1 year ago
52 Characters from “The Wire”
2 years ago

A 36-minute video essay by Erlend Lavik called “Style in The Wire,” which carefully and thoroughly analyzes the various visual techniques used by the show’s directors over the course of its five seasons.

As Lavik notes, the visual style of The Wire is much less discussed than its multifaceted narrative, its wide range of complicated characters, and its social critique. But he makes a compelling case that the look of The Wire also contributes to the show’s power, and that the series’ directors established a visual approach that suited the show’s aims.

The primary influence on the show’s look is documentary filmmaking, particularly the work of Frederick Wiseman, Lavik says. In conversation scenes, for instance, the camera will often not switch to a speaker until that character has begun talking, as though the cameraman does not know in advance who will speak when. And the camera often “sneaks up” on a scene, creating the impression that we are eavesdropping on something actually taking place.

Even the 4:3 aspect ratio—which has, according to Lavik, become rare among cable’s prestige dramas—was chosen by Simon because it seemed less inherently cinematic, more “real.” (Lavik points out, however, that directors on the series often constructed a widescreen effect by shooting with a long lens across a blurry, horizontal object in the foreground, as in the scene with Mayor Carcetti and Bunny Colvin pictured above.)

Much of the show’s style comes from what it does not include: There are no dream sequences, for instance, which have become common on other prestige dramas (like The Sopranos andMad Men); only once does the camerawork overtly echo the psychological state of a character (after Ziggy shoots someone in Season 2); and the show’s only flashback—a brief, black-and-white shot in the pilot episode—was apparently dictated by network executives, who were worried viewers wouldn’t follow the story.

From that point on, the show trusted the audience’s intelligence enough not to rely on techniques that might have made the series more viewer-friendly, but which would have distracted from the show’s no-frills narrative style. (via)

2 years ago
3 years ago 3 years ago

Obama is cited as stating "The Wire" as his favorite TV show. I was able to find an audio clip of him explaining why Omar Little is his favorite character.

3 years ago 3 years ago

Parable in the form of a Chicken McNugget.

(Source: ahouseoflies)

3 years ago
The Wire’s alignment chart.
3 years ago
"The Wire" Monopoly game

"The Wire" Monopoly game

(Source: youmightfindyourself.com)

3 years ago