Badda Bing

Cool New York Times interview with David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, one of my favorite TV shows. Chase’s comments about how he films the therapy sessions were especially interesting:

There’s one rule on the show: the camera in the therapy office does not move — forward, backward or sideways. I’ve been in a lot of therapy, and I never saw a camera move in to my face. I didn’t think we should say, “O.K., this is the important part. It’s all about his father, and the time he didn’t come home on Christmas Eve.” I wanted everything to be just flat. I wanted the audience to have to figure out what was important, to actually do the same work that Dr. Melfi was doing. I wanted to present therapy scenes as they are. Because a lot of therapy — let’s face it — is [expletive].

The show’s formal experimentation, its willingness not to reassure or comfort its audience, has always impressed me. I’d noticed that the therapy scenes are often filmed “flat,” or that they rarely evinced any real progress, but I don’t think I’d ever noticed the complete lack of camera movement in these scenes.

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