Lana Del Rey Drops ‘Tropico,’ Director Anthony Mandler Tries To Explain It

Lana Del Rey’s Tropico hit the internet last week. By this point, you’re either in love with the short film or you’re trying to figure out what it all means.

The 27-minute cinematic experience is reportedly a tale of “sin and redemption” with a ton of dead celebrities hanging around in the Garden of Eden with Jesus Christ. Regardless of what you think about Lana Del Rey and Tropico, it’s a film that’s pretty hard to forget once it’s finished working its way through your mind.

The folks over at Fast Company Creation recently sat down with director Anthony Mandler, the man tasked with bringing the singer’s unique vision to life. Since the pair previously worked together on the music videos for “National Anthem” and “Ride,” the filmmaker knew precisely what he was getting himself into.

If you want to figure out Lana Del Rey’s Tropico all by yourself, then by all means — jump right in. However, those of you who want some help figuring out all the symbolism will probably want to check out Mandler’s thoughts on the 27-minute short film prior to spending some of your free time with it.

“We’re essentially retelling the creation of the universe, but by starting with the pop icons of the ’50s and ’60s, that will recalibrate any sense of the norm. What we were trying to get to was that Adam and Eve are abolished from the Garden and kind of catapulted into this hell on earth, where nobody really does anything,” he explained.

The director continued, “You work in a convenience store, you strip for money, you and your friend do each other’s hair and blow smoke into each other’s face and cheer at a lowrider that goes by — nothing really happens.”

What Anthony Mandler and Lana Del Rey ultimately hoped to convey with the flick is this: People spend too much time treating pop stars like gods. As a result, we live in a celebrity-soaked “ultimate purgatory” where everyone simply lives for the moment. The singer and filmmaker were clearly aiming for something a bit headier than average.

“The Americana vision of the last 50 years obviously starts with Kennedy. For so many people, it’s almost like the first page of a new Bible — a new testament — when it comes to the idea of pop culture, which was kind of the death of the American icon, and the shattering of the kingdom, and what that spawned,” he added.

Since it arrived on the internet, Tropico has generated upwards of 740,000 views on the official VEVO page. If you’ve yet to experience the film for yourself, then take a look at the clip below. It does contain some explicit content, so approach with caution.

Are you a fan of Lana Del Rey and director Anthony Mandler’s Tropico?

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