Lana Del Rey continues to position herself a tragic personage in American pop culture. A golden-lit Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and John Wayne (and Jesus!) figure prominently in her latest endeavor, Tropico, a 24-minute short film (not counting credits) encompassing several new songs (Body Electric, Gods and Monsters, Bel-Air). Directed by music-video veteran Anthony Mandler (Rihanna, Drake, Mary J. Blige), the epic video depicts the singer in guises ranging from Eve (as in Garden of Eden) to a latter-day stripper.
The film was screened last night in Los angeles, introduced by Lana Del Rey, who said: “I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultraviolence.” This and other allusions to quitting the business, like tweeting about a “farewell project,” has spelled high anticipation for Tropico. It isn’t at all certain if expectations will be met (it’s pretty insane), but thank goodness someone is going out on a limb.