For anyone living under a rock in the past few days, Lady Gaga’s video for ‘Applause’ premiered August 19, 2013 on Good Morning America, splashed across every billboard in Times Square. Already the video has nearly 15 million views on YouTube. The video itself on the surface is weird but fun in the vein of the campy Gaga videos we were blessed with during The Fame Monster era. Quite possibly her best video since ‘Bad Romance.’ But if you watch the video more than once, and I suggest you do, you’ll see that there are layers upon layers of meaning and symbolism.
The video isn’t just a circus freak show, it’s a presentation of past, present and future Gaga, the saturation of her many influences, and the first time she’s smiled in a music video in years. Take a look through my list as I attempt to call out every possible multi-faceted imagery in this amazing piece of theater.