[Visual Analysis] Beyonce ft Lady Gaga: Video Phone

After watching the video for Video Phone, my appreciation for the directorial talents of Hype Williams remained solidified. He makes a mean ass video and this was no exception.  Hype is known for is his ingenious application and use of color within his compositions. Brilliant neons, muted purples and metalics, amplified earth tones, his creations perfectly fit the tone and energy of the musical pieces they accompany. As a young grafitti artist he wanted to be the Basquiat or  Keith Haring of the streets, an ambition as indicative of his artistic prowess as it is of his extraordinary aesthetic ideology. His canvas is film and he masters it with the grace of Boticelli and the eye of a visionary. I became somewhat of a fan when Beyonce dropped the video for Single Ladies. Like Kanye, I must agree that it was one of the best of the decade. It was stunning in it’s simplicity, a perfect blend of stylish direction and flawless performance that will certainly be heralded as a classic 20 years from now. After it, however, Beyonce’s video game slipped a tad which was probably due to the pressure of trying to top herself.  Hype single handedly up’d her cool points in my book about 50%.  It seemed she let go of what her fans have come to expect and just had fun with this video, and it worked.  Hype shoots women as surreally beautiful creatures,  an augmentation of the qualities already existent within his female subjects. In this respect, since he’s dealing with Beyonce’s self proclaimed hardcore alter ego Sasha Fierce, we are presented with Beyonce as a collage of femme fatale archetypes complete with pop art shotguns, high heels and side-swept bangs. Influences range from Betty Page and Priss Asagiri, to Sin City’s Gail, Barbarella and g’d up chulas in the style of Mr. Cartoon. The men play the background as Beyonce’s faceless playthings, tied to chairs, stroked with instruments of death and impailed on spinning wheels. The song itself is coquettishly airheaded, lyrically vacant but you know it wasn’t intended to be a grammy nominee. It’s a slice of friday night/saturday morning sexiness better suited for 2am strobe light and smoke machine induced frenzies. Flash editing, festive and opulent colors and tight close-ups of cat eyes and moist lips provide the ambiance for Beyonce’s phone freak fantasies, leaving the viewer with a 5 minute exhortation of  pulp magzine-esque visuals.  The result is something like a bondage/peep show you would see at Cirque Du Soleil. I can dig it


2 Comments so far
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Heeyy you seem to really know what your talking about anyways but I’m really curious about the colour scheme in the beginning of the video… the black and white to red then colour?
the whole video seems to be trying to show something else and it annoying me becuase i can’t figure it out!pleaassee help

Comment by Nadia

I truly love Lady Gaga and her bizarre dresses but she really let herself down now going out in see through undergarments.

Comment by Jefferey Locket

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