Lana Del Rey is back – not just with a new album, announced yesterday as being titled ‘Ultraviolence’, but with a thirty minute short film that somehow manages to out-do the WTF-a-thon that was Kanye West’s ‘Bound 2’ video in the weirdest music clip of 2013 stakes. It starts off like a perfume advert directed by Terence Malick and only gets stranger from there. Let’s run through some of its strangest moments, shall we?
John Wayne hosts a cowboy camp for Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Jesus (1:40)
Grand strings soundtrack a garden party hosted by John Wayne and attended by the Son of God, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the greatest icon in American 20th century pop culture, like the a pretty sweet episode of Celebrity Come Dine with Me. Johnny Borrell’s invite presumably got lost in the post. Meanwhile, Lana cavorts in the Garden of Eden with a ginger-haired lover – Adam? – next to a unicorn explaining that it’s all a family get-together: “Marilyn’s my mommy, Elvis is my daddy, Jesus is my bestest friend,” she sings over tremolo guitars. Hi, is that Kanye? Yeah, Lana will be taking your ‘Best Act of Sacrilege 2013’ gong too. Sorry fella.
Lana becomes a stripper in some kind of nightmare bar (7:11)
Now covered in tattoos included a stomach-spanning ‘life’s a bitch’ calligraphic, Lana leads a strip tease for a bunch of guys who look like meth factory guards in a Danny Truro film. Over rumbles of thunder and horror film noises, Lana’s now just playing the darkest, most Freudian game of word association: “Nipples. Tits. Tears. Breast milk.” Meanwhile, Lana’s boyfriend – previously Adam in the Garden of Eden – is working in a grocery store and looks like he hasn’t slept since 1996. When Lana goes to visit, she sits eating an ice cream on the counter and causing mischief in the Weetabix aisle. Security would be onto her in a flash if this were the Walthamstow branch of Tesco.
Lana joins a gang (11:32)
Lana is now in some kind of gang and spends her days blowing smoke into crew floozies’ mouths while drugs and alcohol are passed around. Still, Adam is creeping around eating an apple, so at least amid the debauchery someone’s getting one of their five a day. “I was an angel looking to get fucked hard,” sings Lana while dressed as Mary Magdalene. In terms of trolling religious zealots, this ranks just below taking a shit in the font at the Vatican on Christmas morning. Actually, Lana could well get round to that at some point in this video, at this rate. Is that going to be the next scene?
Birthday stripper gun battle! (16:26)
No defecating in front of his Holiness just yet, sadly. Instead, a comet narrowly passes the earth and Lana narrates strippers at a birthday party over doomy drones. “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness. Starving, hysterical, naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix.” Adam bursts in on the party with a gang of masked gun-slingers, stealing a bunch of shit. They “lay low” after the crime by standing on a hill shooting their guns in the air. Well inconspicuous.
Just hanging out in a field (24:39)
A big Kate Bush-style ballad plays the film out, with Adam and Lana frolicking in golden fields to lush pianos. It’s all a bit ‘My Lovely Horse’ from Father Ted. I don’t quite know what has just happened or what any of it means but I do know that the singer’s taste for the theatrical has only increased since we last saw her. For better or worse, this is a bolshier, braver, more bathshit insane Lana than we had last time around. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go lie down in a dark room for a while.