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Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” Video: Deco or Dystopian?

Tiffany Lee
Stop The Presses!
May 10, 2013

Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” Video: Deco or Dystopian?

Tiffany Lee
Stop The Presses!
May 10, 2013

Vintage glamor, incalculable luxury, tragedy, and fleeting youth: Everything that is The Great Gatsby and everything that is Lana Del Rey. The polarizing chanteuse recently released the official music video for her original song "Young and Beautiful" for the highly anticipated Gatsby film that hits theaters today.

It's no wonder that Lana Del Rey's darkly evocative song was chosen to be the first ambassador to the Gatsby soundtrack, as it stunningly encapsulates everything that makes the classic novel such a literary mainstay. But for the stripped down video, the visuals give subtle homage to the iconic art deco design that helped defined modern 1920s nouveau riche.

All that is in the music video are screen siren close-ups of Del Rey, symmetrical sets and a demonstratively art deco-looking orchestra that grows as different lights project their shadows onto a plain background. One Youtube commenter pointed out how they appreciated how the musicians getting their own close-ups, as indeed you can pick out which one you think is cute.

But there of course has to be an element of foreboding, because c'mon, Lana loves that stuff. I mean, she sings about praying to god to take her boyfriend to heaven. Is she going to kill him? Probably.

Even with the art deco set design, they do come across somewhat like the dystopian 1927 German expressionist film Metropolis, although that's a helluva stretch. Maybe I'm thinking more of the famous "1984" Apple commercial.

Yup, I'm thinking the Apple commercial. I'm discovering this as I'm writing. Isn't journalism fun?

By the way, can we talk about Lana's prison/Lil Wayne teardrop face jewels? Yes, I'll be wearing those this weekend.

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