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Archiv: True Detective

Since my childhood days I have been attracted to crime series on TV. There were The Avengers (with Emma Peel and John Steed), there was even mainstream stuff I liked, 77 Sunset Strip, Rockford and many others. Then Peter Falk entered the scene with his dirty old automobile.

Many years later, David Lynch extended the limits of crime and mystery with the glorious first season of Twin Peaks. Unforgettable: Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack. And several scenes (the dream with the dwarf) that burned deep into the unconscious. With HBO and the hard core suspense counter terrorist dramas of 24 a new period of television started. Homeland, for example.

During the last two years, other outstanding crime stories wrote TV history: Broadchurch, Sherlock Holmes, Top of the Lake, Die Brücke revealing that Scandinavia, New Zealand and England could contribute to top notch crime dramas. Germany is a wasteland in this field. I was thrilled by them all. But, nothing matched the quality of TRUE DETECTIVE. Sometimes it was really dangerous to dive into the story, cause I easily forgot breathing. And this is for fans of great soundtracks: the way T Bone Burnett provided the musical score with original instrumentals and a bunch of songs from the Americana genre (oldtimey folk, gospel etc.) added another layer – a perfect mix of sounds and sceneries!

Right to the end, True Detective danced around cop drama tropes and transcended them. It was pitch black, philosophical (the spirit of Albert Camus!), unabashedly entertaining, thoughtful and ultimately hopeful and human storytelling that trusted its audience’s intelligence and their capacity to be challenged. And the last song is a real closer: „The Angry River“, with Father John Misty.

 

(Remix from June 2014)

The emptiness that we confess
in the dimmest hour of day
in Automatown they make a sound
like the low sad moan of prey
 
The bitter taste the hidden face
of the lost forgotten child
the darkest need the slowest speed
the debt unreconciled
 
These photographs mean nothing
to the poison that they take
before a moment´s glory
the light begins to fade …
 
(T Bone Burnett, „The Angry River“)

 
 

True Detective wirkt nach: Darsteller, Drehbuch, Bildkompositionen, Filmmusik – alles vom Feinsten. Seit Twin Peaks damals in den Neunzigern ist dies die erste amerikanische Serie, die ich mit Genuss, Hingabe und Inspiration geschaut habe. Auch Mad Men´s First Season war kürzlich ein grosses Vergnügen, nach anfänglich irrtümlichem Misstrauen, dies sei nur eine Art Stromberg-Bürowelt ins New York der Sechziger Jahre verlegt. Weit gefehlt, auch hier optischer Hochgenuss, erstklassige Schauspieler, Erzählung auf diversen zeitlichen Ebenen, originelle Filmmusik (im Abspann erklingt Bob Dylans „Don´t Think Twice“, ein anderes Mal ein netter Jazzstandard oder ein Bossa Nova). Weitere Serien werden folgen, das sei hier feierlich verkündet, denn eine neue Ära hat begonnen: mit dem Videoplayer als Festinstallation („Fest“ im doppelten Sinne). Qualitätsfilme statt Biedermannskost, Ende der televisionären Deutschtümelei: Originalversionen nun – ggf mit deutschen Untertiteln als Netz und doppeltem Boden (mit „dem Zweiten“ sieht man lange nicht so gut). Dabei nebenher Englischkenntnisse verbessern, das ist der Mehrwert oder, wie Lacan und Zizek sagen würden: das Mehr-Geniessen.

 

 
TD Season 1 – „The Angry River“ by The Hat ft. Father John Misty & S.I. Istwa (HBO)
 
„The Angry River“ (short snapshot cover, rhythm guitar track with 2 overdubs)
 
 

2015 27 Okt

Mittendrin

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Gute Serien und Filme zeichnen sich dadurch aus, dass sie einen mitnehmen auf eine virtuelle Reise. Sie enthalten bestenfalls Essenzen und Aspekte, die auch das eigene Leben betreffen: Identifikationspunkte, Anregungen. Gleich drei cinematografische Ereignisse, die das Niveau hausbackener Fernsehproduktionen bei weitem übersteigen, galt es jüngst zu verköstigen: den grossartigen Mr. Turner, das atemberaubende Salz der Erde von Wim Wenders, und nun endlich True Detective. Sofort stellt sich der Suchtfaktor ein und man fragt sich schon beim Schauen: „Was soll da noch kommen, wenn dieser visuelle Staffellauf beendet ist?“ Parallen zu Twin Peaks sind deutlich, aber diese Serie setzt in mancher Hinsicht noch eins drauf, als verschachtelte Erzählung zweier Cops, die den crime plot, wie so oft bei guten Thrillern, nur als Aufhänger nimmt für Tiefergründiges. Sansibar oder der letzte Abgrund. Das ist auch ein Männerfilm, der zwei Archetypen charakterisiert und von deren Spannungsgefüge lebt: zum einen der konforme Ehemann und Familienvater, zum anderen der Steppenwolf, das triebhafte (Un-)Tier, der mysanthropische Philosoph, der ewige Eigenbrödler. Allein die Szene, in der er mit seiner ihm angeheirateten Ärztin vor dem Fernseher sitzt, sie die Fernbedienung in der Hand, er mit oskarwürdigem Blick ins Leere: The Story is over, Baby. Heute abend erstmal Entzug, Methadonprogramm DFB-Pokal: Bayern gegen Wolfsburg. Den Stoff strecken, damit man länger etwas davon hat. Denn ob die zweite Staffel gut ist wie die erste, das steht noch dahin. Wusste ich es doch: das Suchtpotential von Serien ist nicht ohne – und unsereins jetzt mittendrin, im Südstaatensumpf.

„The first season was indebted to the tropes of Southern Gothic and weird fiction, with Flannery O’Connor and Robert W. Chambers the touchstones. The second went full-bore in its homages to the salacious, vintage pulp noir realm, unabashedly playing up that genre’s cynical character archetypes, hazy plots, abundant betrayals, and seedy venues. About the only thing unifying both seasons was Pizzolatto’s distinctive voice, crafting an oppressively dark tone and a nihilistic or misanthropic worldview often communicated via his characters’ philosophical dialogue. Well, that and the fact that each character exists as a damned soul with varying shades of fucked-ups, drinking Jameson en masse and chain-smoking Camel lights.“ (Colin Waterman, popmatters) 

„This is another way Pizzolatto demanded more of his viewers this season. The majority of those turned off by the season aren’t likely to sit through another exploratory session, but for its fans, another go is essential and should be more rewarding. As such, the season may be destined to fade into obscurity as far as the masses are concerned. At the same time, it could grow into a cult classic among its small group of defenders. That’s a suitable fate, fittingly placing it alongside the pulp noir canon to which it paid reverence.“

 
 

 
 

2014 28 Jun

Crime stories and the second golden age of TV

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Since my childhood days I have been attracted to crime series on TV. There were „The Avengers“ (with Emma Peel and John Steed), there was even mainstream stuff I liked, „77 Sunset Strip“, „Rockford“ and many others. Then Peter Falk entered the scene with his dirty old automobile. Many years later, David Lynch extended the limits of crime and mystery with the glorious first season of „Twin Peaks“. Unforgettable: Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack. And several scenes (the dream with the dwarf) that burned deep into the unconscious. With HBO and the hard core suspense counter terrorist dramas of „24“ a new period of television  started. „Homeland“, for example. During the last two years, other outstanding crime stories wrote TV history: „Broadchurch“, „Sherlock Holmes“, „Top of the Lake“, „Die Brücke“ revealing that Scandinavia, New Zealand and England could contribute to top notch crime dramas. Germany is a wasteland in this field. I was thrilled by them all. But, nothing matched the quality of „TRUE DETECTIVE“. Sometimes it was really dangerous to dive into the story, cause I easily forgot breathing. And this is for fans of great soundtracks: the way T Bone Burnett provided the musical score with original instrumentals and a bunch of songs from the Americana genre (oldtimey folk, gospel etc.) added another layer – a perfect mix of sounds and sceneries! Right to the end, True Detective danced around cop drama tropes and transcended them. It was pitch black, philosophical (the spirit of Albert Camus!), unabashedly entertaining, thoughtful and ultimately hopeful and human storytelling that trusted its audience’s intelligence and their capacity to be challenged. And the last song is a real closer: „The Angry River“, with Father John Misty.


With guitarist Eivind Aarset in the „Senator Lounge“ of Zuerich Airport. Great days in Lugano. One track of these days in the studio should not be missed by David Lynch. I know Eivind for ten years now, we belong to the „living design“ of every Punkt Festival, don`t we? By the way, Eivind is sharing my compassion for „True Detektive“ in every aspect, and for the brilliant soundtrack of T Bone Burnett. Enjoy the trailer – at your own risk! We´re both fans of „Broadchurch“, too. „True Detective“ is spooky. Scary. All shades of grey. Dark humor. Brilliant acting. Beautifully shot. Fantastic script. Intelligent. Mysterious. Philosophical. Sexy. Horrifying. Pure existentialism. Dostojevsky 2014. The man whose outstanding „Dream Logic“ had been released on ECM, also had a special recommendation for me: „Walhalla Rising“. Oh well, what a movie!

 
 
 

 
 
Trailer

2014 22 Apr

True Detective – Season One

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Spooky.
Scary.
Dark humour.
Brilliant acting.
Beautifully shot.
Fantastic script.
Intelligent.
Mysterious.
Philosophical.
Sexy.
Horrifying.


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