Friday, October 12, 2012

Paris Hilton, Old Dudes and Tyres: 10 Things I Love About Lana Del Rey's "Ride" Video

Lana Del Rey has sent the internet into a tizzy again today (she has a tendency to do that) with the debut of her new video for Ride. The lead single from the Born To Die: Paradise Edition repackage (an add-on of 8 new songs as an EP of sorts, i.e. Lana's own Fame Monster moment) the Rick Rubin produced cut was always going to lend itself to an strong visual and Miss Del Rey does not disappoint. So far since Video Games blew up, we've had CGI Tigers (Born To Die), swimming with alligators in black and white (Blue Jeans), woozy JFK nostalgia with A$ap Rocky (National Anthem) and doomed lesbian love-affairs (Summertime Sadness) so it's not surprising that Ride comes with it's own visual motifs.

There's lots to like about Ride, an impressively moody piece that's equal parts David Lynch, Easy Rider and Lolita with Lana riffing off the "I was a troubled youth" stories that have populated her recent interviews and inform many of the lyrics on Born To Die. The monologue topping and tailing proceedings and the near 10 minute length would threaten to de-rail things if the Anthony Mandler-helmed clip wasn't so intoxicating in it's slow, slightly-tragic rhythm. In honour of that almost-10 minutes run time here are the 10 best things about Lana Del Rey's "Ride" video (in no particular order)

10.  Lana On A Tyre : As you can see on the single cover above you will have noticed that Lana not only sports an amazing studded jacket in this video but SWINGS OUT OF A TYRE IN THE DESERT LIKE A BAD-ASS. Thankfully this amazing image is a big part of the video with Del Rey gloomily swinging back and forth while the wind whips through her dessert. An image of which I will never TYRE. Geddit? Tyr-I'll see myself out.

9: Lana Drinking Fizzy Orange Juice: There's an oddly sad moment early on in the video with Lana's extended monologue painting the picture of a destitute youth with no sense of self who pops into her nearest shop to buy fizzy orange. Lana glugs the drink while waiting for one of her greasy biker dude boyfriends to come pick her up (more on those in a minute) and you guys, it's REALLY SAD. I'll never look at fizzy orange the same again.

The world's saddest bottle of orange.

8: Lana and A Bunch Of Older Dudes: So, the general plot of the video sees Lana hanging out with various older men, the majority of whom seem a little gross, looking both delighted and downbeat about the men she is lumped with (or humping with ahahahaha-excuse me). On a practical note the fact that these rather gross men (SORRY) get to hang out with a 5-star stunner like LDR is surely a career highlight for them all. Bring back the tattooed hottie of Born To Die and Blue Jeans I say (I get that the men are part of the video's story and blah blah blah but ..seriously)

7: Lana Performs: There are so many haunting and striking images of Lana performing the song in various club type scenarios throughout the video but the best is that first shot as the song kicks in around the 3 minute mark, a simple white dress wrapped all over Lana as she sways delicately (no SNL freeze-ups here thank you very much) is perfect.

6: Lana Dry Humps A Dude While Playing Pinball : this is just to reiterate how lucky all these dudes filming are that one of them gets a whole scene where Lana dry-humps him while they "play pinball" (I bet that wasn't the only balls being played wi-Ok, No I'll stop it now). This bit is actually quite sexy-sad which is a term I've just coined and could sum up 98% of LDR's visual/musical output. You're welcome.

5: Lana Wears A Headdress: Obviously in the context of the video Lana wearing a Headdress does make sense given that it's a Native American look sported by someone roaming the desert and harking back to the beginnings of America. But it's also basically another girl wearing a headdress and after a summer of ropey festival fashion (shudder) it's a bit like watching that girl who probably took a half a pill too many at Electric Picnic gurn her way through the campsite at 3 in the morning. Also it's clearly a homage to Style Queen Paris Hilton (see below). Clearly

Lana Del Festival Chic
One of the images from LDR's "Ride" video moodboard.
4: Lana Goes Biking: All the scenes with LDR sailing down the highway on the back of a bike are 100% amazing. Despite my crushing fear of motorcycles all I want to do is flail down the highway with some burly biker. Mind you I'll probably wear a helmet unlike Lana Del "Where Is The Safety Message in this Video" Rey. Tut tut.

3: Lana Smokes Alot: Puffing on the ol' nicotine sticks is a big part of the Lana Del Rey sexy/sad (Yes, it's a thing now. Deal with it) aesthetic whether it's the aforementioned pinball dry hump moment or another highlight when LDR hangs out at a petrol pump looking all cowgirl chic in boots and a flawfree jacket. I was half hoping for a tribute to Xtina's Your Body video with Lana blowing up the petrol station or a car or two at this point but hey.

2: Lana Is Crazy Y'all: The video concludes with Lana going wild on the top of some desert mountain as her moody monologue tells us she likes to have fun and is "fucking crazy" (Me too sis, me too). This bit has a surreal touch to it that sums up the hazy, real-life-shot-through-soft-focus tone of the video beautifully but, and forgive me LDR die-hards, when Lana utters that line about being crazy, all I could think was Kristen Wiig's impression of her on SNL. Oh dear. Still Lana likes to chug whiskey in the dessert and roll around with gross dudes and to that I say BRAVO!

Kudos to my fave MuuMuse for this image
1: This Video Has Credits So Y'know it's Important: I love the extended credits because nothing screams Extended Mini-Film Music Video like proper credits. Also I thought the fact that the stylist was called Johnny Blue Eyes was quite terrific and that the styling assistant is down as Savannah is even better. Quite frankly they both have popstar names and I would buy records by either of them based off of their names alone. And joking aside Johnny Blue Eyes styling choices throughout are totally on-point. It's a more lived in 80s teen meets wayward 50s starlet look than some of her more glammed up styles and it's perfect for this video. Blue Eyes (TOTALLY HIS REAL NAME) has an impressive CV which you can see here.

Truth be told it might seem like I'm taking shots at the video but Ride is another stunner from Miss Del Rey. It's enjoyable to see how her major label home and growing audience has been channeled into such polished and well-realised clips. Lana Del Rey is serving up smart, spooky pop music with a major label backing most would kill for.

Ride is include on Born To Die: Paradise Edition released in Ireland on the 9th of November, the UK on the 12th and the US on the 13th. 

(Sadly the single is not available to buy in Ireland right now but perhaps you'd like to buy this tribute single with it's tyre related cover-art instead?)


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