10 Weirdest Influences in Lady Gaga's 'Applause' Video - Rolling Stone
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10 Weirdest Influences in Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ Video

From Madonna (duh!) to Hillary (what?), spot these visual references in Gaga’s latest video masterpiece

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Courtesy Interscope

Lady Gaga’s “Applause” video arrived today, and as with all Gaga productions, it’s an impressive collage of oddball influences and eccentric inspirations. Watch the full clip here and see if you can spot the following 10 weird references in her first official piece of ARTPOP:

1. Upping her feud with the Queen of Pop, the video is full of black and white allusions to Madonna’s “Vogue.”


2. How black and white? So black and white some images evoke 1920s German Expressionist cinema.

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, from left: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, 1920

3. Moving Northward on her crusade through the canon of European film, Gaga gets down while rocking a head wrap that evokes the character Death in Igmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

THE SEVENTH SEAL, Bengt Ekerot, 1957

4. In a more colorful moment, Gaga evokes Heath Ledger’s Joker, with makeup smeared across her face she forgot to take it off from last Halloween. 

Heath Ledger the joker dark knight

5. Gaga literally becomes a black swan.

natalie portman black swan

6. All the Euro imagery taken together? Willkommen to Liza Minelli in Cabaret!

cabaret liza minnelli

7. And what is she wearing, as she emerges from Petty’s hat? A psychedelic take on a green sport jacket and Secretary-of-State worthy hair. Subliminal message: Hillary in 2016!

Hillary Clinton

8. As she pops out of a top hat, the vibe goes all Alice In Wonderland via Tom Petty in “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – one of the greatest videos of the Eighties. 

9. One of her costumes isn’t much more than two black gloves wrapped around her gagas, a la Janet Jackson’s classic controversial Nineties Rolling Stone cover.

janet jackson rolling stone

10. Gaga wears a Beyoncé wig and nothing but well-placed clamshells, evoking Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

In This Article: Lady Gaga


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