Taylor Swift has premiered the short film based on (and named for) the ten-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ that appears on ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’.
Swift – who wrote and directed the film – touched on the moment in question in an interview with Jimmy Fallon yesterday (November 12), calling it “a very tense scene” wherein Sink and O’Brien “were so electric and [improvising] a lot of what they were doing that we just couldn’t take the camera off [them]”.
The 15-minute film is split into seven chapters – ‘An Upstate Escape’, ‘The First Cracks In The Glass’, ‘Are You Real?’, ‘The Breaking Point’, ‘The Reeling’, ‘The Remembering’ and ‘Thirteen Years Gone’ – each chronicling a formative period in Sink and O’Brien’s fictionalised relationship.
Swift herself makes a cameo in the film’s epilogue as an adult version of Sink’s character (neither her nor O’Brien are given actual names in the film), speaking at a book reading as her former lover watches from outside.
Take a look at All Too Well in its entirety below:
Speaking on the newly released ten-minute version of ‘All Too Well’, Swift told Fallon that the song – a fan-favourite from the 2012 version of ‘Red’, clocking in at 5:28 for its initial release – was first written as a cathartic exercise during a rehearsal session for her ‘Speak Now’ tour. “I showed up for rehearsals, and I was really upset and sad, and everybody could tell – it was like really not fun to be around me that day,” she said.
“And so I started playing guitar and just kind of playing the same four chords over and over again, and the band sort of joined in, and I started ad-libbing what I was going through and what I was feeling, and it went on. The song kept building and building and building in intensity, and the song just went on for about, you know, ten to 15 minutes of us doing this.”
Swift also appeared at the short film’s premiere in New York today (November 13), performing the unabridged version of the song acoustically for the first time.
Addressing the audience, Swift praised the fan power that had given the original release of ‘All Too Well’ a life of its own; she cited that support as “the most important thing about this particular project” and said that it was only because of the fans that ‘All Too Well’ is often labelled one of her best songs.
‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ was released yesterday via Republic. It features “all 30 songs that were meant to go” on the original album, as well as collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Ed Sheeran and more. It was initially scheduled to arrive on November 19, but was pushed forward by one week.
In a four-star review, NME said: “It’s not an exercise of rethinking and tweaking old songs, but to take back ownership of her own music. The production here is a little sharper, with the instrumentation being brought further into focus: the opening percussion of ‘State of Grace’ is crisper, the soft-rock guitar of the title track a little brighter and the mandolin of ‘Stay Stay Stay’ lifted.”
Swift is remaking her first six studio albums – up to and including 2017’s ‘Reputation’ – following the controversial sale of her masters in recent years. The star released ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ in April before sharing a re-recording of ‘1989’ single ‘Wildest Dreams’ last month.
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