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Taylor Swift enters her producer era in style

Taylor+Swifts+newest+film+is+a+front+row+seat+to+the+recent+Eras+Tour+and+is+Swifts+first+movie+in+the+role+of+producer.
Courtesy of AMC Theatres
Taylor Swift’s newest film is a front row seat to the recent “Eras Tour” and is Swift’s first movie in the role of producer.

Before Taylor Swift embarked on “The Eras Tour,” the singer-songwriter had not toured in five years. Four new albums had been released since 2019, all awaiting live performance debuts. During the pandemic, she had experimented with her creative expression by directing her own award-winning short film. And now, with the theatrical release of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” she has ventured into the role of producer. 

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is a concert movie that provides fans around the globe — especially those who struggled to secure concert tickets — with what they could only dream of having: the perfect seat at the very highly-anticipated concert, with close-ups so intense you can see Swift’s eyeshadow glisten. 

This film, directed by Sam Wrench and filmed at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, is a cinematic love letter from Swift, the film’s producer, to her fans for supporting her 10 albums and 17-year-long career thus far. With its release being in the middle of the tour itself, it is also a timely celebration of its unfinished success. 

The momentum of the film is almost an exact replica of how watching the concert feels. Just like Swift announces at the start of every show, the movie progresses one album — more affectionately referred to as an era — at a time. Viewers witness the many costume changes, world-building sets and props allowing “The Eras Tour” to seamlessly transition from one drastically different album aesthetic to the next, like the “Red” album’s signature color, the cottage-core vibe of “folklore” and the NYC setting of “1989.” 

What is unique about the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” viewing experience is the intimate connection audiences have with the concert. Viewers have an up-close and personal opportunity to see close-ups of Swift, her dancers and band, the otherwise unnoticed details of their costumes and facial expressions. The crisp, surround-sound quality of the movie theater is also able to highlight instrumental mixing details, unique note changes and even the subtle but cheerful giggle Swift lets out as she glides across the stage at one point during the “Fearless” set. The cinematic atmosphere truly makes it as though the viewers are right on stage with them.

It is worth mentioning, however, the justifiable tradeoff of this amazing close-up view is only receiving an occasional birds-eye shot of the 250-foot stage. Swift’s stage design is an integral element of the show, as the stage itself is covered in screens that display mesmerizing visuals with each new song. For example, after the acoustic set of surprise songs that vary each night, Swift acrobatically dives head first into the stage as the catwalk screen shows an animation of her “swimming” toward center stage. For a viewer who does not see the live show prior to the movie, the constant close-ups may make it difficult to conceptualize the extent to which the stadium is illuminated by the stage and its complex graphics. 

A significant difference from the live show is the absence of songs that did not make the final editing cut, such as the whimsical hit “cardigan,” “The Archer” and “Wildest Dreams” from the soon-to-be-re-released album “1989.” Given the magnitude of the setlist, those songs were barely missed.

Swift has been known to have an amazing stage presence. Swift’s fanbase is the product of 17 years of music and therefore covers a wide range of ages and perspectives. Swift has the power to entertain everyone: little kids who love to shake it off, teenagers who can cry to “folklore” after being heartbroken, young adults celebrating their 22nd birthday with the “Red” song “22” and adults who have witnessed the evolution of her genre-shifting career. So even as viewers sink into their reclining theater chairs, there is somehow the illusion that Swift truly is there, performing a private show just for that theater, as she frequently makes eye contact with the camera with a warm, thankful smile. This element of showmanship combined with the many shots of teary-eyed fans of all ages, with “13s” drawn on their hands and friendship bracelets covering their wrists, makes it abundantly clear that as humble as she is, Swift is a performance powerhouse. 

The atmosphere of attending this movie can only be described as every Swiftie’s dream, and for average moviegoers, the ultimate people-watching experience. 

None other than Swift’s music was heard through the theater lobby speakers. The concession line extended the entire room as fans waited to score an AMC exclusive souvenir popcorn tin and/or soda cup. Everyone was decked out in Eras Tour merch. 

Typical movie theater etiquette does not apply to “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” Within seconds of showtime, younger fans sprung out of their seats and created a dance circle underneath the screen, chanting lyrics in unison and holding hands. During times in the concert when the crowd was shown holding up their phone flashlights, most in the theater did the same as if they were visible to Swift herself. Despite being complete strangers, this group of audience members became friends for three hours, united by their shared devotion for Swift and her work.

This film proves that Swift truly is entertainment media’s current “mastermind” who shows no signs of calming down. In a single day, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” broke AMC’s record for global revenue sales, and as Cinemark reported, “domestic pre-sale records are more than ‘10 times higher pre-sales than any other cinema engagement event.’” This is remarkable given how post-pandemic movie theater nights seemed like a fantasy, and in the early days of COVID-19, even the future of live entertainment seemed bleak.

While “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is currently screening in theaters, Swift will simultaneously hit the stage with a three-night-run in Buenos Aires starting Nov. 9 to kick off the international leg of “The Eras Tour”  and continue to make memories with fans off-screen.

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  • B

    Barbara SchaeferOct 21, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Wonderful , inciteful, and motivational article
    On Taylor Swift.
    I have become a fan!!!
    Barbara Schaefer

    Reply