Film Studies 101 with Britney’s New Video



Britney Spears released her video for “I Wanna Go” this morning, and if this video doesn’t win a VMA, it will be a loss akin to Stanley Kubrick not winning an Oscar for 2001: A Space Odyssey. She references Half Baked in the opening sequence, and if we’re being honest, between the ripped-up Cheap Mondays, the heavy eyeliner, and the pink highlights, for a second we thought this was a Taylor Momsen video.

We definitely lost a bet this morning when we assumed B. Spears would be wearing some sort of glittery bra. This is not our bedazzled-lingerie, oil-covered, chair-dancing Brit. In this video, she grabs a fan’s butt, and the fan, attempting to show the appropriate level of excitement for such monumental pawing, does an actual black flip. Which is probably the calmest reaction an IRL Spears fan would have to that kind of PDA. Inexplicably, there is a whistling baby and a lingering shot of three dogs just hanging out on the sidewalk, also whistling. She flashes—and gets felt up by—a cop who’s making his very best Derek Zoolander faces, while they lean against a 1999 VW Beetle (a sly allusion to “Candy”?). She stands on a cab—a l‘other Taylor, Swift to be exact. But is she going to do a cute girl-power sing-along? No. No, she’s not. She’s going to kill a bunch of robot paparazzi with her microphone, in front of a movie-theater marquee that reads “Crossroads 2: Cross Harder.” Please let this sequel be real.

She escapes with Guillermo Díaz, who pours milk on himself because hey, a boy needs to keep cool after driving all the way from New York to a desert in a convertible. Which turns out to be a really bad idea—and not just because he’s probably going to smell like spoiled milk for the next three days. It turns out Guillermo is a robot too! Which is, spoiler alert, sort of the ending to Bladerunner. Is Britney a Ridley Scott fan? Stranger things have happened.

Back to the video. Britney’s friend is a robot! What to do? Who to trust? Luckily for Brit, it turns out this was all just a daydream. Relieved, she turns to her pal Guillermo, who calms Britney down by handing her a bunch of seashells. Which seems like a lighthearted conclusion, until Guillermo turns around and reveals his robot laser-pointer eyes—which is definitely the ending to Thriller. Once the video’s done, all we want is a peek into Britney’s Netflix queue; it seems like there’d be some surprises on it!