What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.
Shallow A Star Is Born Oral History — Does Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga’s Shallow Live Up to the Hype
In the four months since the release of the trailer for A Star Is Born, the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (excuse me, Stefani Germanotta) vehicle, many of us (me) have thought about little else. The trailer is one of the best stand-alone pieces of art of the past five years, easily, high-drama and with a self-importance that feels earned, rather than manipulative; the music is perfectly teased, starting with a few notes of Cooper singing a song in his low, gritty, country voice, and then exploding at 1:46 with Gaga’s already-iconic climax, “AWWWAWAWAWWWWW.” Memes were made. I considered a tattoo.
*gets “1:46” tattooed on my neck*MOM: what does that even MEAN?!ME: well,
— bobby finger (@bobbyfinger) August 29, 2018
It was then major news to fans of the trailer that we would get a full-length version of the song featured in it, “Shallow,” a full week before the movie is set to release. The entire week I, I went to work floating on a cloud of jittery excitement—finally I would get to know what came before the “Awwawawaww;” finally I would get to have the sex behind the orgasm. On Thursday, when it was finally released at 12:30 p.m. along with a sort of music video, however, it was in the middle of the Christine Blasey Ford-Brett Kavanaugh hearings. I was disconsolate and ill-humored. I listened to the song when it came out, but I didn’t really hear it. It took me until Thursday evening, when I was able to turn it on every speaker in my house and lie flat on the floor while scream sobbing, to really internalize it.
My co-workers all had different experiences with the piece; all important, some controversial. In an act of journalism, I recorded them, and, thus, present to you the Oral History of the First Time We Heard “Shallow.”
Tyler Coates, Senior Culture Editor, Esquire.com: When the trailer dropped in June, I immediately watched it before assigning Justin Kirkland to write our news post about it.
Justin Kirkland, Snapchat Writer, Esquire.com: Yeah, when Tyler assigned me the story, I watched it quickly to get the gist, but then after I filed the story I went back and re-watched on repeat because the ahhhhhhahhhs really resonated with me, you know?
Cady Drell, Senior Culture and News Editor, MarieClaire.com: I saw someone tweeting about it and thought, “Wait, it couldn’t have actually come out?” Because it had been doomed for so long.
Dom Nero, Video Editor: I feel like A Star is Born anticipation was thrust forcefully into my face by every critic friend and creature of the internet with a social media account
Jen Ortiz, Deputy Entertainment Editor, Cosmopolitan.com: I did not feel GOOD about it but I did think about Barbra Streisand.
Peggy Truong, Entertainment Writer, Cosmopolitan.com: I was at work, scrolling through meaningless tweets and searching for something, anything worth writing about, then I got the chills. The trailer was finally out.
Julie Kosin, Director of Audience Strategy & Entertainment, Harpersbazaar.com: I’m sure I saw it on Twitter. I watched and immediately said “Oh my god, this is so bad.”
Coates: Wow, I thought it was brilliant.
Drell: See, I watched and immediately said, “Oh my god, this is so good.”
Coates: I mean, I was very dubious of a Bradley Cooper-directed Lady Gaga movie.
Matt Miller, Associate Culture Editor, Esquire.com: Yeah, it really sounded like a disaster, the entire concept.
Nero: I liked what I saw and think it looks good, but all my friends who work in film production are mad that Bradley Cooper is deciding to be a director all of the sudden. Not sure I agree.
Madison Vain, Snapchat Discover Editor, Esquire.com: I was very dubious of Bradley Cooper singing. More dubious of Lady Gaga acting.
Coates: And I have been laughing about the all-caps “FROM DIRECTOR BRADLEY COOPER” line for weeks.
Rothkopf: I expected to hate the trailer but then actually felt earnestly moved and wanted to weep. And then I saw it many other times in movie theaters and wanted to weep those times too.
Kosin: The minute Bradley Cooper opened his mouth I started laughing.
Coates: Yeah, as far as trailers go, it really made me excited for a movie I was previously dubious about.
Miller: I thought it was just a really good trailer for what would inevitably be a cheesy movie.
Drell: The only time I registered disappointment was when I was waiting for the part in the trailer where it said “Introducing Stefani Germanotta” (because I heard that was in there) and when it said “Lady Gaga” instead I felt a loss.
Nero: Sean Penn voraciously plugged the film over and over and over on Marc Maron’s podcast and said it was like the greatest piece of cinema he’s ever seen and it restored his faith in the medium so that really made me think it’s going to be bad.
Kosin: My roommate also has a habit of watching YouTube videos on our TV screen and I tried watching it again and just laughed. The dialogue does not seem great. Everything feels forced. But the music is catchy. And I’m fully prepared to watch the movie and actually love it.
Coates: Can I say now that I have seen the movie?
Rothkopf: How did you feel about AAHHHWHWHHWHWAA in the trailer? Good? Bad? Turned on?
Kosin: I was at my desk, my jaw dropped, and I started giggling.
Nero: Extremely good. I have sent several videos of myself doing that iconic scream to my close friends against their wishes.
Drell: At first bad. But then confused. And now it’s just gelled into a calm acceptance. I think I view it pretty warmly at this point.
Truong: That moment made me feel WONDERFUL, and a little shy, but super hopeful for Lady Gaga, Movie Star.
Kirkland: Seen? Is seen the correct way to answer that? The ahhhhhs are my favorite part because it’s so unexpected and low-key audibly violent that it’s handily the most memorable part. I also think I do a really good rendition of it, but IDK that’s just me.
Kosin: Now it gives me chills.
Vain: I felt emotional, honestly.
Miller: I tried to sing it once to explain the part of the song I was talking about and it was a disaster.
Coates: A friend of mine made the joke “AWWW AAAAH AAAHHHHH (Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’)” and that is my favorite joke of 2018.
My new favorite song is “Ahhh-AHH-ahh-ahh-AHH (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)”.
— Matt Rogers (@MattRogersTho) June 8, 2018
Kosin: I just could not believe she was pulling such a GAGA move in this movie where she’s allegedly not playing Gaga.
Truong: Subsequent viewings of the trailer have just made me more excited about that moment and it’s the only thing that’s haunted me since June.
Coates: Lady Gaga’s guttural roar is far more affecting than anything Barbra Streisand does in Evergreen.
Ortiz: I’m mostly confused how people figured out the spelling so quickly.
Nero: I will say, in spite of the overblown hype, that scream is extremely powerful feeling.
Truong: I’ve never attempted to spell it. Too scared.
Drell: I don’t think there’s a canonical spelling, you just have to feel it and start typing.
Coates: Honestly, I’ve resigned to the fact that we should just give her the Oscar for that moment in the trailer. Just skip the whole nonsense campaigning, I’m fine with fast-forwarding to oscar night.
Rothkopf: What do you think of the song now that you’ve finally heard it? What did you think it would sound like?
Truong: I thought the song was just Gaga. I didn’t realize Bradley was in it.
Miller: I did not think it would be three different hooks just put into three-and-a-half minutes.
Coates: I think the trailer utilizes the song better than the song utilizes itself! Does that even make sense?
Nero: The song feels exactly in line with what I was expecting.
Rothkopf: Wow!? “Song”????
Vain: No, I love it. But it’s a weird ass construction.
Drell: It’s far more anticlimactic in the real song. But it is also LONGER in the real song.
Coates: The song was underwhelming, I’ll admit! But maybe because the structure is kinda weird.
Miller: What if the song was just the AAAAHHHH HAAA AHHHH part for three-and-a-half minutes?
Vain: It’s, like, just punching you in the face with emotion.
Nero: I thought, this feels like a pretty good song that will cater nicely to mainstream audiences and win many awards.
Coates: I heard it for the first time WHEN I SAW THE MOVIE, and I remember sitting in the screening room thinking, “Oh shiiiiit, here it is!!!!”
Ortiz: Tyler, did you see the movie?
Nero: Wait, Tyler saw the movie?
Rothkopf: Someone here has seen the movie?
Vain: I mean, I have listened to this song like 75 times today. I love the song. But if it released sans movie attached, I would be less excited by it.
Rothkopf: I have a weird tic where I can’t stand when people call each other “girl” and “boy” in songs, so that part was personally devastating.
Truong: I honestly thought he was singing, “Tell me something GOOD,” and I wanted to say, “Gaga’s singing.”
Kosin: Wait, what is he singing??? If not “good?”
Rothkopf: Tell me somethin’, girl.
Truong: And then she says boy later.
Coates: It’s a dialogue between two voices.
Rothkopf: Tell me somethannn boi r u tired of feelin all that boy. Right? [Editor’s note: Wrong]
[Emily Tannenbaum, Entertainment and Social Media Editor, Elle arrives]
Emily Tannenbaum: GUYS. SO HARSH.
Nero: The best part for me is actually before the iconic scream, when Bradley Cooper does a very spine-tingling head bob.
Vain: You guys! there is comfort in that predictability! The world sucks! I’m into how well-worn this feels.
Rothkopf: Yeah, I’m sorry, I feel it’s not clear that I love it. I am just SURPRISED.
Tannenbaum: I guess I am the target audience of this film. I love a cheesy hook.
Coates: I also love it. The movie is cheesy, it’s a cinematic tale as old as time (more specifically 1937).
Kosin: I don’t think the song is BAD. I will listen to it. But I think it’s not as impressive as the scream in the trailer.
Tannenbaum: Bradley Cooper’s grumbly voice does things for me.
Rothkopf: Also at the end of the video when Bradley Cooper smiles at her because she was so great at her singing. I cry.
Truong: Yes that moment is great Joanna because he’s not singing anymore.
Tannenbaum: Bradley Cooper looks at Lady Gaga like she is the greatest person on this planet and I could not watch this movie if I were Irina Shayk.
Rothkopf: Last question: How are you changed now that you’ve heard the song? How has your opinion about what the movie will be changed?
Vain: TBH, I feel like I had a necessary cathartic release. And I have no shame saying I really needed that 4 minute break to watch it. And the 10 more 4 minute times I had to watch it.
Nero: I guess overall I feel far from the shallow now.
Kirkland: Honestly, low. Trailers do such a good job of promoting films that I thought the song itself was going to be garbage. But it was fine.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Truong: It’s been the only bright spot in this garbage day and I personally want to thank Gaga and Bradley for that.
Tannenbaum: I really did need the break it gave me and now I will probably listen to it 20 more times.
Miller: If I sit down in the theater and they just show this video 40 times on repeat I’ll be okay with that.
Kosin: I’m really excited to be able to sing the whole thing and not “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in” over and over in the shower.
Coates: I will say that I already have my tickets to see it again.
Kirkland: I feel like I’d prefer to sing “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in” over and over?
[Mehera Bonner, writer arrives]
Mehera Bonner: Wow, Matt. I see you added me to a group about my least favorite song, “Shallow,” which tragically isn’t based on my favorite movie, The Shallows. My initial reaction is that I wish this song was about The Shallows starring Blake Lively in her most iconic role.
Miller: I apologize to everyone for inviting Mehera.
Bonner: Had this song been about Bradley Cooper singing to a shark, I might have been able to get on board.