All I wanna do is get high by the beach and watch “High By The Beach,” get high!
I have expressed my appreciation for this song in no uncertain terms, and the video is even better. As with the good Lana Del Rey videos (“National Anthem,” “Born To Die”) she steamrollers through and well past self-parody, landing at an utterly obvious, laughably semiotic, total aesthetic bliss—her imagery so on the nose that it is the nose, as well as likely the coco within it. Let’s just take a quick little walk through.
We start with Lana cooped up in a beach house: just a Santa Monica Rapunzel on quaaludes, in viewed from the sightline of the helicopter that’s watching her, simultaneously dreaming of being even more captive and also of being free.
There’s our drone guy:
Ugh! DRONE GUY! She flops on her bed about it, twirls around in a patch of sun about it. All she wants to do is get high by the beach, DAD!
Powder-blue silk robe trailing behind her on the stained-wood staircase, Lana floats down through the empty white house to the empty white kitchen—empty; white; get it—to stare out the window at the helicopter for the line “Looking at you/ looking at me,” and then somehow, inexplicably, it cuts to a shot of Bobby Finger reading the tabloids for Midweek Madness.
STARLET GOES OVERBOARD! says the headline. Isn’t she lovely, this Hollywood girl—trapped in a beach house for, I don’t know, trying to poison her billionaire boyfriend on a yacht trip, or maybe for a Minority Report type scenario where she shoots up a helicopter in about one minute. The helicopter gets closer, and Lana does an incredibly funny series of dances about it:
And then runs out of the house to the rocky shore, where she’s hidden—
A guitar! But not really, because y’all know what time it is.
Haha, sorry, I tripped on something. Anyway, she gets back to the balcony, where the pap is assiduously snapping away from his distance, and takes out her instrument:
And then, BOOM!
I’m gonna need my gun back... but, in the “High By The Beach” world, it’s a new beginning. Paparazzi’s dead. The impediment-heavy poem-lyrics are being washed clean by the ocean.
And our girl, in a prison of her own making in every way possible, is finally quasi-free.
She sits back down in the kitchen with her Chemex and nightie.
“What year is it?” she says, out loud, to the ghosts.
Here’s the full video.
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