3 highlights from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (PG13)
148 minutes, now showing
“Best believe I’m still bejewelled, when I walk in the room, I can still make the whole place shimmer,” sings American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift in Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film, as she struts confidently down the catwalk of an enormous stage.
The lines are from her track Bejeweled, from the album Midnights (2023). And they ring true for the 33-year-old pop star, whose Eras Tour has broken records and sparked ticketing frenzies around the world – including Singapore, where she will perform six sold-out shows in March.
The spectacle pays homage to nine of her albums and “eras” starting from 2008’s Grammy Award-winning Fearless.
Here are three highlights from the concert film of the tour, which opened in Singapore last Friday.
1. Immersive concert-like experience
The film was shot over three nights at Los Angeles’ SoFi stadium in August.
Director Sam Wrench, who was behind recent concert movies by other American pop stars such as Billie Eilish and Lizzo, makes full use of multiple camera angles to recreate the festive concert atmosphere for cinemagoers.
Most of the screen time is dedicated to loving close-ups of Swift as she sings and dances her way through more than 40 tracks.
But there are just enough wide views of everything else going on – such as the lighting effects on the surface of the stage and around the stadium; the energetic backup singers, dancers and band; and the awestruck spectators – to make for a dynamic viewing experience.
2. A musical journey through Swift’s career
Most of Swift’s big hits have a place in the film, from 2008’s Love Story to 2014’s Shake It Off.
These upbeat tunes have the singer and her diverse dance crew shaking up the stage with shimmering costumes and energetic dance moves.
But Swift’s two pandemic albums – Folklore and Evermore, both from 2020 – also provide some much-needed respite with their more introspective and folksy tunes.
The pop star’s sense of drama and showmanship keep the viewer enraptured even during songs such as Tolerate It. Here, Swift and one of her dancers re-enact the crumbling relationship described in the song to moving effect.
3. No frame wasted
The transitions between the eras during the film are quick and snappy, with costume changes and other logistical breaks cut out.
Also dropped are almost half a dozen songs from the concert set list. There are only a total of three tracks from Swift’s 2006 self-titled debut and third album Speak Now (2010).
There will undoubtedly be some hardcode “Swifties” upset by these omissions. But for everyone else, the cuts make for a snappier runtime.
This was no doubt the intention of the pop diva, who is credited as the movie’s producer and also outmanoeuvred top Hollywood studios to get it into cinemas within three months of filming.
As she belts out towards the end of the film: “It was all by design... because I’m a mastermind.”
From stage to screen with K-pop superstars BTS and Shinee
While Swift is likely the one setting the big screen on fire over the weekend with the opening of The Eras Tour concert film in Singapore, fans of K-pop boy bands BTS and Shinee can also catch movie versions of their idols’ stage shows.
BTS: Yet To Come (PG)
103 minutes, premieres on Prime Video on Thursday
Missing BTS as a group while they are on hiatus? The superstar septet – comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – have taken a break as their three oldest members are in the midst of their mandatory military service.
But fans can still catch them as one in the concert film BTS: Yet To Come.
It opened in Singapore cinemas in February, but will be available to stream via Prime Video from Thursday.
The film chronicles the BTS: Yet To Come concert held in October 2022 at Asiad Main Stadium in Busan, as part of the South Korean coastal city’s World Expo 2030 bid. About 50,000 fans attended to send their idols off in their final concert before the hiatus.
The set list comprised 19 songs, including Dynamite (2020) and Butter (2021), which both topped the Billboard Hot 100; as well as Mic Drop (2017) and 2022’s Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment).
My Shinee World (Rating to be advised)
111 minutes, limited screenings exclusively at Golden Village Grand, Great World City, from Nov 17 to 19 and Nov 24 to 26, various timings
There is no better way to celebrate Shinee’s 15th anniversary than with this concert film-documentary hybrid directed by Lee Hu-bin, who co-directed the dystopian Netflix K-drama Black Knight (2023).
The group – consisting of Onew, Minho, Key, Taemin and the late Jonghyun – are one of K-pop’s defining second-generation groups. Their hit songs include Ring Ding Dong (2009), Lucifer (2010) and 2013’s Sherlock (Clue + Note).
They recently released their eighth studio album Hard in June. The lead single of the same name won first place on Music Bank in July, making them the only boy band to score wins on the music programme in three separate decades: the 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.
My Shinee World weaves unreleased footage and behind-the-scenes stories with performances from their various gigs, including their most recent tour Shinee World VI: Perfect Illumination. This kicked off in Seoul in June, their first in-person concert in South Korea since 2016.
While the film was originally slated to have only three screenings from Nov 17 to 19, overwhelming demand led distributor Golden Village to add more sessions from Nov 24 to 26.
A standard ticket costs $28, while concession tickets for Golden Village Movie Club members each costs $24.
Each ticket holder is entitled to an exclusive set of photo cards and a movie poster. For more information, go to str.sg/iNT3