"When I look back on my life, it's not like I want to see things as exactly as they happened. It's just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way..."
And so begins the 8-minute short film that precedes the long-awaited music video (and by long-awaited, I mean one whole month) for Gaga's personal ode to the city that gave birth to her, "Marry The Night." Upon viewing it a second time - and like most fans and pop culture hounds - I tried to scrape away the make-up and somewhat pretentious direction (yes, she's now aiming for a DGA membership, and from the looks of it, she has a hard-on for Kubrick) to see what the hell is really going on here.
..."And truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because I invented it..."
However oxymoronic that is, she goes on to tell us, while being transported on a gurney by a pair of fashionable nurses (one with "a great ass"), that memories are killed by trauma, her past is an "unfinished painting," and she "loathes reality." So, what she's offering us in this "Prelude Pathetique" is a glimpse into a little personal history after distracting us with avant-garde costumes, flashy cuts, overacting, and iconic metaphors. Could her music-video self here be a version of her true past self?
For those who'll be too impatient to sit through the next five minutes and will want to just fast-forward to the actual music video, you'll only be missing a messy montage in which she makes love to a box of Cheerios (Honey Nut, from the looks of it), poses as a ballerina who will never fit in, gets naked in a bathtub, cries like the former struggling artist she was (back when she was living in a ramshackled studio apartment in the Village), and flashes her boobs while high on whatever drug of choice was trendy in the mid-2000s.
You see, kids? It's autobiographical.
Next, she finally manages to break free from the chains that kept her hands tied for so long (Goodbye ambiguous figures of suppression!) and go out into the real world to pursue some artistic integrity - and a record deal, of course.
Then we get to the music...and the dancing. But first, before I forget, there's some awkward writhing in the driver seat of a Trans Am and exploding cars that must have been a bitch to manage on set (those production-hired fire marshalls can be sticklers sometimes).
Cut to Gaga in a dance studio, training to be the best she can be, and putting her ego on display by being the only dancer moving in heels (gotta stand out, don't ya Gaga?). The scene is very Fame, and it's pretty tight. And thankfully we finally get to see some Mark Kanemura action here as well.
Also interesting is the all-too-brief dance sequence underneath an El Train (maybe in the Bronx?). Here Gaga is in her element, in her natural habitat, tearing up the streets in her stilettos, and soaking up the energy of good ol' New York City, which is what the song is all about.
Okay, enough reading. Just watch:
Overall, the whole thing, as some haters might argue, is one giant, live-action diorama for her ego. I mean, she has the balls to predict in the prologue what colors will be big next spring (check those surgical caps); it clearly demonstrates that she knows she's earned enough clout to shape the future of fashion (and music). And anyone who strives to direct her own music video must be some kind of control freak, right? Maybe, but you have to give the Italian Catholic schoolgirl some credit. She's non-stop, always creating, always bleeding herself out. Can you blame her? She is, I think, the product of a short attention-spanned society that tends to be quick when it comes to favoring a new flavor every so often, which is ironic considering most of her current videos are 12-minute opuses (but that's a thesis paper for another time). It's okay, girl. Take a breather. We wouldn't want to see you implode.
But in the meantime, go ahead. Marry that night. As long as it's legal in New York State.
A Little Monster.