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Gregg MacPherson

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I just watched the first two episodes of The Night Of. It's the most interesting thing I've seen for a very long time. Wonderfully patient, observant and expressive.

Anyone else seeing it?

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I'm taking a look at UK documentary series What Do Artists Do All Day?

 

S01E01 I enjoyed. Sweet, compasionate, respectfull sharing of snippets into the working day of printmaker Norman Ackroyd. Instinct told me that I might not enjoy many of the artist chosen, so I sneaked ahead to John Byrne, who looked interestingly qualified. Humorous, edgy, wonderfully overdiversified....I'm only 3 minutes in....

 

Sofar, but to be fair, avoiding much of it, a nice antidte to the quasi documentaries out there.

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Recently, the best show I've seen is Stranger Things. Mr. Robot Season 2 just started, so far it's not wowing me like the 1st season.

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I watched Stranger Things over the weekend. I found the first episode lacking in tone of lighting, but it got better as soon as they figured out where to go.

 

I am very much interested in how much digital wizardry was involved in the black void. One wonders if that was all chroma.

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I didn't enjoy Stranger Things sofar (episodes 1 and 2) but people seem to like it. Manu Delpech started a thread on it a few days ago.

 

Re Mr Robot. I was really interestind in season 1, but somehow I don't feel to watch season 2. Can't explain it.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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Stranger Things was excellent. Somehow the lighting (and quite probably all the things combined) made me feel really, really nostalgic. The warm afternoon sun and the cold Autumn -- I loved it!

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The Secret Agent, 2016 version, feels really interesting. IMDb: "Verloc, the owner of a seedy shop in Victorian Soho, plays a dangerous game spying on an agitating anarchist group that will prove useful to the foreign power he is secretly working for. "

 

He's working for the pre 20th C Russians, or is he working for the English.....

 

The ideas are sort of sensualised. Environment and characters feel textured, nice.

 

Just starting on S01.

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A Very Secret Service on Netflix is looking very interesting. Dry humor and nicely photographed.

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I just watched the first two episodes of The Night Of. It's the most interesting thing I've seen for a very long time. Wonderfully patient, observant and expressive.

Anyone else seeing it?

 

YES! And I agree. Its heavily stylized but I think its great.

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@ Sebastien.

Oh, someone who saw it like I did.

 

In the pause between, I looked at Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Have to say, I was on my guard, in spite of what seem like endorsements from Dave Groll, Joan Jet etc, but I think it is an interesting tale with a lot of nutricious musical/cultueral references.

 

On the Sranger Things front. I don't mind being the odd man out, feeling guarded and manipulated by that show. I'll give it a few months, then, perhaps, I'll drink the cool aid.

 

edit: Spelling!

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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I just watched the first two episodes of The Night Of. It's the most interesting thing I've seen for a very long time. Wonderfully patient, observant and expressive.

Anyone else seeing it?

 

Yes, a bit too expressive. I have to say that the first two episodes utilized far more technique than necessary to get the story across. Shots with overtly shallow depth-of-field & gradual focus racks felt quite unmotivated and really took me out of the story. But it seems to have evened out a bit judging by the last episode.

 

On a side-note, I have been working as an EMT in NYC for the past 11 years and the locations are very accurate. I work in Jackson Heights, Queens and I have been inside parts of Riker's Island more times than I can count. The precinct is laid out very accurately, as well. I'm sure the interiors are sets but that's a testament to the production design.

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Hey Bill.
I think that The Night Of gives us, with a little risk to itself, an expression of idea that exposes itself, rather than just serving the "story". The idea of what story is deserves a lot of navel gazing, carefull examination.

 

So, what is "story" ? Lets call it a framework, on some undefined level, for the narrative. What is narrative? Oh, it's a clever way of abstracting the notion of story. Or vice versa. And so on.

 

Some use the word story to suggest the definable, particular layers of a narrative, the things that happen or the structured transformation of character(s). Others use the word to suggest or invoke the slippery sense of the complete or whole experience.

 

If story is a matrix or definable mesh alluding to the transformations of entities (characters) who act, in the sense that all entities act (they move, morph, become)...then how do we express this idea of the complete, whole experience? It's as though, when watching the most sublime film, we (watching the film) fall between the mesh that might define story.

 

We may use all sorts of metaphore, may allude to, may use anything, to suggest the simple nature of things that simmer there beneath....

EDIT: spelling, syntax.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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On a side-note, I have been working as an EMT in NYC for the past 11 years and the locations are very accurate. I work in Jackson Heights, Queens and I have been inside parts of Riker's Island more times than I can count. The precinct is laid out very accurately, as well. I'm sure the interiors are sets but that's a testament to the production design.

 

Funny, during the show I turned to my wife and said "Theres NO way Rikers looks like that!"

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Funny, during the show I turned to my wife and said "Theres NO way Rikers looks like that!"

 

I've never seen the tiers (where Naz sleeps) so I can't speak to how that room looks. But the scouting team definitely did their homework.

 

It's just a lot cleaner on the show ;)

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I've never seen the tiers (where Naz sleeps) so I can't speak to how that room looks. But the scouting team definitely did their homework.

 

It's just a lot cleaner on the show ;)

 

:D (thats what I thought, waaaayyyy too clean and bright)

 

On the extra features, they did a whole episode on scouting, construction and design of the prison: http://play.hbogo.com/extra/urn:hbo:extra:GV5EvmwmHJ7qTPAEAAAAr

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Also watching the old Voyiage to the Bottom of the Sea TV show. A kind of adventure series from the era of when "TV was TV", so to speak.

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I'm giving Banshee a rewatch. It does very well. It still feels, in terms of form, the way that it achieves an expressive result, one could say original in it's own terms. A way of saying, I supose, it's a master of it's own small universe.

 

I think I am on record as saying that Entourage has the best ever into/title sequence. I know that Entourage vs Banshee is apples vs oranges, but wecan't help but hold something up as the best, or most amazing.

 

The stills in the Banshee title sequence are part of a very well formed whole. Extremly potent in context, of the whole screen, and the recollections that the viewer has of recent images. The intro sequences are never normally the same. They refer intelligently to recent episodes.

 

Finally. Normally near the end of the title sequence there is a still of "Anna", an ECU where she blinks. This is either an overt reference to Chriss Marker's "La Jete" or some wierd 100th monkey synchronous gesture. I give them a pass on that. Chriss Marker direct, or a reference with one or two degrees of separation....don't know.

 

Anyway, well done. It's up there with the most interesting shows that have ever been made.

 

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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I stumbled onto Queen Sugar. Initially, the visual and character textures seduced me. By episode 4 there are still some very beguiling elements in there. If you see the intro and there are symetry shots of sugar or something, just ignore that. Maybe the intro to the tv show Power with the 50c nonsense casts a long shadow.

 

Successfull (money, lifestyle) afro-am character illustrations can't help but be included I supose. But what gets me interested is the shape of the more humble characters.

 

And the most interesting character just left planet earth. And the micro universe, still revolves around him

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Better things is worth a look. Some clown on IMDb called it a comedy horror genre. Absolutely absurd. Why so many people need the crutch of the genre concept in the first place I don't know....

 

It's a short (about 20min run time)quasi comedic but more genuinely observant series, which gets huge heft from the fact that Pamela Adlon helped create it. Some refer to the autobiographic element (Adlon's life) and it does have this sense of realness to it.

 

In e03 Adlon and Duchovny both turn up, a fun moment for anyone who watched them both goose around in Californication.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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I'm begining Berlin Station again. I like it. It has a refined sense of European-ness about it. It separates itself quite effortlessley from American TV (i mean, spy stories about Americans).

 

A contemporary era spy show that herds several character threads and precise environmental tones forward at once.

 

I like it. Anyone else watching it?

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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I'm begining Berlin Station again. I like it. It has a refined sense of European-ness about it. It separates itself quite effortlessley from American TV (i mean, spy stories about Americans).

 

A contemporary era spy show that herds several character threads and precise environmental tones forward at once.

 

I like it. Anyone else watching it?

Before it started airing, they put 2 eps on youtube and I loved them both, but of course Comcast isn't carrying the EPIX station up here, so I guess I'm stuck waiting a year or more for it to stream or go blu-ray. Was already excited about it after talking to DP (who shot the terrific THE LIVES OF OTHERS) and 2nd unit guy for Digital Video magazine article, but yeah, it looked to be the real deal.

 

Had started in on GOOD GIRLS REVOLT too (which has a very weak first episode after the pilot, don't let it scare you off), and am almost through the season, but the week's events have put this in a historical context that is plain out uncomfortable for us to view, so we're holding off a spell on the last three eps. Also really enjoyed MANHATTAN (both seasons), despite the historical issues.

 

THE WIRE is still a big go-to for us, while MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE is another current fave, STRANGER THINGS too (not so great 2nd time through), but our top pick for the decade thus far is probably the over-way-too-early two season run of THE HOUR, which we've seen every year. And speaking of shows that ended too soon, we still make time to rewatch CARNIVALE, FIREFLY and DEADWOOD.

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