Lady Gaga opens up about the pitfalls of fame
Lady Gaga’s newest project, the studio album ‘Joanne’, comes from a very personal space even though it isn’t entirely autobiographical. ‘Joanne’ is named after her aunt, who passed away at a young age due to an autoimmune disease called Lupus in 1974. The album is Gaga’s way of identifying the physical and emotional pain within her family which may possibly have affected her own demons as well. A Netflix documentary titled “GAGA: FIVE FEET TWO” was released on September 22, 2017, which follows the making of this album and the artist’s personal life during the production process. It shows Lady Gaga on-stage, back-stage and off-stage and penetrates into every aspect of her life.
The documentary portrays a strong, self-aware yet vulnerable individual. Director Chris Moukarbel had complete access to Gaga’s life during the making of this documentary and she left the portrayal of her character entirely on him. It was brave of the pop superstar to leave the door open like that to everything from her harrowing breakup with ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney to her physical struggle with fibromyalgia. Lady Gaga Talks Complications of Fame in “GAGA: FIVE FEET TWO”, the new Netflix Special documenting her recent life. Let’s look at some of the highlights from this recently released documentary. Gaga Gets RealShot in a cinéma vérité style, the documentary breaks down distance between Gaga and the viewers. The filmmaker is part of the action and is making discoveries with the viewers. This gives a certain amount of vulnerability to the subject, in this case Gaga, as in the following scenes’Her silent remembrance of Amy WinehouseIn this scene, Gaga remembers the number of talented artists who struggled with the idea of fame. Amy Winehouse is on the list given to the adverse effects of fame on her mental health. Gaga was so moved by Winehouse’s death that she couldn’t speak for days. Even in the documentary, she is slightly tipsy at this point and she cannot bring herself to take Winehouse’s name. She just says; “Even…you know.” Her admittance of the fear of being aloneThis is a reference to her breakup with Kinney and how she feels less loved since. Suffering a break down on screen, the singer cries; “I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day, to total silence.” This is her outpouring contention over the struggle with fame, that despite the fact that she is always surrounded by people and every luxury lies in her lap, she feels extremely lonely. She misses that authentic connection which is separate from her work or fame.The extensive portrayal of FibromyalgiaLady Gaga shares her late-aunt’s physical pain as well as mental agitation, given to her suffering from Fibromyalgia. This is a physical pain in the back and shoulder bones caused by anxiety, stress or psychological agitation. The film shows her deal with this agonizing pain while struggling to maintain her busy schedule. There is an obvious conflict between wanting to prioritize her health and also give her music everything that she can, which is heartbreaking to watch.The attempt to win her Grandmother’s ApprovalDuring the album production, Gaga hangs with her grandmother. She wants her to approve of the title track ‘Joanne’ which is essentially about her late-daughter (i.e. Gaga’s aunt). She is so earnest for this approval, that the viewer feels uneasy and uncomfortable at this point. While it is adorable to see Gaga so eager for her family’s approval, there is a certain pathos to it which makes this one of the most real moments of the whole film.The Lighter MomentsHowever, the whole documentary isn’t a sob-fest: there are some lighter moments as well where Gaga kicks back and relaxes. She is a celebrity after all and her level of privilege and luxurious lifestyle are not downplayed.One of the most endearing moments in the documentary is Gaga’s relationship with Mark Ronson. Ronson is incredibly protective of Gaga and the two have a great deal of respect for one another. In one instance, Gaga borrows Ronson’s car and accidentally dents it. While she panics about it, Ronson’s response is completely cool. He doesn’t really care about the fact that it is wrecked, at all.
Therefore, even though Lady Gaga is highlighting the downsides and intense pressure of fame in this documentary, she is presenting a dynamic picture: a picture which recognizes the perks of the life she has been blessed with. Eventually, Gaga wouldn’t trade it for the world.