Lana Del Rey Debuts Her Masterpiece: “National Anthem” (Video Premiere)

by Bradley Stern

How much do I love thee, Lana Del Rey? Let me count the ways…

The nearly 8-minute Anthony Mandler-directed video for “National Anthem” has arrived…and it’s a masterpiece.

Beginning with a Marilyn Monroe-inspired intro, the video traces the romance between Lovely Lana and A$AP Rocky–turned Jackie O and JFK. But sandwiched in between all the preppy, idyllic imagery is a distinctly hip-hop flair–gold bling, playing craps on the White House floor, even Lana booty dropping!–perfectly representing the cut ‘n’ spliced vintage American nostalgia-meets-modern swagger of Lana Del Rey’s sound, her image, her persona…her everything.

Every single aspect of the video–the gorgeous cinematography, the acting, the styling, the ingenious blend of past and present symbolism–is just brilliant to its core. Additionally (spoiler alert!), the decision to mute the horror of the actual assassination avoids what could have very, very easily been a tacky effort to revisit history. Instead, the clip for “National Anthem” tastefully honors and re-imagines a tragic tale of love–even beyond death.

It’s mesmerizing, devastating, and not only is it Lana’s best work (easily), but it might well be the best video of the year.

I am in awe.

(Be sure to read the transcript of the chill-inducing closing monologue below the video, courtesy of Ben. Just beautiful.)

“It’s a love story for the new age…”

And I remember when I met him, it was so clear that he was the only one for me. We both knew it, right away. And as the years went on, things got more difficult- we were faced with more challenges.

I begged him to stay. Try to remember what we had at the beginning.

He was charismatic, magnetic, electric and everybody knew it. When he walked in every woman’s head turned, everyone stood up to talk to him. He was like this hybrid, this mix of a man who couldn’t contain himself. I always got the sense that he became torn between being a good person and missing out on all of the opportunities that life could offer a man as magnificent as him.

And in that way I understood him and I loved him. I loved him, I loved him, I loved him.

And I still love him. I love him.

  • Allison


  • Chris D

    that has to be one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard

  • Bukax42

    How old are you, 6?

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  • pc

    I think this is the strongest representation of her aesthetic and easily her most ‘complete’ work to date. Just wish they’d used the original demo over the lifeless album version.

  • http://twitter.com/LoVeMoXiiE MoxiiE♬


  • Greg Franklin

    She progressively gets better with each release.. I absolutely love it.. I like how she didn’t go with another glossy visual like her ones for the Born to Die and the 2nd Blue Jeans videos & went back to her old splicey ways a la Video Games :)

  • Chris D

    No, I just have taste for people with real talent. This woman is a joke.

  • Chakra

    Like, who? Gaga? I bet you’re foaming at the mouth over Princess Die. *eye roll*

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  • Critic

    I love this so much… She’s a wonderful artist !

  • Simon Venekeo

    I’m still looking for receipts for the ending monologue. Anyone have a link to it?

  • Luc

    Oh my! You’re definitely a retard.

  • me

    She’s so amazing. One of the only real talents in the music industry. Pure legend.

  • question

    did she write the closing monologue?!

  • ISeeTalent

    If you thought it was so rubbish why google and article about it. Find something better to do with your life. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Lana has a legion of fans that like her music and likely the people you enjoy do also. So what’s the point.

  • gt

    “Lana has a legion of fans that like her music and likely the people you enjoy do also. So what’s the point.”… the point is that we all may say what we think about this girl or other people

  • InficioCruor

    No, it was written by Jackie Kennedy after JFK was assassinated.

  • Justine

    This video is so disrespectful. JFK was a real person with a loving family, children and wife. Our nation changed forever and grieved the day he was shot. I can’t help but feel like it’s sick and twisted to take a tragedy “Camelot” and intertwine it into a music video. What if that was your Dad or husband that happened to. Money is the anthem?? Where is your soul?