The Best Movies Are Actually Lana Del Rey Fan Videos

Move aside, Daniels. There’s a new king (or queen) of postmodern cinema, and it’s the YouTube channel Lana Del Radio. This editing wizard has, for the past several years, been splicing together LDR songs with some of cinema’s…some of cinema. The choices for source material are bizarre. Who still thinks about Observe and Report, or the American Death Note movie? Lana Del Radio, that’s who. Courtney Love recently said while guesting on WTF that the only two true geniuses she’s ever known are Kurt Cobain and Lana Del Rey. But, to the best of my knowledge, Love hasn’t met the genius behind Lana Del Radio. The channel has been dormant for a minute, but with a new Lana album dropping this March, one can only hope Lana Del Radio will come out of retirement for one last job. Maybe a mashup of Heat with “Did You Know There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard?” In the meantime, please spend an afternoon watching what may be the cultural zenith of western civilization: an anonymous YouTuber cutting scenes from The Wolf of Wall Street with Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem.”

Trashy, sexy Florida crimes? Murder? Threesomes? Completely inexplicable plot twists? Wild Things is deeply Lana Del Rey coded, so it makes sense to do this lovely little video set to “Salvatore,” a song that compares getting murdered by a hot guy to eating ice cream.

It’s important to note, Lana Del Radio doesn’t just make videos for Lana songs. Yes, the bulk of the canon are LDR. But every year, Lana Del Radio does horror mashups, with non-Lana songs. This one is so good it briefly convinced me NuMetal was good again. This Limp Bizkit/Sam Raimi jawn is the highlight. But there’s also a good Bruno Mars/Leprechaun video, an ode to the monstrous feminine set to “WAP,” and a killer Misfits/Night of the Comet quickie.

No part of me ever wanted to watch Jackie until I saw this video. Lana Del Ray is already known for her Kennedy chick imagery, so this mashup is a no-brainer. Still, the work this video does is transformative. It changes Jackie Kennedy from someone trapped by their own grief into someone in love with it. You have to start romanticizing your life, as the TikTok sound says.

One thing Lana Del Radio excels at is bringing pathos out of a truly stupid comedy. It doesn’t take an editing genius to mashup “West Coast” with Baz Luhrman’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, but it does take some sort of mad god to find the elegiac tenderness inside films like Hot Rod and Tommy Boy. Speaking of that Tommy Boy one, here’s what Lana Del Radio commented on their own video: “I see myself in this video, makes me think about all the lives I’ve touched and how I am the best thing to happen to those lives.”

“We both know it’s not fashionable to love me.” She really said it all right there, didn’t she? Each video Lana Del Radio makes creates more connections between LDR and the great heroes of our age. There’s a James Bond one, a Jay Gatsby one, and this quintessential 20th century hero: Austin “Danger” Powers. Austin Powers and Lana Del Rey are both swinging lovers unstuck from time. Jumbles of contradictions about political correctness, love, longing, feminism, eros and thanatos. “Swingin’ 60’s here I come, baby, yeah!” -Lana Del Rey

Nobody has ever personified the early LDR “I want to die from love, but even more than that I just want to die” thing like Bella Swan. (A runner up for “Most LDR-esque character ever” is every other person in Twilight.) The Twilight Saga is a psycho source text, with overwrought backstories around every turn. Everyone is so sexy about how unhappy they are. This video is a perfect combo of text and subtext.

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The Best Movies Are Actually Lana Del Rey Fan Videos

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