Lady Gaga: Madonna ‘wouldn’t look me in the eye & tell me I’m reductive’
Here are some photos of Lady Gaga at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday. She premiered her new documentary – which no one asked for – at TIFF. The documentary is called Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two. It actually comes out on Netflix, which somehow makes me less angry about this – I have a great deal of affection for good rock-star documentaries, and the idea that people would actually line up at a movie theater to see this was making me go “????” But if it’s coming out on Netflix, that makes more sense. It’s not in the same vein as Madonna’s Truth or Dare, in that it’s not about “verite” scenes interspersed with concert performances. Critics say it’s good and that Gaga comes across well, and like a real person behind the ever-changing on-stage persona.
Personally, I do feel like I’m doing a double-take whenever I see photos of her this year. Everything about her is so different, and yet… not. Like, I can still recognize her as Gaga or Gaga-adjacent, but the wigs are so different, the makeup is so different, and yes, the face work makes her look so different. For the photocall, Gaga wore a militaristic black Elie Saab suit which is… okay. The premiere look was the thing with the bellbottoms and the pink coat. I don’t mind the idea behind this at all, I just wish the color and fabric choices had been a bit better. If this had been different shades of red or burgundy or maybe blue and purple, I feel like this would have worked. That ensemble is by Lanotta Studio.
In the documentary, Gaga speaks about the years-long beef between herself and Madonna.
You’ve got to hand it to Lady Gaga: She knows how to intrigue you. In advance of her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, out September 22, she released several short clips from the film, including one tantalizing scene where Gaga comes clean about her beef with Madonna … though it cut off just before she got to the good stuff. Tonight at the Toronto Film Festival, though, the Chris Moukarbel-directed doc screened in full. So, what does Gaga say about the iconic singer, who has thrown shade at Gaga in part (and most particularly) because she feels Gaga’s song “Born This Way” ripped off her own song “Express Yourself”?
The answer comes early in “Five Foot Two,” as an unvarnished Gaga gets real while sitting on the curb. “The thing with me and Madonna is that I admired her always and still admire her, no matter what she might think of me,” says Gaga. “The only thing that really bothers me about her is [that] I’m Italian and from New York, so if I have a problem with somebody, I’m gonna tell you to your face.”
To hear Gaga tell it, if Madonna would just take her comments straight to the source, there’d be no beef. “She wouldn’t look me in the eye and tell me I’m reductive,” says Gaga, using one of the Material Girl’s pet adjectives. But there’s still hope, Gaga says, grinning: “I just want Madonna to push me up against the wall and kiss me and tell me I’m a piece of sh-t.”
I guess we’re supposed to think Gaga is being a provocateur with this comment, but I think it comes across as sort of sad. Not to defend Madonna – who copied-and-pasted other people’s work for years before Gaga was ever a thing – but Madonna was so smart about how she handled the problem of Gaga. Madonna talked some sh-t here and there a few times and that was it. Madonna never engaged with Gaga on a personal level, or in person, because Madonna ultimately didn’t give a sh-t. Everyone knew Gaga was copying Madonna’s hooks. Madonna didn’t have to come up to Gaga and personally engage her because Madonna knows a thirsty famewhore begging for attention when she sees one (birds of a feather).