Get ready for a lot of sad pole-dancing.
Say what you want about Lana Del Rey, but she certainly has a knack for hyperbole. The sultry singer can transform any of the mundane trials of a love affair into an epic, world-shattering melodrama, and her new short film, “Tropico,” is no exception. Even the first few seconds play out like watching the literal creation of the universe, and things only get more Lana del Raving mad from there.
Directed by Anthony Mandler and featuring model Shaun Ross and songs from del Rey’s Born To Die – The Paradise Edition, “Tropico” premiered last night in Hollywood (where Lana also announced that her new album will be called Ultra-Violence! Yay!).
Now, we didn’t go to the premiere, but we DID recently watch the entire 30-minute film to pick out the most important moments for you. We even included time codes so you can skip around! (Aren’t we nice?)
Ready? And… GO!
:16 “John said, let there be light.” OK, so, we’re already off to a pretty good start. That’s a John Wayne character standing in for God, we think. That seems fitting what with del Rey’s usual Hollywood icon symbolism motif, with the cowboy as the masculine ideal.
1:39 Lana bb, you look good even while praying.
1:44 Oh, of course. Here’s Elvis now, hanging out with John Wayne and Jesus in Heaven. As you’d expect.
Watch Lana Del Rey’s “Tropico” short film after the jump.
2:26 Marilyn Monroe is talking about how “sex is part of nature” while Lana strolls through the Garden of Eden. Did not see that one coming! “Elvis is my daddy, Marilyn’s my mother. Jesus is my bestest friend,” she sings as “Body Electric” starts. Speaking of electric bodies: Shaun Ross as Adam.
3:45 The unicorn. Because of course there’s a unicorn.
7:04 They ate the apple, you guys. Anyone should’ve known that was going to be a bad idea. (They could’ve asked the unicorn — that dude seems like he knows what’s up.) Anyway, now we’re in modern-day Los Angeles, and Ross is working at a bodega. It’s decidedly un-paradise-like. Whoops.
8:53 Or maybe it is? This is a cute scene. Young love wins!
8:58 Sad pole-dancing :(
11:55 In case you didn’t pick up on some of the, um, subtle hints, the lyrics of “Gods & Monsters” spell it out for us here. “Innocence lost.”
14:55 If all the Biblical allusions weren’t doing the trick, Lana recites Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” while a group of slimy businessmen party with strippers. “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…”
16:30 Uh oh. Robbery. Sex and violence intertwined. (Kinda fitting with Lana’s upcoming album title, no?)
19:57 All is not lost! Baptism absolves her of her sins! (Maybe.)
21:00 The important thing, despite what all of that moralistic stuff is trying to say, is that LDR still looks gorgeous. That has to count for something, right?
24:00 There’s hope for redemption in all of us, it seems, as the couple ascends into the sky. So, you know, make sure to keep all of this in mind next time you’re kicked out of paradise for eating the wrong piece of fruit. It could come in handy.
+ Watch Lana Del Rey’s “Tropico” short film.
Photo credit: Polydor