and flowers surrounding it. These two scenes reveal the location of the music video to be expensive and luxurious. <br />The first thing that the audience hears in these opening shots are the sound of waves, which lets the audience know that this video is located near by the sea. The audience then hears soft piano music which sets the scene of a peaceful, happy home.<br />
  4. 4. The shot which follows this is a close up of an exotic pink flower with “Starring Lady Gaga” written in bold white font next to it. I believe that this is significant because most women see flowers as sources of power and they can also be compared to the female genitalia and sexuality. Also, during the time when this video was filmed, there was uproar in the media about Lady Gaga’s gender caused by rumours that she was a hermaphrodite. The use of the pink flower next to Lady Gaga’s name makes her appear feminine.<br />The next shot is a long shot of a pile of American dollars on a wooden floor next to a bed. There are also stacks of dollars on the bed. Next to the money on the floor are two gold bars/ingots and what appears to be a bowl of jewellery. <br />The scene cuts to an extreme long shot of a bedroom with money scattered across the floor. Across the top in a white/grey colour, “Lady Gaga in Paparazzi” is written in large font, informing the audience of the song and the artist.There are two large arched windows at the back of the room, each with doors leading to the outside. Through these doors, the audience can see the sea. <br />
  5. 5. The camera cuts to a long shot of a couple lying on the bed in a passionate embrace. As they start to speak Swedish, the video not only plays homage to subtitled foreign films, but also lets the audience know that the couple are saying to each other. As the couple kiss and caress each other, there are cuts to objects around the room. The first is what looks like a dollar bill, but instead of the American figurehead, there is a picture of Lady Gaga. Written on the top right hand side of this bank note is “The United States of Lady Gaga”.<br />The next cut is to a fictional newspaper called Evening Star with the headline “Lady Gaga Reaches the Top Yet Again, with a picture of her and three men. These two cut offs from the main scene on the bed show the audience that Lady Gaga is portraying herself in the video, but to a much bigger scale in the way that by putting her face on a dollar bill makes her look like the figurehead of America. It also lets the audience know that the woman on the bed is Lady Gaga, if they hadn’t already worked it out for themselves.<br />
  6. 6. Costume <br />Lady Gaga is wearing a white lingerie piece and a white gown with feathered features which makes her look seductive, yet innocent as white is the colour of pureness. She also has on black leather fingerless gloves, which makes her look less pure. She has four diamante rings on each of her fingers, spelling out the word Dior. Dior is a French company which sells high-fashion clothing. I believe that this lets the audience know that this particular scene is set in France.<br />
  7. 7. The boyfriend picks up Lady Gaga and carries her out onto the balcony, resting her on the ledge next to an opened bottle of champagne. The boyfriend is wearing black suit trousers, a white vest top and black trousers, which is the typical dress for a gangster when they’re not on duty. Long shots are used in this scene to show the setting of the whereabouts of the characters and close-ups are used to show the passion between the characters as they kiss.As he lifts her into his arms, the soft piano music that was playing in the background gets louder and more dramatic which could symbolise danger<br />
  8. 8. The couple then begin another passionate embrace. The scene cuts to the greyscale view from a camera, tilting upwards at the couple on the balcony and the sound of camera shutters is heard. This shows the typical life of celebrities because they are always getting followed by the press. The use of the camera look is symbolic to this particular music video because another name for the press is “Paparazzi”.<br />As the couple continue to kiss, they start to notice the cameras. Lady Gaga tells him to stop and tries to push him off of her, but when he continues to kiss her, she smacks him in the face. A mid shot is used to show her hitting him and a close up is used to show his reaction to her outburst of violence. As he continues to try and kiss her, she grabs the champagne bottle which is lying next to her and hits him around the head with it. Furious at her actions, the boyfriend pushes Lady Gaga off of the balcony which is caught on camera by the paparazzi. After he pushes her, the camera looks up at him from below, showing the power he has after trying to murder his girlfriend.<br />
  9. 9. Mimicking the way the music video begins with the wiped in circle, the next scene shows Lady Gaga against a black and white swirled background. The way that the colours swirl against one another and the way that Lady Gaga moves slowly gives the illusion that she is falling. The hypnotic background is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller, Vertigo. The background draws the audience’s focus towards Lady Gaga because she is in the middle, showcasing what she looks like so they know that she is the singer.This scene could also be a symbol for Lady Gaga falling from Heaven into Hell. I came to this conclusion because at the start of the video, it looks as if she has the perfect life; the fame, the fortune and the perfect man, but now she’s lost it all.As she falls, the audience can hear her ragged breathing and the sound of a heartbeat. These sounds would have been added in at post production, making them non-diegetic sounds.<br /> <br />
  10. 10. The next scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga lying in a pool of her own blood with men in black standing around her taking photographs. I think this really shows the atrociousness of the press as they continue to take pictures of her instead of helping her. There is a quick cut to a mid-shot of Lady Gaga, but then a newspaper appears, spinning from the centre of the screen. This would have been super-imposed onto the video in the editing process.  There is another cut to six men crowding around the camera looking downwards and taking photographs. This shot is told from the point of view of Lady Gaga, looking up at the paparazzi.<br />There are then two more newspapers which appear one after the other. The first saying “Lady Gaga is Over” and the second saying “Lady No More Gaga”. These headlines, along with the fist newspaper which appeared, which said “Lady Gaga Hits Rock Bottom” could interpret that she has lost her fame. It is in this shot where the music begins.<br />
  11. 11. The scene which follows is an extreme long shot of a black limo with a purple carpet trailing across the floor. There are four men in black suits standing outside, two opening the door to the limo, one holding a wheel chair and the other standing and looking at the limo. There is a close up of the limo door opening, revealing Lady Gaga in a black jacket with diamond studded shoulder pads, a red neck brace, dark sunglasses and a section her hair wrapped around a giant button. One of the men lifts her out of the car and sits her down on the wheelchair. As he does this, there is a high angle shot revealing Lady Gaga to be wearing leopard print tights and high heeled shoes. The way the camera is looking down on Lady Gaga makes her appear vulnerable; due to the fact she is being carried and put into a wheelchair.<br />The colour purple is constant in this particular scene. It is the colour associated with royalty due to the fact that it was expensive to make in the middle ages. This could interpret that as Lady Gaga was almost killed by her boyfriend in front of the paparazzi, she has been given a lot of money. The colour purple also associates with power and wisdom.<br />
  12. 12. As the singing begins on the song, there is a cut to Lady Gaga dressed in a revealing black leather outfit who is sitting on a large golden couch. She also has on long black leather gloves. Up until now, the music video has been narrative, but this section is purely performance as she is lip syncing to the song. The first two shots that the audience see’s of Lady Gaga are her making the shape of a gun with her hand and the other, covering her eyes. I think that these two shots refer back to earlier on in the video when the character she plays is almost killed by her boyfriend.<br />
  13. 13. There is a cut back to a long shot of the previous scene with Lady Gaga being pushed into a grand room with golden features. One of the men pushes her in the wheelchair down whilst the other three start to dance around her. Two of the men even begin to do the Queen’s wave as they walk beside her as they enter the building which shows that they believe that Lady Gaga is royalty. <br />As the wheelchair reaches the end of the purple carpet, the men start to remove Lady Gaga’s neck brace and assist her to remove her clothes. This shot is done via a mixture of close ups and long shots to show the movements of the characters.<br /> <br />
  14. 14. During a close up shot of Lady Gaga, two of the men stand in front of her so just her face is visible to the audience. There is a quick cut to a long shot as the two men move, revealing Lady Gaga to be wearing a gold metal costume and a gold headpiece. Four female dancers appear, wearing dark blue and white dresses. Lady Gaga stands and starts to shakily walk forward along the purple carpet, using crutches. <br />The metallic costume is based upon a silent film created in 1927 called Metropolis, which a tale set in the future is about a girl named Maria, who is transformed into a robot. The way Gaga moves from her wheelchair in the video to the way Maria moves in the film is very similar.<br />
  15. 15. There is a quick cut and the image of three identical triplets sitting on the golden couch which was shown previously appears. These triplets, who are a Swedish rock band, had previously been on the MTV reality dating show, Daisy of Love. In the next shot, which is a long shot, Lady Gaga appears sitting between the triplets and begins to kiss and caress them. This scene is very sexually suggestive. During this, there is a line in the song which says “Loving you is cherry pie” and I think that this refers to the female genitalia and her sexuality.   <br />
  16. 16. The next scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga and four dancers, all wearing white full body suits with navy blue ruffles. This scene is purely performance and there are no cuts to the narrative of the video. The outfits that Lady Gaga and the dancers wear could be modern interpretations of wedding dresses which could show that her purity from the beginning of the video is slowly wearing away as only half of her dress it white.<br />
  17. 17. At five minutes into the video, there is usage of strobe lighting, revealing Lady Gaga to be in a black outfit, with a ribbon feature piece by her left shoulder. The use of the strobe lighting could symbolise camera flashes from the paparazzi. This scene has been edited together so that with every few strobe-light flashes, Lady Gaga appears in a different position. <br />Two harlequin Great Dane’s also appear in this segment of the video, which I think backs up my idea of heaven and hell because dogs are suggestive of the Hounds of Hell. These two dogs have also previously appeared in another of Lady Gaga’s videos and were scheduled to appear in the next, but sadly passed away.  <br />
  18. 18. The following scene is a long shot of Lady Gaga and her boyfriend sitting on a white sofa. He reads the paper whilst Lady Gaga, with a magazine on her lap, watches the house maid leave a tray of drinks and ice on the table at the far end of the room. The boyfriend is wearing a crisp white dress shirt with an undone bow tie around his neck and he has an eye patch over his left eye, which I think is there due to the fact that he was hit in the side of the face with a champagne bottle and some of the glass might have gotten into his eye.<br />
  19. 19. Lady Gaga gets up from the sofa and in the process, drops the magazine she was holding on the sofa. The headline from the magazine, “The New It Girl”, appears on the screen in bright yellow font. I think that this means that since the accident, Lady Gaga has changed into a new woman. <br />There is a long shot of the room as Lady Gaga walks from the sofa over to the drinks table. As she pours the liquid into the cup, there is a close up of her face, which is expressionless. The scene cuts to an extreme close up of a ring that Lady Gaga has on her left hand, which she opens, revealing a white powder. In the bottom right hand of the screen is a small picture of a black skull with the word poison underneath. This makes the audience realise that she is going to murder her boyfriend.<br />The ring that conceals the poison that Lady Gaga wears is based on Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of a powerful Renaissance Valencian. It was rumoured that she had a hollowed out ring which she used to conceal poison, with which she would often taint drinks with.<br />
  20. 20. Costume<br />Lady Gaga is wearing a yellow outfit with the image of what appears to be Mickey Mouse on it. She also has black sunglasses on, which has attachments that flip up, to give her the look of having Mickey Mouse ears. I think that this outfit contrasts with the nature of her actions because Mickey Mouse and Disney give the appearance of childish, innocent and naïve and she is about to kill her boyfriend.<br />She also has black lipstick on, which I think is symbolic because black is the colour of power, evil, anger and death.<br />
  21. 21. As the boyfriend finishes his drink, there is a close up of his face to show the audience his reaction to knowing that he is about to die. There is then a quick cut to a long shot of the room, showing his head falling on his chest, followed by a close up of him dropping his newspaper and his cup.<br />The music stops completely, and then the sound of a phone ringing is heard. A female voice then states that she is the emergency services, which is then followed by Lady Gaga telling her that she killed her boyfriend. As this happens, Lady Gaga takes of her glasses and puts them on her boyfriend before leaving the room. This shot was done with the camera looking up at Lady Gaga, which shows the power she has after murdering her boyfriend.<br />There is a cross dissolve/cross fade from an almost empty room with the dead boyfriend in it, to the same room being inspected by crime scene investigators. This editing technique/effect shows that some amount of time has passed and nothing has changed in that scene.<br />One of the crime scene investigators takes a photograph of the dead body, and as he pulls the camera away, there is what appears to be a green skeleton reflected in the close up of his glasses. I think that this shows the audience that the boyfriend is really dead and that Lady Gaga has killed her boyfriend.<br />
  22. 22. The next scene is of Lady Gaga being taken by the police and being hounded by the paparazzi. Mimicking the scene from earlier on in the video, super imposed newspapers appear with the headlines “She’s Back”, “We Love Her Again” and “She’s innocent.” This makes me believe that the press didn’t care for her after she had her accident, but now they know that she killed her boyfriend, they want to have her. <br />The scene is shot mostly in black and white, with gives the appearance that the audience is seeing the scene through the lense of the camera.This scene includes camera flashes and the paparazzi shouting “Gaga”, showing that they are trying to get her attention so that they can get a photo of her being arrested.<br />
  23. 23. The final scene of the video is of Lady Gaga standing in front of a police height identification chart preparing for a mug-shot. The scene looks as if it has been shot in black and white, but she has purple tattoos of tear drops on her cheeks which stand out. <br />A long shot is used to show her walking in front of the height identification chart which is to show the audience where she is, and close ups are used to show her face. I think the purple tear tattoos are final significant part of the film because one of the lyrics in the song is “My lashes are dry, purple tear drops I cry”<br />
  24. 24. Throughout the Paparazzi video, there are a number extremely quick cut away’s from the narrative which show dead women in various positions. The way that some of these women are positioned reminded me of some of the words by conceptual photographer Cindy Sherman.<br />When I first watched the video through, I made a quick assumption that these women’s deaths had been caused by Lady Gaga’s boyfriend because of the way that he almost killed her at the start of the video. However, as I continued to analyse the video, I noticed that one of the dead women was the housemaid that was shown at the end of the video, leaving the drinks tray in the room. This made me realise that Lady Gaga must have killed her boyfriend and then go on to kill these women afterwards.<br />
  25. 25. Editing <br />Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi uses very fast shots because it is a music video and the shots need to be cut to the beat to make it flow. The editing of the shots looks seamless as they cut to one shot of Lady Gaga to another one whilst she is singing the same line of the song. At the start of the video, there is a close up of water droplets from a fountain. The director must have been using a high frame rate, in order to show the speed of the shot, giving the effect of the separate droplets of water, rather than one big stream of water.<br />
  26. 26. Final Analysis <br />Overall, I believe that this video is all about Lady Gaga’s transformation from Heaven to Hell due to the media. At the start of the video, she has the perfect life, with the fame, the fortune and the perfect man. However, when her boyfriend tries to kill her because he didn’t want to be photographed in a passionate embrace, she hits rock bottom. The moment her boyfriend pushes her off of the balcony, the boyfriend says the words “Damn you to hell” in Swedish, The next scene shows her falling – which I have interpreted as her falling from heaven.<br />Throughout the rest of the video, Lady Gaga is shown out of the limelight and away from the press, which I think would be her idea of hell because she would have lost some of her fame. At the end of the video, Lady Gaga kills her boyfriend and I also think that she killed the women that are shown dead during the course of the video. This shows that Lady Gaga has committed the most evil crime there is. <br />
  27. 27. Final Analysis <br />I think that this video does follow Todorov’s narrative theory in the way that it starts of in equilibrium as Lady Gaga and her boyfriend are in a happy relationship and she has all the fame. The video then moves into disequibruim when Lady Gaga is pushed off of a building by her boyfriend. By the end of the video, a new equilibrium is formed when Lady Gaga gets her revenge by killing her boyfriend.<br />Paparazzi also unconventionally follows Propp’s character theory, because Lady Gaga plays both the victim and the villain, by the way she is almost murdered by somebody she loves and then becomes the murderer at the end of the video. <br />
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