While you were sleeping, Lady Gaga and Beyonce's nine and a half minute "Telephone" video ate pop culture. (EW's Music Mix blog called its debut last night "Gay Christmas.") It's supposed to be a sequel to Gaga's "Paparazzi" video--both are directed by Jonas Åkerlund (although we don't know why they didn't just get Quentin Tarantino for this one). In a critical essay on True/Slant Japhy Grant insists that "taken together, 'Paparazzi' and 'Telephone' are a paean not to celebrity and fame of the general variety, but rather that very specific genus of it found only in Southern California." He even pulls Thom Mayne into it: "Both Gaga and Mayne get Los Angeles and Southern California on a fundamental level. Rather than try to resolve the disparate, complex and conflicting forces in modern society, why not highlight them? Celebrate them?" So in honor of the whole damn affair, here's your Gaga Guide to LA.
Where else would "Paparazzi" alter ego Gaga live but in this ridiculous estate in Bel Air, which Curbed declared "Rather Hideous" just last month. (Someone seems to have 'shopped in an ocean.)
Spoiler alert: At the end of "Paparazzi," Gaga kills her boyfriend and goes to jail. And here she is, at the most fabulous jail ever--there's the Twin Towers Correctional facility near downtown. UPDATE: A reader points out that the actual jail that was used for filming is the Lincoln Heights jail (just the first shot is the Twin Towers, if that wasn't clear).
After B springs G, they take The Bride's Pussy Wagon (the actual one from Kill Bill; it belongs to Tarantino) out into the desert and stop in to cause some trouble (and wear hats made out of telephones) at a diner in Lancaster.
More from Grant's essay, in which he calls Gaga's viewpoint "unique to Los Angeles, a city that’s maddeningly dysfunctional to outsiders, but from the inside is nothing short of a kaleidoscopic fever dream of possibility.
Which is what these videos are all about, no matter how highbrow an explanation as that may seem for a video which features synchronized sandwich-making... It’s the New American Dream. New York offered up a melting pot, but this century is going to look a lot more like a Los Angeles collage, hopefully one with lots of hot lesbian dance numbers."
· Telephone [YouTube]
· Decoding the New Lady Gaga Video [True/Slant]
· Palatial French Estate in Bel Air Brings on the Bling [Curbed LA]