Monday, December 20, 2004

electric wire

when it's on, if it's on, then it's on

Ernest Dickerson brought some intense artistic compositions to The Wire frame for the finale…

- the camera floor-sweep as detectives surrounded Stringer’s corpse
- the positioning of Bunk, McNulty and Kima resigned to the crime scenes edges
- Kima and ‘friend’ and Daniels and Pearlman with glints of highlighted black bodies in nearly-black rooms (reminded me of the best scenes in ‘Belly’ by Hype)
- slow pull back from the ‘Avon tip’ scrap of paper to reveal the squad at the table
- slow zoom in to Carcetti during his speech aka the throwing in of his hat
- video/news footage of Carcetti emphasizing his frailness as it simultaneously portrayed him finding his footing

...but it makes me nervous that the show may become too ‘stylized’ rather than continuing it’s matter-of-fact framing and editing.

And although ‘Mission Accomplished’ had some major misfires…

- Fine, McNulty doesn’t want a drink with Beadie but he didn’t have to show his ‘heart of gold’ by asking to meet her kids at the end of his pre-booty-call… "Another time…" would have told the whole story.
- Fine, Marlo can show up at Avon’s court date to check out the lay of the land but there is no reason Avon should have to say Marlo’s name… where was the editor for this moment?
- Fine, McNulty is loving the beat life but he doesn’t have to be shown sharing a laugh with some stoop folk as if ‘All is now right in the world.’ An ambiguous welcome back would have been more in tune with the show’s complexities.

…there were some center-mass hits to woop about…

- McNulty’s look of regret is revealed as his self-centered regret about not rubbing Stringer’s nose in it but he gets to rub Avon’s… with the help of Stringer’s tip!
- Cutty conveys opposing emotions through nearly identical and silent grills when watching his old girl drive away and encountering Fruit on the corner
- Marlo’s soldier Snoop just breaking things down to the crew like only a hardcore little spitfire could.
- Avon’s laugh when he knows he’s caught brought me back to his less-than-hardcore moments at the beginning of the movie ‘Paid In Full’
- Glynn Thurman gets to utter “What was I thinking?” as he portrays the mayor watching the shit hit the fan on TV.
- The last product we hear getting pitched in Amsterdam:"Lil'Jon!... get the crunk... Lil' Jon! Lil' Jon!" (Apparantly better than the 'WMD' pitched all season).
- Marlo’s ‘ain’t no thing’ response when he hears that ‘the war is over.’
- Bunny leaning into the mic to call the commissioner ‘Motherfucker’ but being cut-off

… and, as much as I’m suspicious of the amount of dramatic speeches showing up in the scripts, the Carcetti speech made contextual sense and really summed up the feelings of many of the show’s fans.

We can forgive Major Colvin, who in his frustration and despair, found himself condoning something which can't possibly be condoned. But, gentlemen, what we can't forgive — what I can't forgive, ever — is how, we — you, me, this administration, all of us, have turned away from those streets in West Baltimore. The poor, the sick, the swollen underclass of our city, trapped in the wreckage of neighborhoods that were once so prized, communities that we failed to defend, that we surrendered to the horrors of the drug trade.