When it comes to making music videos, it would appear that Taylor Swift is now the leader of this art. Not only was her video for "Bad Blood" a definite homage and original take on action films with many cameos, but her recent video for "Out of the Woods" brings out all kinds of interesting fairy tale imagery.
IO9 calls Swift's new video "a better Fairy Tale movie than Maleficent and Mirror Mirror put together." They raise an interesting point as modern-day fairy tale movies like the ones they suggest along with Snow White and the Hunstman always attempt to put some dark spin on the source material. This is not to say that Grimm's Fairy Tales were not dark to begin with, but it certainly is a darker filmmaking trend that is a direct opposite to the original Disney fairy tale standard. Even Disney's recent live-action version of Cinderella had some serious darker elements to it, even though it avoided the two wicked stepsisters cutting their feet to fit into that glass slipper.
Taylor's Swift's video from "Out of the Woods" seems inspired by Disney's most recent musical film Into the Woods, which had the sisters from Cinderella cutting their feet. Like most music videos, the plot is put on the backburner in order to invoke more feeling and imagery. The video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who also directed the "Bad Blood" video.
The video shows Swift being attacked or perhaps even loved by some beanstalk, tree, or other fast-growing plant, and then finds her being chased by evil wolves, like Belle from Disney's animated classic Beauty and the Beast. From here, the scene goes from beach, to snowy mountain, to summer rocky terrain, to forest fire, as it appears that Swift's in-universe character cannot seem to control where she actually is and is transporting at random.
Yes, it is difficult to follow, and if there is some storyline here, it isn't obvious after one watch. There is some text reading "He Left Her, but She Found Herself", which might give the viewer a clue.
It is interesting to see that Taylor Swift, who is one of the hottest music stars now, really devotes a lot of time to make music videos, even in a post-MTV music video generation. In the days when MTV and music video started, it was Michael Jackson who really pioneered quality videos for his tracks "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller". These two artists have a definite artistic integrity that rules their videos, creating works that rival what is done in the cinema.
We have attached the video below so you can watch it for yourself, and feel free to leave your comments on it, as well as what you would like Taylor Swift to try next. Maybe her next video could tackle Star Wars. At this point, would anyone be surprised?