[artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist]'s colorful, controversial "S&M" video dropped earlier this week. It plays on the song's themes of, you guessed it, S&M, as well as the celebrity-hungry media and paranoia.
Rihanna appears in the video clad in latex and bondage attire. For some, it was too hot, but as the film's director, Melina Matsoukas, explained, the video is meant to be a fun romp through an alternate universe. Matsoukas led us MTV News through the video, frame by frame.
"I guess the first major image is the Cox News thing. It's a bite off of Fox News and trying to and bring in the S&M theme and build on her sadomasochistic relationship with the press," she explained. "So that's what the video is about, and it starts off strong with that message."
Viewers are then taken to a freaky press conference. "The press room is the first major setup," she says. "The press all have ball gags, which was her idea to be able to silence them, almost. Then we have her behind the saran wrap. ... She's stuck there. She can't move out of the press room. We practiced [her being dragged out] a couple times. She was really good at that scene being dragged in."
Next up, Rihanna is seen leading around celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, on a leash, and he was more than willing to play ball. "He was really up to being her bitch, I swear," she teased. "He got on great. He got into character really well. I made the pink hydrant."
In the play/party room, the duo decided to use some throwback tricks to recall the glory days of music videos. "We shot with the fisheye lens to bring back that '90s poppy-colored, fun-time videos," she explained.
Matsoukas referred to the next location as Rihanna's "dungeon, the blue room where she's captured some of those press people and she's tied them up and torturing them. She wanted the pink popcorn. She had the idea to put the tape on the woman's mouth and then kiss her. She does that pretty well too."
Rihanna then appears scantily clad and all tied up. Explaining the reference, Matsoukas said, "There's the Japanese bondage scene. We had 15 minutes to shoot the whole scene. It was off Japanese anime porn that's quite a phenomenon.
"Here's a projection, which is a play on the first scene with all the slanderous headlines projected over her, which was on her dress," Matsoukas said of the next scene. "That was the worst task I had to do, was research all the slanderous headlines, which came from real people's language online."
Next, Rihanna lies atop a desk in a newsroom. "In the reporter office space ... obviously they're all dressed as clowns ... and she's embracing it and we tried to intercut that with the beginning scene where they're torturing her," she recalled.
"We have our transvestites back in the party room and our fruit scenes: fun, colorful moments, which is to bring the pop-art idea back in."
Matsoukas described the ending, where an exhausted Rihanna lies with Post-Its on her face, as "a pop-art sticker killing. The press has come in and tortured her and put all the slander on her face, and it's represented through pop-art symbols. That's our fun death ending."
What did you think of Rihanna's "S&M" video? Share your reviews in the comments!