Lana Del Rey and the Weeknd’s ‘Lust for Life’ Recalls an Infamous Hollywood Suicide (Video)

Del Rey climbs up the H in the Hollywood sign… and slides off the D

Lana Del Rey knows Hollywood, dropping references to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Nancy Sinatra to Lana Turner, from whom she borrowed her name. And the video for her new song with The Weeknd, “Lust for Life,” invites recollections of one of Hollywood’s most storied tragedies.

“Lust for Life” features the frequent collaborators playing young lovers, sharing a lovely duet. “Climb up the H of the Hollywood sign,” she sings, and then her character does just that. When she gets to the top, she meets him there. He sings lines that include, “They say only the good die young.” And they sing together, “Gotta dance ’til we die.”

That heralds a climax both childlike and dark: With his fading image behind her, she down the sign’s “D” and the screen fades to black. Next we see them lying together on the ground, surrounded by flowers, as if they’ve been reunited in death.

Many have noted the possible allusion to Peg Entwistle, an actress who committed suicide by leaping off the Hollywood sign in 1932. The song’s lyrics and a preview video last month invited comparisons even before the new video — which already has 5 million views in a few hours — explicitly showed Del Rey sliding off the sign.

Coincidentally, L.A.-based writer and film historian Karina Longworth explored the life (and death) of Entwistle in a recent episode of her podcast, You Must Remember This

“Lana seems to be an astute observer of old Hollywood so I would assume she’s familiar with Peg Entwistle’s story, but I don’t know,” she told TheWrap, when asked if the video seemed like an Entwistle reference.

Del Rey’s representatives did not immediately respond to The Wrap’s contact request. But she seemed to spell it out herself in a preview video released last month, in which she’s portrayed as a ghost living in the H:

“You know, in this town an artist really needs a lot of space when they’re trying to create something special,” she says. “A place to cultivate a world of their own, far away from the real world that’s around them. Luckily for me, I live right inside the middle of the H of the Hollywood sign and this is how I spend most of my nights, perched high above the chaos that swirls within the City of Angels below.”