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All the details you might have missed in Taylor Swift and Post Malone's 'Fortnight' music video

All the details you might have missed in Taylor Swift and Post Malone's 'Fortnight' music video
EntertainmentEntertainment1 min read
Taylor Swift and Post Malone in the music video for "Fortnight."Taylor Swift/YouTube
  • Taylor Swift has released the music video for the lead single from "The Tortured Poets Department."
  • Swift and her collaborator on the song, Post Malone, star in the video, alongside some famous faces.

Taylor Swift released a new music video on Friday for "Fortnight," her collaboration with Post Malone, which serves as the opening track of her latest album, "The Tortured Poets Department."

The 4-minute video, directed by Swift and shot entirely in black and white — Swift recruited Martin Scorsese's cinematographer of choice, Rodrigo Prieto, for the job once again — sees the pop star move between being locked in a psychiatric hospital to working in a typewriter-filled office and then finally a lab where she undergoes electroshock therapy.

Malone, meanwhile, plays what Swift has called the music video's "tortured tragic hero," who hides his and Swift's past relationship as he shares her torment.

"When I was writing the 'Fortnight' music video, I wanted to show you the worlds I saw in my head that served as the backdrop for making this music," Swift wrote on social media.

"Pretty much everything in it is a metaphor or a reference to one corner of the album or another," she continued. "For me, this video turned out to be the perfect visual representation of this record and the stories I tell in it."

Longtime fans of Swift shouldn't be surprised; the record-breaking singer-songwriter has always hidden winks, callbacks, and thematic parallels in her songs and videos.

Here's a full breakdown of some details you might have missed in the music video for "Fortnight."

Swift wears a white dress that looks a lot like the one she wore to the 2024 Grammys.

Swift wears a white dress that looks a lot like the one she wore to the 2024 Grammys.
Taylor Swift/YouTube, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As soon as Swift stepped onto the red carpet at the 2024 Grammys, many immediately began inspecting it closely for potential Easter eggs.

Little did we know it would be an Easter egg itself.

While the dress doesn't exactly match the one Swift wore on the red carpet, it's possible that it is still a design from Schiaparelli, the fashion house behind the Grammy's dress. Like Swift's dress, the Schiaparelli gown Natasha Lyonne wore to the Golden Globes featured an exaggerated neckline.

With its garter, the dress could also be a wedding gown. There are references to marriage throughout Swift's new album.

With its garter, the dress could also be a wedding gown. There are references to marriage throughout Swift
Taylor Swift/YouTube

"At dinner you take my ring off my middle finger and put it on the one people put wedding rings on, and that's the closest I've come to my heart exploding," Swift sings in the title track "The Tortured Poets Department."

The marriage topic also appears in "So Long, London," "But Daddy I Love Him," "Fresh Out The Slammer," "loml," "imgonnagetyouback," and "The Manuscript."

In the next scene, Swift is seen in a Victorian-era mourning dress.

In the next scene, Swift is seen in a Victorian-era mourning dress.
Taylor Swift/YouTube

After we see her dressed as a bride, Swift walks through a door and into an office where she's dressed in a Victorian-esque mourning dress. This change reflects the song's message about losing a great love and being unable to move on.

This style of dress Swift was popular during the 63-year reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), who set the standard by wearing black for more than 33 years after she lost her husband, Prince Albert.

As the blog Million Graves noted, wearing black "allowed our ancestors to let the world know that grief was in their hearts without them having to say a word."

Swift also nods to her affinity with the Victorian era on "I Hate It Here," one of the bonus tracks for "The Tortured Poets Department," in which she sings about her desire to escape the modern age.

"My friends used to play a game where we would pick a decade we wished we could live in instead of this/ I'd say the 1830s but without all the racists and getting married off for the highest bid."

The numbers on the pill bottles refer to Swift's birthdate and the release of "The Tortured Poets Department."

The numbers on the pill bottles refer to Swift
Taylor Swift/YouTube

"I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary," Swift sings at this point in the video as she acquiesces and swallows one of the pills.

The dates —12/13/1989 and 04/19/2024 — suggest that Swift's character has literally loved this person her whole life.

Swift resembles silent film star Clara Bow, whom she pays homage to on the album's closing track.

Swift resembles silent film star Clara Bow, whom she pays homage to on the album
Taylor Swift/YouTube, John Kisch Archive/Getty Images

When we first see Swift in the "Fortnight" video, she is styled to resemble a 1920s screen siren with her thin, drawn-on eyebrows and bobby-pinned hair. She's also wearing a ribbon choker, a popular trend among flapper girls of the 1920s.

The iconic actor who popularised the flapper girl look in Hollywood was Clara Bow, whom Swift named the final track of "The Tortured Poets Department" after.

Swift appears to be signaling an affinity with the original "It" girl who captured the public's attention (and came under its scrutiny) who once astutely said of the persona she had created: "All the time the flapper is laughing and dancing, there's a feeling of tragedy underneath, she's unhappy and disillusioned, and that's what people sense."

When Swift wipes her face, she reveals several facial tattoos. They are identical to Malone's real tattoos.

When Swift wipes her face, she reveals several facial tattoos. They are identical to Malone
Taylor Swift/YouTube

Malone is well known for his inked visage and has at least 14 tattoos covering his face.

Later in the video, Malone is seen without his tattoos.

Later in the video, Malone is seen without his tattoos.
Taylor Swift/YouTube

The facial inversion image — Swift with the tattoos and Malone without — is perhaps a way to show audiences that the two lovers are one and the same.

Swift has previously alluded to this kind of relationship, singing about her and her love's "twin fire signs" in the song "State Of Grace."

There is a fountain pen on the desk next to Swift's typewriter.

There is a fountain pen on the desk next to Swift
Taylor Swift/YouTube

Swift once explained that she mentally categorizes her songs into three categories based on the kind of pen she imagines writing them with quill pen lyrics, fountain pen lyrics, and glitter gel pen lyrics.

Swift explained what falls under the category of fountain pen lyrics, telling Apple Music listeners in a voice note that they are "modern, personal stories written like poetry about those moments you remember all too well where you can see, hear, and feel everything in screaming detail."

It's likely clear to everyone who has listened that "The Tortured Poets Department" is an album written almost exclusively with a fountain pen.

Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles play the doctors in a fun nod to the similarity between the name of her album and their 1989 film, "Dead Poets Society."

Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles play the doctors in a fun nod to the similarity between the name of her album and their 1989 film, "Dead Poets Society."
Taylor Swift/YouTube

When Swift first announced that her 11th studio album was called "The Tortured Poets Department," comparisons between the name and that of the film released in 1989 (famously the same year Swift was born) were made.

While it doesn't seem as if the film directly influenced the record, Swift has decided to lean into the jokes by casting two of the film's stars for the video: Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles.

"Tortured poets, meet your colleagues from down the hall, the dead poets," Swift wrote of her decision to cast the two actors.

Moreover, from their labcoats seen in a behind-the-scenes photo Swift shared on Instagram, it appears Hawke and Charles are playing older versions of their "Dead Poets Society" characters.

Swift and Malone are seen reading "The Story Of Us."

Swift and Malone are seen reading "The Story Of Us."
Taylor Swift/YouTube

Swift's character is seen reading to Malone from a notebook with the word "US" written on the back.

It is a reference to Swift's heartbreak ballad "The Story Of Us" from her 2010 album, "Speak Now."

The song served as the fourth single from that album and began getting promoted on April 19, 2011 — exactly 13 years ago, when Swift released "The Tortured Poets Department" and the "Fortnight" music video.

A black dog runs across the screen as Swift undergoes treatment.

A black dog runs across the screen as Swift undergoes treatment.
Taylor Swift/YouTube

"The Black Dog" is the name of one of the bonus tracks that appears on "The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology" and on a special variant of the album that was promoted before its release.

While the song "The Black Dog" in question is actually a London-based bar where Swift discovers an old flame has taken their new lover, Swift plays with the metaphor behind the phrase here.

Originally found in English folklore, black dogs are generally considered sinister or malevolent. They have come to be regarded as a symbolic representation of melancholy or depression in modern times.

Swift's polygraph reveals the truth she keeps singing in the chorus.

Swift
Taylor Swift/YouTube

"I love you, it's ruining my life," Swift and Malone hypnotically harmonize as the song's repeated refrain.

The phrase is picked up and scribbled out on the polygraph, a machine commonly known as a lie detector test.

Lastly, Swift features illustrations of cats and a ball of yarn in the video's end card.

Lastly, Swift features illustrations of cats and a ball of yarn in the video
Taylor Swift/YouTube

"The Tortured Poets Department" may be Swift exploring the darker sides of fame and relationships, but she remains one of the world's foremost cat ladies.

Would it really be a Taylor Swift video without at least one Easter egg about her beloved feline friends?

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