Some True Detective Thoughts

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Hello Shat Team,

Love True Detective (yes, even Season Two which always reminds me of a really abstract oil painting). Pleased that you’ve done a podcast on it. You really should do the Fargo TV series if they do another season. Season 1 and 3 are exceptional.

The central theme of memory in this series of True Detective is fascinating. They’re doing a great job of showing how over time a story gets retold, parts of it forgotten or repressed (Wayne is doing a lot of this to save himself from pain), other parts embellished or indeed some parts never told.

Tied in with this is what we the audience choose to see, remember and how we recall the story in True Detective. For example, you guys immediately labelled Cousin Dan a pervert based on nothing and that the hole drilled in the wall was a peephole, also made by Dan. I felt that the job was too sloppy to be that of a seasoned pervert. Shavings were left in a pile on the floor and was on Will’s side which perhaps makes it more likely to have been drilled from Julie’s side? Big D also stated, matter-of-factly, that there was no evidence of the notes having been folded but when I first saw them I felt they had clearly been rolled. There were creases! Also the hole was always big enough. When Roland first looks through it, the light covers his iris. So, interesting what we choose to see and remember!

And now to…

Stylistic Choices
At times Gene and King Bee have bemoaned the fact that the scene transitions between the past and 2015 had become less obvious. I think this is a good thing. They’re still there, just a bit more subtle with audio bridging and audio transitions. There are full and partial match cuts, they’ve also used reflections. Really, this is all that is needed. I think they started giving the audience a bit of credit now that we can see the different time periods. Doing the whole “It’s the moon in the past; it’s a light I the present” was cute but also film-school wankery if it continued. What do you do next? She’s holding a pen in 2015, that reminds me of my wife holding a pen in 1980? It becomes a cheap trick and pulls you out of the experience. It’s a transition and like all aspects of editing you really shouldn’t notice it.

And then…

Viewing this series
I realise that this series is released in episodes but it makes more sense to view it as a single eight hour film. Comments on which episode is best or worst is a terrible approach. Everything is connected, and it should be viewed on what has come before and what comes after. Comments on how the episodes link together are more valid.

And finally…

A Tin hat?

My great fear for this series is that we are reliving the events of this case and the lives of the characters completely through the retelling of it in Amelia’s books. In fact, the characters we see could be the characters in her book, not the real people (if they existed at all!) If we get to the end the Episode 8 and we get a voice-over from Amelia at a reading which ends with her closing the book I won’t be happy. The three time lines coming in and out seem right out of a novel, as do the examples of characters quickly turning up in scenes. The 2015 events could all be fictional!

Cheers from New Zealand,
Stu G.

PS – On a side note I listened to your 100th Shat-on-Movies podcast and found a comment interesting. Someone stated that they were amazed to find that you had gathered an audience of “like-minded” people. This is the absolute worst thing that could happen to your podcast. I listen because I often disagree with what you say, find aspects condescending, snarky and head-shakingly misguided! Kerri Gross’ swearing and love of Blade Runner also does it for me.

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