Lana Del Rey lives to provoke. From her suburban bad girl gangsta pose to explicit lyrics that give us way too much information about which part of her tastes like Pepsi, the singer with the sad eyes lives up to her reputation in a short film accompanying her new EP, Tropico.
The three-song album comes with a super trippy 27-minute mini-movie of the same name in which Del Rey plays Eve to model Shaun Ross’ Adam as the pair glide their way from the Garden of Eden to a brazen stick up and outer space.
The film, directed by veteran Anthony Mandler (Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Jay Z) opens with a praying Del Rey wearing a wimple resembling that of Mary, the mother of Jesus, interspersed with images of Jesus, John Wayne, Elvis and Marilyn impersonators.
Mandler’s Garden of Eden is a confusing one, in which snippets of Wayne’s movie dialogue mix with famous quotes from Elvis and Marilyn under intense color-filtered skies. There are, of course, unicorns, strategically placed garlands-as-bikinis, a tempting snake and some original sin dirty dancing.
Once Del Rey bites the apple, well, all bets are off, as she and Ross are transported to a gritty L.A. convenience store, strip club and dingy apartment as the singer narrates the action through a breathy voiceover/poem about lust and the darkness of the soul.
As “Gods & Monsters” cranks up, the guns come out, Del Rey works the pole and does a seductive dance for her Ross and the patrons of the gentleman’s club. With some of her pole pals working the room, Del Rey’s crew pull off an armed robbery of some horny businessmen while the singer recites beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s legendary poem “Howl.”
In the third act the couple wander into a golden field above the city at sunset and do a slow dance before ascending into space to the strains of fake Elvis’ “Always On My Mind.” Top that, Miley.
The songs in film all appear on the deluxe Paradise edition of Del Rey’s 2012 breakthrough, Born to Die. Del Rey recently announced the title of her upcoming sophomore album, Ultraviolence, which does not yet have a firm release date.