Washed-out pastel colors grace Lana Del Rey’s face as she prays for all of 12 seconds in a snippet from her forthcoming short film, Tropico. “Dear John, forgive us our sins,” she whispers and repeats with a concerned expression. Then, as if in a dream, an overweight man in a red shirt with a cowboy hat, white bandana and rifle appears amidst the fogginess; it looks to be an idyllic vision of the Duke, John Wayne, as he looked in the 1959 Howard Hawks film Rio Bravo.
Del Rey announced the creation on Tropico in July, promising a 30-minute film that one of its posters said was a “tale of redemption told to the music of Body Electric God’s and Monster’s Bel Air.” As we decoded then, “Gods and Monsters,” “Body Electric” and “Bel Air” are all songs on Del Rey’s 2012 release, Born to Die – Paradise Edition. The film is being coproduced by Rick Rubin and will also star model Shaun Ross. Last month, she described the film as “Elvis and Jesus and Marilyn and extraterrestrials all in one.” But she’s released little else about the movie.
Other than making movies, Del Rey has reported that she’s having trouble motivating herself to write a proper follow-up to last year’s Born to Die. “When people ask me about it, I just have to be honest — I really don’t know,” she told Nylon. “I don’t want to say, ‘Yeah, definitely — the next one’s better than this one,’ because I don’t really hear a next one. My muse is very fickle. She only comes to me sometimes, which is annoying.”