Lana Del Rey takes a languid journey through a post-modern urban world in a new 14-minute music video featuring three of her songs. She flouts music industry conventions and imprints her own style.
Described as a short movie, the video is actually three separate segments featuring her songs “Norman Fucking Rockwell,” “Bartender,” and “Happiness is a butterfly.”
The only unifying themes are Del Rey’s melancholy and cinema vérité style. The video evokes grainy home movies shot on 8mm film. In fact, the entire video was reported filmed on an iPhone.
The celluloid effects where layered in during post-production. The film, directed by Chuck Grant, premiered on YouTube yesterday (Dec. 20).
As one commenter noted: “A lot of people in the music industry, especially the era we’re living in, are here for the streams and numbers but don’t know what it takes to be a true artist.
“Art is your whole being. You are soul, poetry, happiness and freedom. The true embodiment of a unique ethereal creative with a fulfilled vision.”
Another commenter noted her minimalist style.
“She isn’t wearing any fancy clothes, also she is barely wearing any make-up. She, Chuck and their friends are so goddamn natural and this 14 min. video clip didn’t need a huge editing or shooting crew. This is just Lana, and the proof how natural and pure she is.”
Lana’s only fault, perhaps, is her fashion choices. In the opening scenes she doubles up with a denim shirt and denim jeans.
It’s always a dicey combination, but it could be a symbol of Del Rey’s rejection of convention. Then again, she’s always been about retro-style with a ’60s vibe.
In the first part of the video, featuring the song “Norman Fucking Rockwell” Del Rey sings about a relationship that sours because an immature man won’t take responsibility for his own faults.
But in the chorus, she reveals that love is often inescapable, in part because of our own weaknesses. He convinces her to stay with him, though it means sacrificing her own happiness.
In the next segment featuring “Bartender” the lyrics say it all.
All the ladies of the canyon
Wearing black to the house parties
Crosby, Stills and Nash is playing
Wine is flowing with Bacardi
But sometimes girls just want to have fun
The poetry inside of me is warm like a gun
Del Rey and her pals, including her sister, go on a joy ride through parking lots and urban street-scapes that define much of LA and end up in food fight with a couple of hapless cops chasing them in a black sedan.
Although trying to maintain a relationship under difficult circumstances is the theme of the song, the video is all about girls having fun against a spooky backdrop of jets streaking overhead and distant explosions.
The final segment featuring “Happiness is a butterfly,” seems to focus on the fickleness of love. Parking lots and freeways make up the backdrop, suggesting life and love is transitory and fleeting.
the video follows other clips for “The greatest” and “Fuck it I love you,” as well as her cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.”
The album has been nominated for Album of the Year at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
Del Rey has is reportedly working on an album of “freestyle poetry,” which is expected to street on Jan. 4.
Check out the video below.