Using Kodak 16mm, DP Thimios Bakatakis GSC delivers a masterclass in…
Previous seasons of the show, based around Ansari’s character Dev, were notable for a bustling NYC-style of energy in their visual make up, with the camera being used to switch between characters for comedic purposes. In the show’s third season, however, the storytelling shifts towards Dev’s best friend, lesbian novelist Denise (series co-writer Lena Waithe), and her unpredictable relationship with life-partner, Alicia (Naomi Ackie). Using a locked-off camera, careful compositions and lighting, the camera observes tableaux of the pair living what should be a life of domestic delight in a handsome upstate New York home, doing everyday chores such as folding the laundry and making dinner, until family affairs get in the way.
According to Bakatakis, Ansari was influenced by Belgian director Chantal Akerman’s ground-breaking 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (DP Babette Mangolte), a three-hour drama about a housewife and part-time sex worker, told through long, static takes that continually build anticipation for the audience.
“Similarly, we always wanted the focus to be on the characters in our film, and the natural, raw performances from the actors,” says Bakatakis, who is known for his bold cinematography on feature films by Oscar-nominated Yorgos Lanthimos, such as Dogtooth (2009), The Lobster (2015) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017).
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