Lady Gaga was bluffing with her muffin in “Poker Face,” turned herself into a sex slave monster in “Bad Romance” and kinda hinted at hooking up with Beyoncé in her “Telephone” video. And today we get a look at Gaga’s controversial new “Alejandro” video! And surprise, surprise! The homoeroticism continues!
Reminiscent of if not very much inspired by “Like A Prayer”-era Madonna (Remember when Madonna set those crosses on fire? And also wore lingerie, humped a bed and featured comically protruding bras on her Blond Ambition tour? Bad, Madonna! Very bad!) — Gaga’s “Alejandro” video could be interpreted as Gaga striking out at organized religion’s repression of sexuality and homosexuality. Those soldiers who look an awful lot like Nazis? (If you’re reading this, religious right, though you’re probably not reading this, we’re 150 trillion percent confident Gaga’s the last person on Earth you could peg as a Nazi sympathizer. They’re REFERENCES, people. REFERENCES.) Perhaps we have Gaga’s version of stomping out gay persecution, homophobia and intolerance. (Or maybe I just wrote too many lit crit papers in college.) Is “Alejandro,” which features Gaga dressed like a hot lady version of the Pope, a stylistic statement against religion’s oppression of sex? Especially gay sex? Or maybe Gaga just likes to dominate spectacularly chiseled men cross-dressing in fishnets and heels. Fine with us. Gaga herself said that the video is “a celebration of my love and appreciation for the gay community,” and she definitely delivers plenty of gay. While Gaga did speak out against “Don’t ask, don’t tell” on “Larry King Live,” it’s doubtful Gaga would make a video that obvious. Strip away all of the militaristic symbolism, Matthew Barney allusions, love games and Gaga’s inability to get with her gay friends, and the takeaway feels like “Alejandro” is Gaga’s eff you to homophobia.
Directed by photographer Steven Klein, the 8-minute-plus “Alejandro” video eventually begins to feel like the type of fashion film Alexander McQueen would’ve used as a backdrop to one of his runway shows. Even after she conducts an orgy that defies sexual labeling, there’s a subtle air of detachment on Gaga’s behalf. Stunning, even in shades of gray, Gaga’s on the outside looking in, almost like a loveless mother monster figure. Toward the end, the “Alejandro” video morphs into a visual retrospective of the video itself. (At which point Gaga once again incinerates herself. Please stop self-destructing, Gaga!) And who else besides Gaga can pull that off? Well, besides Madonna.