Decoding Lady Gaga’s ‘G.U.Y.’ Video: Rebirth With a Side of Michael Jackson Clones


As Lady Gaga promised during her SXSW keynote, she released a new, batshit crazy video this weekend. It’s billed as a video for ARTPOP track “G.U.Y.” but it’s actually a 12-minute film that includes “ARTPOP,” “Venus,” “G.U.Y.”, “MANiCURE” and four minutes of credits in which Gaga thanks every PA, lifeguard, and security dude who worked on the thing. As we’ve done in the past, Flavorwire picked apart Gaga’s mixed messages and seemingly endless sources of inspiration.


You can watch the video above. After a few viewings, it still doesn’t really make sense, but here’s a guess as to the narrative: the greedy businessmen kill phoenix-Gaga; she’s reborn as a super hot evil scientist, who combines the DNA of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Jackson, and John Lennon to create the perfect male specimen to clone; she goes on a mass murder spree with a couple of Real Housewives accomplices, killing the businessmen and bringing in her clones to replace them; they take over the world and she gets laid. There’s a metaphor for major labels in there somewhere.

Like if Kanye’s Runaway film was set in the Russian countryside instead of a palace, and he turned on his bird bride like her name’s Amber Rose. The phoenix will rise again, fret not.

Gaga’s made reference to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal in much more explicit ways than this in her “Applause” video. This could just be the case of her following through with a visual theme introduced earlier in her ARTPOP campaign (“death in a body suit” is how we phrased it previously, which seems apt here as Gaga is a phoenix going through rebirth). There’s something about the way her face is surrounded by flowers that made me think of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss.

The gold standard of opulent synchronized swimming is Esther Williams’ 1944 film, Bathing Beauty. So much pink!

Please tell me this was a scrapped concept for this year’s Summer By Bravo commercial.

Another nixed idea for the next Summer By Bravo commercial.

Andy Cohen realized the only things people want to see in Lisa Vanderpump’s hands are a pitchfork and a stiff drink. Also, if the

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were going to start a band, it would most definitely not be some pansy-ass folk sister-act in high-necked dresses.

American Apparel ad much? Someone’s been hanging out with Uncle Terry. Also, the flowers feel sort of Lana Del Rey-ish, maybe a little Miley/“Adore You” art. I’m probably just name-checking Miley because I can’t look at a high-cut leotard without thinking of her crotch, even though Gaga did it first.

As she did with Jeff Koons, Gaga got in touch with an artist whose work she wanted to incorporate into her own and commissioned him to create a custom sculpture of herself. Gaga’s head sits atop Nathan Sawaya’s signature work in his Art of the Brick collection. Sawaya also created Lego fruit for the video, including the apple Gaga holds when she’s channeling an Eve-meets-Cleopatra-meets-Great-Gatsby vibe (as seen below).

Reminds me of old J.Lo videos plus Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite stage show.

This whole subplot is some Jurassic Park/Blade Runner shit, but the people in the caskets are (from left) Jesus, Gandhi, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson. (You can only tell it’s John Lennon based on the credits, because they never show his face.) The idea is that Gaga recreates these icons (using bits of their DNA? Is this Jurassic Park?! Or were they cryogenically frozen?), combining their DNA to create her perfect “G.U.Y.” which she then clones a bajillion times. (And yet the clones look nothing like any of them!)


Gaga’s sexualizing herself in a traditional light for the first time in a while, and yet all I can think of is her trashy ’90s character from her “3-Way” digital short with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake.

Old-timey gangsters who watched The Crow three times in one weekend because the remote wasn’t in reaching distance and they were too lazy to get off the couch.

I didn’t know they filmed a Calvin Klein ad on the old Z enon sets!