8 Pop Culture Moments That Shaped Katy Perry’s “E.T.” Video


8 Pop Culture Moments That Shaped Katy Perry's ET video

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.

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INFLUENCE: Zach Snyder’s Watchmen (2009)
One of the signature images from Snyder’s visually sumptuous film was, itself, pulled directly from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s landmark graphic novel. In “E.T.”, the kiss between Katy Perry and her Space Beau does not take place while a mushroom cloud is forming in the background, but rather as a sun rises, but the framing of this shot is undeniably influenced by Moore, Gibbons and Snyder.

INFLUENCE: Zach Snyder’s 300 (2006)
With this and the Watchmen reference, it seems pretty clear that director Floria Sigismondi has been steeping herself in the Snyder ouevre of late. When Katy touches down on Earth after shapeshifting herself from her alien form, her gown flows much in the same way as the Oracle’s does in Snyder’s ode to the washboard abs of our ancient forefathers.

INFLUENCE: Roger Christian’s Battlefield Earth (2000)
While Katy looks spectacular in this video, when we saw this particular look, the first thing we thought of was John Travolta’s laughable performance as Terl, chief of the Psychlo police, in this early aughts Scientology-fi disaster. The most alarming thing about this reference is the heretofore unknown dependance on Bumpits technology in the future. Ratbrain!

INFLUENCE: James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
When the video for “E.T.” opens, the camera pans across a desolate, waste-ridden, post-apocalyptic Earth. It’s certainly not as skulltastic and creepy as the playground that Cameron’s camera investigates during the opening minutes of T2, but there’s no doubt that Sigismondi’s vision pays tribute to Cameron’s post-Judgment Day earth (with maybe a smidge of Wall-E thrown in there, too).

INFLUENCE: The opening credits of HBO’s True Blood (2008)
We’re not entirely sure what a decomposing fox (not to mention animals humping on the Serengeti!) has to do with Katy Perry’s search for her long lost, albino robot lover, but it does appear to be the exact same stock footage that appears while “Bad Things” is playing during the True Blood opening credits.

INFLUENCE: Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle (1994-2002)
If you’re looking for a fun movie to watch with the family on a Friday night, Matthew Barney’s challenging art house series The Cremaster Cycle almost certainly won’t be your cup of tea. The five film series sometimes goes hours without any dialogue, and the material is not exactly what you’d call SFW. However, there’s little doubt that Sigismondi has spent some time with the series, as the reveal of Katy’s faun legs are a direct homage to Barney’s Cremaster 3: The Order.

INFLUENCE: James Cameron’s Avatar (2009)
Katy’s makeup in the Battlefield Earth shot above is very Na’vi-like, as is this particular shot from the video, which draws it’s influence from the Avatar one-sheet that was plastered in multiplexes around the country throughout most of 2009.

INFLUENCE: Aphex Twin’s “Come To Daddy” video (1997)
It makes sense that a music video director like Sigismondi would pay homage to one of the greatest music video directors of the 1990s, Chris Cunningham, with this lingering shot of the Space Albino’s nipples. It reminded us of the scary albino monster thingie that scared the bejeezus out of a little old grandma (not to mention everyone who watched this clip) in the famous Aphex Twin video, but thankfully, in “E.T.”, no one got eaten by a roving gang of little girls with Richard D. James’s face. OR DID THEY?!?!

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