TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR
Released October 12th
I’m not a “Swiftie,” so I’m giving an unbiased report on Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie, and I will say it’s absolutely amazing. Taylor is a tireless performer, a poet, a minstrel, and one of the greatest entertainers ever. Her music is personal and heartfelt. It’s not the composition of her music nor her musical talent – there are better – it’s the magnetic way she performs. She clearly loves every minute, and she reaches out to each audience member personally. Her 15 dancers, her band, and her four backup singers are a team, a family. The sets, lighting, and staging are of Olympic quality truly breathtaking.
This two-hour and forty-nine-minute concert film takes you through Taylor’s journey as a musician and as a person, from her earliest album to her latest hits, and you can watch her grow. I credit Taylor’s backup singers, four very talented women who call themselves The Starlights, with allowing her to do the Herculean vocal task of singing a whole musical theatre production as a one-woman show with no other stars. Those vocalists are so attuned and well-matched to Taylor’s tone and style that they can help her do the heavy lifting from time to time without so much as a whisper of evidence that they are mingling their voices with the star. Taylor’s 16 distinctive costumes almost become characters, as do the sets. Because she has such a larger-than-life persona, the mind-blowing sets and costumes work for her.
The director of the film, Sam Wrench, is a Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning British director of live events, music videos, documentaries, and commercials. All the filming for the movie was done during the Eras Tour August performances at SoFi Stadium. The film deftly juxtaposes immersive shots of the astounding staging and backgrounds, the charismatic and playful dancers, the backup singers, long-shots, and close-ups of Swift, always seeming to enhance rather than distract from her musical narrative. As the film was shot in August and released on October 12th, Wrench and his team of 6 editors had very little time to perfect their work and did an extraordinary job.
Taylor Swift is not an overnight sensation. If you want to know what makes Taylor tick, find the music video to her song Marjorie, about her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, who was a coloratura soprano opera singer and performed in the US and Latin America in concerts, operas, and supper clubs and on the ABC radio network. You can tell from the emotion in Taylor’s voice and from the old videos accompanying the song that this woman, who died when Taylor was 13 in 2003, was a huge influence on her dedication to her art and on her life.
Taylor stands up for herself and does not back down. She is a product of an upbringing by investment banker parents who have supported her music career from the beginning, and she seems to have inherited their analytical and shrewd mindset and self-reliance. They named her after singer/songwriter James Taylor, perhaps a premonition of her genius. They enabled her to become the artist that she is, encouraging musical theatre studies at the age of 9 and moving to Nashville when she was a teen to further her career.
Taylor is an icon who stays reachable to each fan. She genuinely loves her fans, and the hardcore ones will sing, dance, and light up their phones throughout the movie, so be ready for that. She is a musician, entertainer, and consummate producer, and the skills she and her team have developed in bringing her art to a vast audience give her concerts an air of effortlessness and joy. Her songs portray her life with candor. Noting a tough situation she faced when she was 14, Taylor summarized her approach to her work thus: “I genuinely felt that I was running out of time. I wanted to capture these years of my life on an album while they still represented what I was going through.”
Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. firstname.lastname@example.org