Monday, November 4, 2013

Lady Gaga, Browning 'N Serve

I've worked with local TV news executives who didn't think young people cared about classic films.  Films made before the 1980s.  Films in black and white.  I argued with those execs and told them I didn't agree.  I saw photos this morning of  Lady Gaga, nominee and headliner at the YouTube Music Awards over the weekend.

Gaga reminded me that classic films and their stars still draw attention.  And can inspire.

Look at Madonna.  She recreated the Marilyn Monroe look, fashion and choreography of Monroe's jazzy "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" number in 1953's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in her 1980s "Material Girl" music video.  Her "Express Yourself" video borrowed heavily from the 1927 silent film classic, Metropolis.  TV's Glee has copied Judy Garland from her MGM superstar years, Bob Fosse-directed movie musicals and William Wyler's screen version of Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand.

Enter Lady Gaga.  Just like Madonna, she looks to the past to get attention in the present.  This morning online, I noticed that Lady Gaga got red carpet press with her odd teeth.

It was strange and new to young entertainment correspondents, but it looked familiar to me.  Lon Chaney, a brilliant silent screen character actor known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces," starred in a thriller called London After Midnight.  It was directed by Tod Browning, the man who also directed Freaks.  Look at Lon in London After Midnight.

Look at Lady Gaga at the YouTube Music Awards in New York City.

Lon Chaney should've been her date.

I think Gaga took a gander at images from that 1927 Tod Browning classic before she served up her strange fashion statement on the red carpet.  What do you think?

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