Forever starved for attention/authenticity/adulation, Lady Gaga is going to debut Five Foot Two, “a documentary about her life” in September. The film will simultaneously debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and on Netflix September 24. She tweeted three short clips of the documentary, showing her in various, artsy Instagram-filtered clips speaking about how she is “alone” at the end of the day. So what?
Lady Gaga has built a career around being an oddball. An oddball with a strong, theatrical voice and piano skills. She’s had some great songs, and for a while, even she seemed like a talented painting of a pop star, a modern-day Ziggy Stardust. Somehow, she’s managed to build a footprint in the landscape of pop culture, but still feel uninspiring. As every multi-talented star who is crossing over into other media, she cannot escape the comparisons to Madonna.
Our (fallen) First Lady of Pop also performed the same type of slick PR move about 25 years ago. Madonna: Truth or Dare was meant to humanize the notoriously unpleasant pop star right before she dove into the deep end of her (thankfully) short-lived film career. Gaga, or Stefani Germanotta (how she will be billed in the movie) will co-star with the blandly handsome/handsomely bland Bradley Cooper in yet another remake of A Star is Born. For some reason, the film will not be released for an entire year after Five Foot Two. She will join the ranks of such queer icons as Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in the lead, so it is certain that Gaga felt it was her duty to play the role. Gaga will always be there for us, to step into the shoes of our idols. Or ride their coattails.
Part of the reasoning for this is PR, plain and simple. From a woman who started her career as part outrageous Marilyn Manson/part masked Sia, Lady Gaga spends a lot of her time convincing us that she’s human, that she’s on our side, that she would go to battle for any oppressed person. Sometimes it feels like pandering, sometimes it feels like an alliance, but it always feels like…. a lot of nothing.