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On The Rise of Taylor Swift, Filmmaker | Features


Though Swift’s followers had been stunned by the brand new 11-minute model of Swift’s standout Red observe, and the sudden launch of an accompanying music video almost 10 years after the tune’s unique launch, the filmmaking group was in a flurry for a wholly completely different purpose—the surprising (or maybe, beforehand unacknowledged) brilliance of Swift’s course. Nearly a yr after the quick movie’s debut—garnering near-universal acclaim and sparking heavy on-line debate as to the real-life story behind the notorious pink scarf—Swift went to TIFF earlier this month to display “All Too Well” for the primary time in its unique 35mm print and to offer perception into her filmmaking course of.

It was instantly obvious when listening to Swift discuss in regards to the behind-the-scenes work of “All Too Well” that she has a palpable ardour for filmmaking and takes real satisfaction every time her reverence for the business or homages to different administrators are acknowledged. This was the case throughout Swift’s dialog with TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey, which was peppered with small glimpses into Swift’s relationship with filmmaking and movie as an artwork type.

Swift’s filmmaking profession has run kind of parallel to that of her music, having edited dwelling movies for her songs (“Christmas Tree Farm”) and likewise co-directed her music movies (“Lover,” “You Need to Calm Down”) since 2008. But after years of writing therapies and storyboarding, Swift’s first huge solo flip within the director’s chair got here through the tongue-in-cheek gender-bending music video for 2020’s “The Man,” which sees Swift don a swimsuit and heavy prosthetics in a not-so-subtle jab at gender inequity within the office. Pulling visible inspiration from the bustling workplaces of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Man” has a definite humorousness frequent in a lot of Swift’s work that factors to a self-awareness and levity juxtaposed by the depth of her dramatic lyrics. From man-Taylor peeing glitter throughout her older album titles to an countless hallway of gloved arms ready to pat her brutish protagonist on the again—ending the video with a trophy spouse gleefully marrying man-Taylor for his cash—there’s a wit (bordering self-depreciation) that makes Swift’s dramatic visible storytelling compelling with out feeling overwrought. 

Taylor Swift – The Man (Official Video)

Official music video by Taylor Swift performing “The Man” – off her album ‘Lover.’

Though lighthearted humor and joyful revolt will be the via line for lots of the music movies Swift directed off Lover, her subsequent entries, Folklore and its sister album Evermore usher in a extra mature, ruminative period of Swift’s music and movies. The video for 2020’s “Cardigan” sees Swift bathed in heat candlelight from the flickering fires of a cobblestone cottage, earlier than discovering a fantasy world pulled from the pages of “The Chronicles of Narnia.” 

Where “The Man” performed with visible humor in brief, punchy sequences to emphasise the infuriating nature of the double requirements that plague Swift’s profession compared to her male contemporaries, “Cardigan” takes a extra conventional narrative strategy in its cinematic language, honoring Folklore’s inspiration from fairytales (in the course of the TIFF Q&A, Swift cited influences of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Devil’s Backbone” on the album). There’s a cinematic scope and tone to “Cardigan” that elevates the video past standard expectations of a product placement-laden pop video, slotting it squarely within the class of a brief movie set to music. 

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