Rihanna Shines in Dramatic ‘Diamonds’ Video (VIDEO)

Rihanna Films 'Diamonds'
Photos from the set of Rihanna's new music video.
Less than two weeks ahead of dropping her Unapologetic album, Rihanna has debuted the video for her first single, “Diamonds.”

A dreamy, dramatic experience, the video showcases a solitary Rihanna coping with a world collapsing around her. It opens with RiRi’s manicured tips raking through diamonds, which she rolls up, lights, and seemingly smokes, exhaling thick translucent smoke. Then the tune kicks in, cutting to dramatic black-and-white closeups of the singer.

In the nearly 5-minute clip, director Anthony Mandler — the visionary behind Fun.‘s “Some Nights” and Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem” — shuffles through symbolic imagery: Rihanna’s talon-nailed fingers slowly losing grasp on a tattooed arm; her running barefoot on a dark road; her standing solo in a deserted landscape; a tattered room full of shattered glass and fallen flower vases; and a stallion galloping past distant mountains.

As the song hits its crescendo, a dirt-strewn Rihanna stands strong in a street, as people around her go up in flames in a post-apocalyptic world. But then “Diamonds” comes to a serene close, with a sprawling shot of a peaceful Rihanna floating face-up in deep-blue waters.

The video seems devoid of a storyline — but Rihanna says that was an intentional artistic decision. “With every song it’s a different story, so the visuals are very specific to that story and that world,” Rihanna told MTV. “With ‘Diamonds,’ it was just a series of vignettes that we put together to help get the emotion across throughout the song ’cause the song changes and it builds, and there’s no real way that you could do that. You just want people to feel that and I wanted little cutaways of interactions that would give you the right emotion.”

Rihanna — who recently rocked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with “Diamonds” — will hit shelves with her seventh studio album, Unapologetic, on Nov. 19. The LP features collaborations with Eminem, Future and even on-and-off flame, Chris Brown.

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Tags: Rihanna