When we first saw Katy Perry’s “E.T.” music video last week, we noted that director Floria Sigismondi worked quite a few visual references to other famous directors’s work into her five-minute space epic. Well, since we always preferred the “Show” portion of the grade school classic Show & Tell to the boring old “Tell” part, we figured we’d grab some screenshots that we referred to in our video review last week to help illustrate our case (and since we couldn’t help ourselves, we added a few others in for good measure). This isn’t quite Behind The Music, but we hope you enjoy it all the same.
The scorched earth of a post-Judgment Day scene from The Terminator. A solitary, junkyard dwelling robot reminiscent of Wall-E. John Travolta’s Psychlo-chic styling from Battlefield Earth. Seemingly harmless stock footage of animals that morphs into disturbing animal porniness, a la “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails. The BioShock like juxtaposition of old-timey tunes and futuristic mechanical armor. A man-monster creature that wouldn’t feel out of place in Matthew Barney’s acclaimed achievement of art house cinema, The Cremaster Cycle.
If you were to read about a music video with influences as varied as these and then asked to figure out which artist said video was made for, you would probably rattle off a bunch of other names before you landed on Katy Perry. Yet here we are! Perry collaborated with the renowned director Floria Sigismondi (Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People”, the motion picture The Runaways) and none other than Kanye West on the ambitious space epic “E.T.”, which tells a tale as old as time: Space alien transforms into a gorgeous humanoid (with impressive cleavage, natch), floats through the galaxy in search of an out of this world manicure, lands on an abandoned planet (Earth?), reunites with a long lost Tin Man-esque robot lover (who himself then transforms into an albino humanoid), then walks off into the Space Sunset with her Space Beau, happy as a Space Clam.