The world premiere of Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana premieres at Sundance tomorrow. Yesterday her new Variety cover was released – her only interview about the project – and she talked through more of what she’ll be sharing in the project and why she decided to do it. As she said herself, she’s no good at being an enigma. Taylor is an explainer. Taysplaining is her thing. That was my first favourite quote from the piece. My second is how she explained her motivation for the doc in the first place and why she took it to Netflix:
“I chose Netflix because it’s a very vast, accessible medium to people who are just like, ‘Hey, what’s this? I’m bored.’ I love that, because I do so many things that cater specifically to fans that like my music, I think it’s important to put yourself out there to people who don’t care at all about you.”
This is Taylor talking strategy. This is Taylor saying, yeah OK, I’m thirsty. I’ve secured my base – now I’m out to recruit MORE. Seriously, she’d be an excellent politician.
The first trailer for Miss Americana was released today. I love it. Like I love all entertainer behind the scenes documentaries. The view from offstage as opposed to onstage will always be more interesting, total work porn. Scripted films should release companion versions of the production process, everything that happens in between “action” and “cut”, because that’s where the other story is. I’m not saying that story has to necessarily be true – but it’s another story altogether.
This is Taylor on Taylor and ultimately that’s the way these docs work: from the time of Madonna’s Truth or Dare, who else could they possibly be more interested in than themselves? The conceit of putting it in a documentary is that they can pretend it’s for a higher purpose. It’s the audience’s job to play along; I do and I will – in exchange for the share. Right? That’s the deal, right?
What Taylor’s sharing here is footage from the recording studio, from backstage on tour, and a few f-cks. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say “f-ck” before, and if I have it wasn’t emphatic. Here it’s emphatic. “It feels f-cking awesome”, strategically included in the trailer to tell us that, yes, this is a side of Taylor that’s not often seen. There will be artifice, OF COURSE, but she’s savvy enough to throw out enough to help us recognise what’s fresh. The cursing…and, yes, there it is… a shot of her hugging Joe Alwyn, his back is to the camera but that’s unmistakably him.
Taylor Swift has always been good at gossip. I’m going to watch the sh-t out of this.