Mon. May 16th, 2022

Taylor Swift once said in an interview that the world knows her as a “serial dater” who jumps from boyfriend to boyfriend, but after the release of her latest album, “1989” in Oct. 2014, the world is now going to know her for her movie-like music video series she has created.

The world has clearly been paying attention. Her three music videos, “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” and “Wildest Dreams” combined have almost two billion views on Youtube alone.

The three music videos were directed by Joseph Kahn, who has worked with Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, and countless other pop superstars. Now he can add another superstar, Taylor Swift, to his resume.

“Cherry lips, crystal skies, I could show you incredible things,” and that is exactly what Taylor Swift does in her video for “Blank Space,” she does not fail to show the viewer incredible things. This is the first music video that Kahn directed for Taylor Swift and he made sure to make it as visually expressive as possible.

Like in a movie, Taylor Swift makes multiple outfit changes. In fact, for this music video Taylor Swift changed her outfit over a dozen times. Taylor Swift wore a lacey black dress, long silver gown that resembled a disco ball, a 1950s-style bathing suit, and several long gowns.

Taylor Swift and Kahn didn’t stop there. They found a mansion fit for the likings of the Queen of England and found her model Sean O’Pry to play her love interest. Let’s just say he could compete with any Hollywood hunk and probably win.

But it’s the way that Taylor Swift brings the lyrics to life through the music video that gave “Blank Space” over a billion views on Youtube.

As “got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane” is sung by Taylor Swift, she is sitting on the floor with makeup running down her face with eyes so crazy that let you know she watched hours of “Orange is the New Black” just to perfect that moment. It also helps that she stabs his picture over and over again with a knife and shreds his clothes with scissors.

The most visually beautiful scene is when Taylor Swift is standing in a long black dress in an all white room holding a red apple. Looking like a beautifully wicked queen, Taylor Swift uses the apple as a voodoo doll to inflict pain on her love interest for betraying her. As she bites, smashes, and digs at the apple ,the poor guy is jerked around before choking. But don’t worry, the end of the video shows promise as a new love interest drives up to the mansion.

In her second Joseph Kahn film titled “Bad Blood,” released in May 2015, Taylor Swift continues to bring her lyrics to life on screen, but this time it is through the plot. The plot for “Bad Blood” mirrors that of a James Bond film, the only difference is that the star of this movie is Catastrophe (Taylor Swift).

Catastrophe and Arsyn (Selena Gomez) are criminals working together to steal a briefcase, but once the job is done, Arsyn turns on both her partner and Catastrophe with the help of her 17 (yes, 17) world-famous guest stars prepare for the final battle with Arsyn.

Among these guest stars include A-list actresses Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: SVU”). Other names include Cara Delevingne, Lena Dunham, Jessica Alba and Kendrick Lamar, who is featured on the song.

The music video seems to reflect the betrayal that Taylor Swift sings about. As Catastrophe and her squad walk up to their opponents, pure destruction is going on around them, buildings are on fire and falling apart but the look of determination on their faces is relentless. All of this is happening, while, in the background, Taylor Swift’s voice is singing: “Oh baby now we’ve got bad blood, you know it used to be mad love so take a look at what you’ve done cause now we’ve got bad blood,” until the bad blood finally spills over and the fight begins.

For the third Joseph Kahn film “Wildest Dreams” released in August 2015, there was a dramatic location change that gave Kahn and his team of cameramen the opportunity to take advantage of their surroundings.

The majority of “Wildest Dreams” takes place in Africa where Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood (from “The Longest Ride”) play co-stars who fall in love while filming a movie. But instead of solely focusing on Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood, the cameramen pan around the landscape.

The opening gives viewers an overhead view of the Savannah Desert as they look down on giraffes, elephants, zebras, and lions. Throughout the music video the cameramen continue to show off the different landscapes by panning to waterfalls, mountains, deserts, and even showing a scene where Taylor Swift is posing near a lion.

Each of these music videos tell a story, but even through the visualization, the plot, and the camera work, each of the music videos seem very unrealistic. In “Blank Space,” what are the chances that Taylor Swift would have guy after guy at her disposal? In “Bad Blood,” the chances that the plot would take place anywhere else besides an action movie are ridiculous, and in “Wildest Dreams” the two actors falling in love on set is cliche. This leaves the viewer wondering that perhaps Swift’s intentions are to retell “1989” in hyperbole.

Taylor Swift’s music video’s from songs off her newest album “1989” are far more cinematic than they are simply for airtime and advertising on television. Taylor Swift has the aesthetic power to bring her lyrics to life on screen and make you feel as entranced as you would be if you were sitting in the movie theater.

Keeley Gould is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in journalism. She can be reached at KG787739@wcupa.edu.

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