Lana Del Rey's music and visuals have always been cinematic and dramatic in scope. And she's always worn her obsession for the Golden Age of Hollywood and Americana prominently on her sleeve. So is it any wonder that the singer-songwriter would take these passions a step further and release something more substantial than a four minute promo? Let me help you out: no it is not! Everyone say "hello" to the Coney Island Queen's short film, Tropico.
But hold up! Before you take that leap into Lana's world, take a read of this Question and Answer session the director of Tropico, Anthony Mandler, had with Time. It should help prepare you for what you're going to see. Below is an extract from it explaining the process of collaborating with Lana and how the film is, at its heart, a love story (as if we couldn't figure that out ourselves!) :
TIME: There’s a lot going on in Tropico. How did Lana first explain the concept to you?
Anthony Mandler: Generally, when we work together, I get these long, written-out character breakdowns and story breakdowns. Some of it is very well-thought out, some of it is kind of stream-of-conscious. So my role has been to come in and shake the tree and realign things and make it do-able. Lana has these really wide, vast landscapes that she lays out, but she definitely has a very strong vision about the world she wants to fill out. It is a very collaborative process, especially on the front end.
Ultimately it’s a love story though, right?
Yes, I think it’s a love story between two people and a love story about loving yourself. It is that classic idea about breaking trust or breaking something sacred and how you find it again. Okay, so they are abolished from the Garden of Eden: now what? How do we push that forward through the modern lens? [We're looking] at this sort of modern hell on earth that people live in: working in a convenience store, stripping for money, not doing much of anything. There’s that moment — and I love it that [Shaun's character] Adam does it — where he goes, “It’s not always going to be this way.” The third act is about moving back to paradise and finding another Eden that’s not on Earth.