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Taylor Swift’s Latest Video Is An Homage To The Golden Age Of Hollywood And Also Zebras

An in-depth look at the safari romance Taylor Swift starred in back in 1950 but only premiered before last night’s VMAs.

Taylor Swift’s Latest Video Is An Homage To The Golden Age Of Hollywood And Also Zebras
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Taylor Swift’s 1989 is the biggest thing to happen to music in years, which means that eventually every song on the album will have a big-budget music video (as well as get covered by Ryan Adams, naturally). We’ve seen Tay-Tay go for the abstract dance party of “Shake It Off,” the dark relationship psychodrama of “Blank Space,” and the comic book-style staging of “Bad Blood” so far–and now, in the video to her latest single, “Wildest Dreams,” Swift goes even more cinematic.

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Specifically, the video–directed by Joseph Kahn, who also helmed “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood”–goes in on the golden age of cinema. Wildest Dreams features Swift as an actress filming a movie (called “Wildest Dreams,” naturally) on location in the Sahara, as directed by a “G. Musterhausen” on the production date of August 2nd, 1950. As one might expect from the famously amorous Swift, she quickly falls for her male co-star, and they take their relationship off-camera–before, predictably, things turn contentious. (Also, for some reason there are giraffes and zebras, and Swift spends a few shots hanging out with a lion.)

Once Swift finally attends the film’s premiere, the line between make-believe romance and the real kind becomes painfully real for our heroine–who opines, in the chorus, that such things couldn’t come true, even in her wildest dreams. All told, “Wildest Dreams” plays out like a companion to “Blank Space,” with Swift-as-eager-romantic-turned-scorned-lover playing out just slightly different (and once more on horseback!).

As a kicker, all of Swift’s proceeds from the video, the final disclaimer promises, will be donated to wild animal conservation efforts in Africa–which is almost as cool a surprise as if she had brought out the lion and zebras for a surprise guest appearance at her next concert.

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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