Lana Del Rey’s new music video ‘Freak’ doesn’t disappoint

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Rafael Alvarado, Staff Writer

The night air was filled with cigarette smoke and hollering from the surrounding traffic on Wilshire and Western. Music fans waited anxiously to get inside to get a glimpse of the voluptuous Lana Del Rey.

Lana released her long awaited music video Freak on Feb. 9 while simultaneously holding a release party for the fans in the historic Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Lana lead fans on an enchanting 11-minute LSD trip through her nostalgic seventies throwback with visuals of girl’s hair, record players, and a leading man.

Freak starred Lana Del Rey, Father John Misty an admirer of Lana, and the girls featured in her “Music to Watch Boys to” video. An artist such as Lana Del Rey put in so much effort to reproduce the seventies aesthetic of the Alpha male, drug domination, and damsel in distress leading lady which helped her music video flourish into a short art film. Allegedly Lana’s idea for her new short film came from Josh Tillman’s (Father John Misty’s) acid trip at a Taylor Swift concert.

Once you hear the lyrics “Flames So Hot They Turn Blue” simultaneously with Lana as she walks on frame, one will realize the magic of the video is unfolding. Instantly viewers can recognize Lana’s aesthetic since the filters used in the film has the same affect as watching an old seventies home video.

Her old soul is captured in the cinematography and the editing works well because you can get the sense of what kind of person and artist Lana is, which is basically a seventies soul trapped in a twenty first century woman.

Male dominance seems to be her kink and a staple in many of Lana’s music videos. Father John Misty is the male protagonist in Freak which was no surprise to see. This is something in particular that I am tired of seeing in Lana’s videos because she’s done it countless number of times.

Although in this film she switched it up a bit by becoming the dominate character. Seeing Lana as the dominate individual in the film was refreshing because I personally think of her as a strong woman and seeing this only reinforces my views.

The first act of the video was the central point of the film, because that’s when the whole song plays out as an ordinary music video. Here she places a piece of LSD in her man’s mouth and everything turns into a euphoric trip. He’s suddenly sitting down surrounded by girls that are caressing him and Lana all while drinking her Kool-Aid substance. These scenes were much more effective than the second act because this is where all of the climatic story points are.

While they’re in a drug induced trance the ending scene could possibly represent their death which helps the scene transition smoothly into act two. 

As for the second act, Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune starts to fade in and play in the background to give a comforting feeling of reassurance. We see a pool filled with beautiful brunette girls swimming carelessly as they get entangled in one another. All the characters in the film are wearing white and floating in the water which could represent their arrival into what Lana’s interpretation of heaven is.

Cinematically, Lana’s visuals of music and editing were precise in representing not just herself, but her brand as well. The length of the 11 minutes long video does pose one significant risk though: viewers might become bored, but Lana took the risk.

Lana is a genuine artist in the industry for her art and not for recognition or awards but for herself and her fans. “Freak” proves that she is in fact an intersecting and flexible artist by expressing herself not only through her music, but through the cinematic pieces that she oversees and puts together with her team.

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