Video Premiere – Lana Del Rey / National Anthem
by: Diego Martínez
June 27, 2012
Those who witnessed Lana Del Rey’s intimate performance at New York’s Irving Plaza in early June were surely in front of an almost religious experience. As brilliantly illustrated by music blog Muumuse, the gig showed Lana as a serene, poised performer, surrounded by backdrops of old footage and tons of flowers, warmly welcomed by the cries of hundreds who sang to every single word along with her. Gone was the nervous girl who debuted on national television and swam through a troubled sea of criticism: she was now a bona fide international star, with all the adulation, acclaim and credibility that goes with such status.
Moving up the ladder of success, concept and artistry, one that she knows too damn well, Del Rey debuted her newest video “National Anthem” via Twitter, a 7-minute opus directed by Anthony Mandler. Picking up where “Blue Jeans” left off (“Carmen” was rather disappointing), “National Anthem” captures the essence of the 1960s and yet modernizes an oft-revisited sad moment in America’s history. Setting the tone is the sexy intro where the pouty songstress, dressed to impress and channeling Marilyn Monroe, coos “Happy Birthday” to someone in the crowd who turns out to be A$AP Rocky. Not quite JFK but just as intriguing as the 35th leader of the Free World.
The clip then travels to the more intimate details of the odd pair’s ghetto-fabulous lifestyle, displaying a chemistry that’s more amusing than disturbing. A giant property, two kids, afternoon dancing, beach walking, hand in hand like they mean business. Right past the 5-minute mark is where things get chilly, as a closing monologue follows the imminent sound of shotgun and while the tragic ordeal is muted from the picture, it’s replaced with the timeless message that there’s still love, even after death.
Lana Del Rey keeps raising the bar with her music and the visual imagery of her classy video clips, and “National Anthem” proudly joins the constant. DOPE CINEMA indeed.