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Taylor Swift Trades Heartache For Bloody Revenge In The video For “Blank Space”

Taylor Swift’s new video, “Blank Space,” gets surprisingly arty (and deadly)

Taylor Swift Trades Heartache For Bloody Revenge In The video For “Blank Space”

Growing up is hard for a teen star. (Just ask Miley or the Biebs.) The world still wants you to be who you were when you rose to fame as a veritable child, while your interests in art and music have presumably evolved in the same way anyone’s would in shifting from teenager to young adult. Witness: The latest video from Taylor Swift, which sees the golden-tressed pop sweetheart starring in a bizarre (and blood-spattered) art film.

The video for “Blank Space” was directed by Joseph Kahn, a music video/commercial director who cut his teeth on videos for early 90’s dirty south Texas hip hop artists like the Geto Boys, 5th Ward Boyz, and Scarface (and also, fun-fact, helmed the 2004 Ice Cube/Adam Scott/Jaime Pressley Fast and Furious ripoff Torque). Like Swift herself, Kahn broadens his horizons on “Blank Space,” which bills itself as a “short film.” The basic plot of the video isn’t too far off from, say, Fatal Attraction or Im Sang-soo’s The Housemaid–a woman scorned by a two-timing lover takes her revenge. But when the obsessive woman is played by T-Swift, in love with a paramour fond of wearing capes and walking three identical doberman pinschers, things are automatically placed in a new context.

She paints portraits of the guy (named “Sean,” according to a name she inscribes on a tree), but then things take a dark twist when she finds him texting on his cell phone when she wants his attention. It gets weird: She cuts the nipples out of his shirt; she hangs out with a fawn while she writhes around on the ground in a leopard-print dress; she destroys a cake that’s apparently filled with blood; she stands at full height, balanced on the back of a horse; etc, etc. As playing-against-type goes, it’s not exactly Miley twerking with electrical tape over her nipples–but then, this is only the second video from Swift’s latest album, so well probably get there.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.



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