Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” video is nothing like what Stanley Kubrick or A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess, who coined the term the singer used for the title of this song and her album, could have dreamed up. Instead, it’s an innocuous bridal fantasy, in which Del Rey wanders around outside in a white gown, bending to pick a bouquet up off the ground. The soft-focus lighting and the singer (and Rolling Stone cover star) carries a look that suggest her thoughts are in some distant place; she even smiles defiantly while singing the lyric, “He hit me and it felt like a kiss.” While Del Rey is the star of the video, which Noisey premiered, a man’s hand – possibly that of the clip’s director Francesco Carrozzini – reaches into several shots to stick fingers in her mouth as if from a memory.
Del Rey explained her motivation in singing lines like the “he hit me” lyric, which the singer copped from the title of the Gerry Goffin and Carole King–penned 1962 single for the Crystals, in her Rolling Stone cover story. She originally sang the line, “He hurt me but it felt like true love” without thinking of how people would interpret it. “I just don’t want them to hear it at all,” she says. “I’m very selfish. I make everything for me, kind of. I mean, every little thing, down to the guitar and the drums. It’s just for me…I don’t want them to hear it and think about it. It’s none of their business!”
She also reflected on her state of mind, following her well-publicized “I wish I was dead already” statement. “Well, I feel fucking crazy,” she told Rolling Stone. “But I don’t think I am. People make me feel crazy.” And regarding that quote in particular, she said, “I find that most people I meet figure I kind of want to kill myself anyway. So, it comes up every time.”