Gaga: Five Foot Two
Chris Moukarbel’s revealing documentary offers a rare snapshot of the raucously public music icon Lady Gaga and the offstage woman that is Stefani Joanne Germanotta.
Musician, activist, experimenter, icon — Lady Gaga has stamped her mark on global pop culture in one short, tumultuous decade. She fused a whole range of club music with glam rock and pop to create a sound entirely her own. She wore fashion, glamour, and fame as a self-aware performance instead of a trap. She confessed her own traumas, inspiring countless marginalized young people to speak their gender, their sexuality, their identities proudly. But like many who live in the spotlight, Lady Gaga’s very exposure can obscure the full person. Who exactly is she?
Gaga Five Foot Two is the closest, most intimate look yet inside the world of Stefani Joanne Germanotta. Director Chris Moukarbel follows the artist as she recovers from the mixed reviews that greeted her Artpop album and faces deadlines to deliver its 2016 follow-up, Joanne. Having just turned 30, she is in a reflective mood, looking back on her dazzling flurry of work and image shifts, and trying to find a new definition for herself. But the physical demands of constant performance and the self-imposed stress of hitting the highest standard night after night take their toll. As Lady Gaga begins the writing and recording that will result in a finished album, one of the film’s most illuminating insights is the regimen of care it takes to maintain this remarkable woman at her peak.
In brief moments of studio downtime, Lady Gaga reflects on some the controversies that still swirl around her: her relationship with Madonna, her forays into politics, her tightrope walk between being object and subject in her own career. Lady Gaga is nothing if not self-aware, speaking frankly and with deep insight into navigating the music industry as someone too often seen simply as a “hot woman.”
Gaga Five Foot Two offers unprecedented insight into Lady Gaga’s creative process. Immediately after the screening, she will extend that insight, live on stage.
Chris Moukarbel was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where he completed his MFA in sculpture at Yale University. He is an artist, producer, and director known for the documentary films Me @ The Zoo (2012) and Banksy Does New York (2014). Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017) is his latest film.