Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions Movie Poster Image
Swift shares songs in intimate docu; some language.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Uncertainty in life (for example, during the quarantine phase of the COVID-19 pandemic) can lead to anxiety or it can be a release from the usual pressures of life. People often mistakenly underestimate the young. Adults need the same reassurances as teens and kids. Most of us have multiple identities that we put on with different people or groups.

Positive Role Models

Swift and her musicians share what the quarantine has meant to them and how they each experienced their unique collaboration. They discuss what went into each of the songs on their joint album. They talk about how their music offers them an outlet for moods, experiences, depression, anxiety, and more. Swift talks about wanting her fame and celebrity not to always be front and center in her relationships. Lyrics in one song talk about "hunters with cell phones" and a "name-dropping sleaze," and Swift mentions having "an exit plan," presumably from fame.

Violence

Swift talks about researching her grandfather's experiences in war and makes a parallel between that and medical personnel dealing with COVID today. Another song talks about a "mad woman."

Sex

Lyrics talk about "twisted bedsheets," "illicit affairs," lovers, kissing, a hand under a sweatshirt.

Language

"S--t," "s--tty," "damn," "hell," "bitch," "Oh God," "Jesus," "idiotic fool," "sleaze."

Consumerism

Taylor Swift's music in general and the Folklore album specifically are promoted by this film, recorded at the Long Pond Studio in New York. Fans will dissect the lyrics and discussion of each song to grasp every nuance. Swift talks and sings about some of the challenges of being a celebrity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Swift and her companions sip wine and beer as they sit around a fire and talk about the songs on their album. Song lyrics discuss addiction, filling a pool with champagne, drinking beer at a bar, a bottle of wine. At the end, we hear Swift suggest they celebrate with whisky.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions is a film built strictly around Taylor Swift and two other musicians discussing and performing the music from their latest album together. There's some language (most notably, "s--t," "s--tty," "damn," "hell," and "bitch") and lyrics discuss drinking, addiction, relationships, and allusions to sexual intimacy. Otherwise, topics in the documentary revolve around what the lyrics mean to each of the musicians involved. They talk about struggling with anxiety, self doubt, depression, celebrity, relationships, and the burden of the COVID-19 quarantine that forced them to record the album separately but also inspired the music. Swift and her companions sip wine and beer as they sit around a fire and talk. At the end, we hear Swift suggest they celebrate with whisky.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhannahluv18 December 1, 2020

soo good!!

I may be biased since I love Taylor Swift so much but I truly loved the Long Pond Sessions so much! This is so great to watch if you want to know more about her... Continue reading
Adult Written byReliableSource November 30, 2020

Insightful, Amazing, Really Well Done Docu

This is a really well done documentary about Taylor Swift's eighth album. If you enjoyed folklore you should really watch this flick. It contains commentar... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjackielovesbooks December 19, 2020

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!

I've been a swiftie since 2011, so I may be a little biased. This is pure gold. Amazing song writing. That piano...man, so good! There are some swear words... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySaltieChips December 4, 2020

Incredible concert film from talented songwriter

Language is the only potential major concern for families in this sharp, creative movie from American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. “F—k” is bleeped out, but... Continue reading

What's the story?

Taylor Swift and the two musician collaborators on her most recent album meet at a studio in upstate New York to perform their album together for the first time in FOLKLORE: THE LONG POND STUDIO SESSIONS. The three -- Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Aaron Dessner -- had worked separately in their homes during the COVID-19 quarantine to record the surprise album released in July 2020. Now they come together and talk about the process and the meaning behind each of the tracks on the album and play each song together for the first time.

Is it any good?

Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions will be catnip to the world's many Taylor Swift fans, but it's also a unique look inside the artistic process behind one album. It's intriguing to listen in on the origins and meaning of songs with otherwise cryptic or, conversely, seemingly generic lyrics. We also learn a little more about the artist. Swift suggests this is her first album that's not fully autobiographical, though there are many personal and life-inspired lyrics. Watching the superstar sing in a solitary studio with just guitar and/or piano accompaniment crystallizes her vocal talent.

Each song is discussed and then performed -- no bloopers are shown here. We don't see any technicians or camera crew; the film is made more intimate by being limited to the three people, their conversations, and the music in such an isolated setting. The two musicians conversing with the singer -- Dessner and Antonoff -- are here mostly as sounding boards for Swift. There's no question who the celebrity is in the group, but the entire atmosphere is laid back. They look like they're having fun; the album feels cathartic for all of them during a difficult year. Viewers, too, can enjoy the relaxed mood.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Taylor Swift reveals about herself and her artistic process in Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.

  • Which of the songs did you like best on the album, and why? What did you learn about the songs on the album?

  • How does this documentary differ from others that you've seen about Swift or other musicians?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

Themes & Topics

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