‘Young and Beautiful’ is a song recorded by American singer songwriter Lana
Del Rey. It follows a young lovers apprehension about aging.
The music video was released on 10th May, 2013. Alongside a full-string
orchestra, Del Rey sings in 1920s art deco fashion. She is shown singing the
song in a dark room with diamond earrings and glittery tears that look like
they have been tattooed onto her face. The video is performance based as it
shows no narrative within it.
First, The black screen fades into
an extreme long shot of her
walking towards numerous
reflections of herself showing
how isolated she is.
It then cuts to a close up of her
face singing, again by herself.
This goes with the fact that the
lyrics suggest she is scared of
being old and alone.
As she is singing, she looks
straight at the viewer a few times
to show that she’s serious about
the words she’s singing, she
changes between various face
expressions which add to the
emotion of the lyrics.
Afterwards, The camera moves to various shots of the orchestra, who seem to
be the only other people in the video. However, Del Rey is never in the same
shot as these musicians so she is constantly filmed by herself. The lighting has
been positioned so that you cannot see details of these musicians, only simple
silhouettes of them.
Del Rey often has dark, fuzzy effects added to her videos to give a vintage, dated feel
to the clip. The primary coloured lights show up on spots of the orchestra to liven up
the dullness of the video. Almost all of her music videos are mainly performance-based,
with sometimes a slight narrative-spin. This works well with the slow expressive
songs she sings. light and dark colours are used to create a dated and natural ‘look’ and
atmosphere. Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” uses lighting to black-out the details of
her figure but also to highlight her curvy outline, portraying her as appealing and
attractive to the audience, which is a common convention for music videos to follow.
Parts of the video relate to the lyrics but not much. For example, the chorus of the
song, “Will you still love me...” is quite personal and rhetorical. .While this is sung, the
footage cuts to close-ups of the artists face, creating a link between the artist’s
personal question and the expression of the artist’s face. When Del Rey begins the
verse featuring “Dear Lord, when I get to Heaven”, the footage flickers to an image of
the artists silhouette standing in a shaft of light, which connotes it. Then, as the line
“He’s my sun, he makes me shine” is sung, a circular glow appears around Del Rey’s
figure, representing a halo and further drawing a connection between lyrics and visuals.
This contrasts with the orchestra who are standing before red lights, making it look
like heaven and hell.
There is a lot of small zooming scenes,
specifically with the orchestra, where the
camera zooms towards the large shadows.
There is also a lot of slow crossfades in the
music video which goes well with the
slowness of the song.
Another thing to
point out is that
Del Rey may be
looking at her
various times in
the video because
she is looking at
she currently is.