>> Steven Klein has done some video work in the past for Madonna, but directing "Alejandro" for Lady Gaga was his first proper music video. So how did it come about? He told MTV via email: "I went to see her show in NYC, and it felt like performance art in the '90s. And I had not seen anything like that in a while. Lady Gaga approached me about doing this particular song, and in the past, I have passed on such offers, but this time I felt [a] narrative drive you could make interesting, and we both aligned on the vision for the film."
The video, since debuting two days ago, has elicited plenty of the expected buzz — not all of it positive. When asked about his influences, Klein explains: "I was not thinking in terms [of influences.] I saw it more as a combination of cinema and theater. [It is] about a woman's desire to resurrect a dead love and who can not face the brutality of her present situation. The pain of living without your true love."
Klein speaks to the controversy »
As for the controversy, Klein counters: "The religious symbolism is not meant to denote anything negative, but represents the character's battle between the dark forces of this world and the spiritual salvation of the soul. Thus at the end of the film, she chooses to be a nun, and the reason her mouth and eyes disappear is because she is withdrawing her senses from the world of evil and going inward towards prayer and contemplation." He added that the scene in which Gaga ingests rosary beads was meant to represent "the desire to take in the holy."
Cathy Horyn took to her blog to defend Klein yesterday, writing, "The 'Alejandro' video, directed by Steven Klein, seems to bring out the prudes in people, or maybe they’re watching too much Fox News. The lighting in particular seems consistent with Mr. Klein’s photographs; in any case his images have explored similar themes."