Thursday, 12 January 2012

Quit playin' videogames with my heart.

The pastiche intensive music video to Lana Del Ray's "Videogames" is postmodern Americana at it's hypnotic, dizzying best. It's heart break in the time of i-PODs, hyper-reality, paparazzi surveillance, Youtube, homevideos, webcams and retrofitted Hollywood nostalgia.

This is a music video situated precariously on the "bad edge of postmodernity" (ala Mike Davis).

The ground here says STOP and says you're on the Walk of Fame both at once. Fame is subsumed in the city's larger security apparatus, frequently and relentlessly policed.

I can't think of a more fitting metaphor for love and heartbreak. Lovely song title. Haunting lyrics. 

It also helps that it is significantly allusive to a movie I consider my religion, David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. and channels something of a Mulholland mood, what with the darker side of LA and Hollywood. There's some Twin Peaks in here, too. The raw footage reminds me of Laura Palmer and Donna dancing in the woods. All the falling recalls one of the opening scenes of Mulholland Dr., where Rita's character is seen stumbling through a palm-tree dotted street in LA, in a moment of surreal amnesiac abandon. David Lynch has often had as his muse the idea of a Lady in Trouble.  Lana's beauty in this video is quaint and melancholic and I can almost envisage her creeping out from behind Lynch's characteristic red-curtains.  Lynchian-esque would be an adjective I could use to describe her...mood, her dis-ease. and that voice. 

Another interesting touch is the inclusion of Paz de le Huerta, of BoardwalK Empire fame, in which she played the coquettish vampy siren Lucy Danziger. This seems an appropriate reference to the period drama, set in a gilded age of jazz-age excess, Prohibition, speakeasies, criminality and celebrity. Of course, all of these themes are refracted through a decidedly cinematic lens in Boardwalk- courtesy Martin Scorcese, whose aesthetic is felt vividly in the series.

 There's a sense of privacy, here, on Lana's part. A privacy gone dangerously public. A privacy surrendered and a privacy invaded.  A lady in trouble- a pouty lipped siren on the edge. A videogame postscripted by the looming presence of a GAME OVER sign- lit in sexy, sultry neon no less.


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