Intertextuality and Lady Gaga

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The Macmillan English 10 for the Australian Curriculum textbook, edited by Sandra Bernhardt, contains a brief discussion on intertextuality and the music video for Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi  song. This text, released in 2007, “… borrows heavily from film noir and detective genres, and also … references the films of Alfred Hitchcock.” (p 152) Clearly, these intertextual references work best when the connections with other texts are recognised by students – consider incorporating this music video in a senior class studying crime fiction. WARNING: provocative costumes and sexual posturing makes this narrative music video suitable for mature students only.

  • slow piano music accompanies the introductory images of flowers

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  • structured as a crime film, with a distinct and opulent setting, stylised characters and plot – narrative reveals attempted murder with motive, revenge, police investigation and familiar moral message – crime does not pay

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  • opening titles, with actor credits and subtitles which provides the suggestion of serious drama
  • a montage and close ups of clues, such as bank notes, supports the detective genre

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  • black and white stills with bullseye or target icon introduce an element of crime and partner mistrust

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  • black and white swirling kaleidoscope imitates a famous scene form Vertigo

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  • narrative intercut with staged crime scene images and newspaper front page headlines that move the narrative forward

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  • title references Rear Window where the photographer spies on his neighbours and photographs their lives.this links to the lyrics in which Lady Gaga identifies herself as the paparazzo stalking the object of her affection

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  • font mimics post war film noir style

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