Lana Del Rey’s new 27-minute short film Tropico works, more or less, as a glossy but bugged-out extended-length music video, a pretentious but sensationalistic dive into her center-free aesthetic. As directed by music-video veteran fantasist Anthony Mandler, LDR and male model Shaun Ross appear in a few very loosely connected vignettes. In the “Body Electric” segment, they’re in a dreamy Garden Of Eden amidst various icons: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Jesus. The “Gods & Monsters” part takes place in a fever-dream vision of an L.A. gang-world. And for “Bel Air,” they dance through some idealized vision of the American countryside. The whole time, there’s a lot of zoned-out voice-over, including a bit where LDR recites the famous opening of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl over a strippers-and-guns montage. Be advised that the whole thing is mildly NSFW for stripper-related reasons.
At a Hollywood premiere for the film last night, Lana Del Rey announced that her next album will be called Ultraviolence and implied that it’ll be coming soon.