Factory Features

WATCH IT: Lady Gaga "Marry The Night" (Lady Gaga, dir.)

This 16 minute meditation on Lady Gaga's artistic triumph after setbacks and despair — call it a bildungsroman, if you want to be fancy — plays a bit like The Wall in reverse: Gaga starts broken down and alienated, rising up from that low point to fulfill her dreams of stardom. Both The Wall (the movie, that is) and this video are grandiose — not to mention the shared eyebrow style — but Gaga actually wins in terms of brevity and humor.

WATCH IT: Lady Gaga "Yoü And I" (Laurieann Gibson, dir.)

Gaga Goes To Nebraska in "Yoü And I," a wild video that's a whole lot edgier than anything you'd typically associate with the Cornhusker State. An intro cobbles together the grotesqueness of old Marilyn Manson videos (a recurring Gaga fetish, I believe) with the surreally sunny ice cream truck of Smashing Pumpking "Today" before rocketing to something of an update of Footloose, but with lots of androgyny and a sexy mermaid.

WATCH IT: Lady Gaga "Judas" (Laurieann Gibson + Lady Gaga, dir.)

"Judas" isn't The Last Temptataion of the Gaga, but it should stir up just enough controversy as it melds some Jesus/Mary Madalene/Judas imagery with more modern Biblical tales, like The Wild One and West Side Story. There's the now to be expected Lady Gaga stylistic touches — the little red lipstick gun could be a big Sephora seller — and a pretty beautiful baptism sequence in the middle, but overall it's more flamoboyant and rebellious than actually blasphemous. Which I guess is a disappointment if you were hoping for this cross to bear another round of the culture wars.--> watch "Judas"

WATCH THIS: Lady Gaga "Born This Way" (Nick Knight, dir.)

The introductory pink triangle that gets bisected into the letter V gives you some indication of what to expect in this magnum opus by Lady Gaga and visual artist Nick Knight. A lengthy sci-fi intro — one which has me wishing Marlon Brando could cameo as Jor-El — establishes Gaga as the Eternal Mother, literally giving birth to all creation in a series of perhaps graphic, or merely kaleidoscopic shots. The main dance performance and accompanying dead wedding set-up uphold the "accept yourself" aspect of the song, showcasing her in a variety of often beyond-human looks. As usual, it's way more ambitious than needs to be and also way more transgressive than what usually tops the charts.