i hope i die this is incredible… (interview)
Are you fucking kidding me!!!!!!! Where is the footage of this?!??!!
Deputy Gutterson getting rejected for a fist bump
Iconic works from artists including Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Marcel Duchamp and more are reinterpreted as cross-sectional drawings of buildings in this series from Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina
yeah, on the surface, both Hannibal and True Detective are murder-procedurals centred around a disturbed / disturbing but uncannily gifted investigator pursuing a serial killer. Both are steeped in the dusty god-haunted apocalypticism of Southern gothic, inflected with ritual and hellfire and a rough scriptural lyricism. They’re both two-man dramas. They’re both complex and cinematic and beautiful.
Interesting to note; they’re both frame narratives. True Detective makes artful use of this device: the story is being narrated in the present day, with segments depicting the past that confirm or contradict those accounts. Likewise, S2 of Hannibal will show us the end (‘the present’) and then begin at the beginning, filling in the shadowy middle. the question driving both isn’t “how does this end?” but “how did we get here?” Both are unusual in having a definitive endpoint from the beginning—they don’t have to relentlessly draw out the suspense.
But that’s where the similarities end. As a critique of a particular insular conservative evangelical Bible-belt culture, True Detective is fully committed to its genre: even the nihilist religion-abhorring Cohle can speak like a demented prophet when he needs to. Its misogynistic world forces women to be wives, mistresses, or prostitutes. It keeps its distance from both Cohle and Hart because it’s withholding information about them from us; and because it’s mimicking the hypocritical flesh-leeriness of these communities (unless said flesh is having extramarital sex or being mutilated). The identity of the season’s killer isn’t known to us. It’s more committed to realism, to the tedium and humdrum of day-to-day life; but it also has the audacity to put long ponderous philosophical monologues, a kind of heathen poetry, into the mouth of its lead character. The horror is really an evocative background, not the focus.
Whereas Hannibal is full-fledged horror—it’s unashamedly a genre piece—but also an intelligent deconstruction of horror and procedural dramas. While Will is certainly framed as a kind of secular prophet / sacrificial figure, the show as a whole subverts the Southern gothic genre because, firstly, its heightened quasi-supernatural horror invokes mythologies which aren’t Christian, aren’t even Western; secondly, it has a European elegance and sumptuousness that runs directly counter to its sunscorched sparseness; and thirdly, the mysterious irrationalism of gothic is diluted by the cold steel-and-scalpel rationalism of forensic science. (The only character talking about God & divine punishment is Hannibal Lecter.) it’s also an intensely psychological drama, focused on minds, their power and creativity and strangeness, and how mental short-circuits can have awful consequences. Its theme (cannibalism) drives its aesthetic: it puts bodies at the centre of the piece, so we’re up close with Will as he’s weeping and sweating and seizing; up close with the flesh/food Hannibal prepares; up close with the butchery and the arrayed corpses. It has no such debt to realism, so it’s more conspicuously artful and composed.
If you like one, you may or may not like the other; they’re very different in texture and focus and method. But they’re both outstanding TV fiction seeking an intelligent, literary, genre-savvy audience.
it’s that old chestnut about deconstructing genre tropes: there’s a fine line between subtle subversion and straight repetition.
e.g. true detective tries to deconstruct the southern gothic trope of structural misogyny. but there’s still a female victim at the bottom of it: her naked body is still the text on which this story was first written, and on which it capitalises. this backward rusted country cages women as whores, clucking wives/mothers & (sexualised) victims. rust & marty are misogynists, so in framing events from their perspective the show replicates their misogyny. but it makes no effort to trouble it, to gesture toward aspects of women that don’t conform. the division of marty’s daughters into “innocent” and “whore”, while emblematic of the effects of marty’s misogyny, seems less a subversion and more a replication of the trope—the girls are pushed to the sidelines, and only introduced to complicate marty’s narrative.
i think sometimes true detective settles for lazy ironic framing of tropes rather than actual subversion / deconstruction. and irony grows quickly tired unless it’s doing something: there’s no use in showing cliches unless you’re going to transform or break them.