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Monday, 15 September 2014

Semiotic Analysis

At this stage of Research and Planning I had not yet decided what particular genre I wanted to do, but I was interested in this video and wanted to analyse it.

This video references the JF Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe love triangle.

reference: Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday

This is evident in the opening where Lana Del Ray is singing "Happy Birthday Mr President" which Marilyn famously did. JFK is played by ASAP Rocky, a black rapper, this turns it into a modern love story. It also emphasises how attitudes have changed- when JFK was president racism was an issue in American and the Civil Rights Movement was emerging.

The bright colours throughout and the image portrayed of "the perfect life" such as the big house in the Hamptons, family and parties all suggest a positive story. However this is very over the top and could be seen as a criticism of this lavish lifestyle. This is most obvious when the narrative is interrupted by performance shots of Lana signing directly at the camera. In these she is saying "Money is the reason we exist everyone knows it its a fact kiss kiss".

Furthermore the ending gives the story a sad and bitter twist. The video ends in a re-enactment of Kennedy's' death with a voice over of Lana Del Rey saying

"When I first met him, I knew I loved him straight away, and then as the years went on things got more difficult and we were faced with more challenges, I begged him to stay, try to remember what we had at the beginning" "I got the sense he was torn between being a good person and missing out on all the opportunities that life could offer a man as magnificent as him" "And I still love him, I love him".

In this she is speaking as Jacqueline Onassis, giving her a voice that is often forgotten as she was largely overshadowed by her husband. In this I sympathise for her, I think we can infer she is referring to his suspected affair with Marilyn Monroe and that she still loves him.

This video fits in with the artist persona, Lana Del Rey often references aspects of American history and many of her music videos have a similar retro aesthetic

The video is directed by Anthony Mandler. He has directed Lana Del Reys' short film Tropico and other music videos such as Ride. He has directed music videos for many other big artist from a range of different genres such as Rhiana, Drake, Jay Z, Taylor Swift, The Killers, Muse and Fun. He has a recognisable sleek, stylised aesthetic which can be seen throughout his photography and films as well.

Anthony Mandler photography

From this research I learnt....

That a music video with political and social issues might be something that I am interested in.

I liked the use and aesthetic of old archive footage

That both narrative and performance can work together in one video.

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