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The Knick (Soderbergh on Cinemax)

Mel · 56 · 10341

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max from fearless

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Reply #30 on: September 29, 2014, 05:29:32 PM
Mel thanks for those - those last three frames from that one scene is the perfect illustration of economy in storytelling, whilst pushing forward various narrative strands to end on a near close up and major character beat. This is really good writing and directing.


Fernando

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Reply #31 on: September 29, 2014, 10:04:02 PM
so far, this show is perfect and you guys are doing some good analysis.

what I love about it besides the obvious stuff like direction, music, acting, photography, etc. is that you (me) start hating a character like Cleary and he slowly shows all his sides, guy is a prick but not that much. OTOH, a guy like Barrow who I felt sorry for, I see he deserves everything that has come his way.


Mel

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Reply #32 on: September 30, 2014, 02:32:50 AM
Spoilers

what I love about it besides the obvious stuff like direction, music, acting, photography, etc. is that you (me) start hating a character like Cleary and he slowly shows all his sides, guy is a prick but not that much. OTOH, a guy like Barrow who I felt sorry for, I see he deserves everything that has come his way.

Even more important, those characters often carry emotional weight and not supposedly leading Thackery. Example: in episode six, most joy came out of Bertie and his advancement. Both what you have said and this reminds me of "Deadwood", yet "The Knick" is own thing, especially considering involvement of Soderbergh.

Questions: Underground hospital will come of use? The episode was The Avengers styled episode of The Knick, everyone had to work together, secrets were revealed, will this be expanded on or will the characters be isolated again? Or will they split: Thack and the Nurse. Edwards and Cornelia...are Edwards and Cornelia going to get HURT?

This is old television trick: think of special, disaster episodes of E.R. Most interrelations between characters probably will go back to previous status. As for Edwards and Cornelia I concur that something dark could be looming.
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Mel

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Reply #33 on: October 11, 2014, 01:13:40 PM
Spoilers 1x09

Writing is on and off. Previous episode was good, with some nice moments, like obvious (compared to invisible) cutting used to communicate how impatient Thackery gets while listening to presentation after injecting cocaine few minutes earlier.

I'm not totally sure, but this could be best episode yet - so many moving parts... I did see some complains about supposedly liberal portrayal of the period in series, especially related to Cornelia and Edwards. After this episode I think this relationship is done. Good things don't last long in "The Knick", sooner than later reality kicks in.

This was very female centric episode - men are just useless. I'm so intrigued by Lucy - what is she up to? Maybe it is just my imagination, otherwise she has some psychopathic inclinations - little or no remorse about what she is doing, self interest (did she get what she wanted from John or it was the other way?) etc.

Daughter of Bono? I don't care, love the character.

Eleanor... this was bound to happen. They endorsed her disillusions, with very sad results.

I don't know what physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are, but they captured mental state of Thackery: paranoia, insecurity, vulnerability, desperation. Dope is his full time job, not surgery.

As kinda offtopic that is on topic. David Milch idea of the show about early days of Johns Hopkins, including William Halsted (starts at about 13:20, ends at 24:00):



Was Cinemax a mistake? On HBO "The Knick" would get much bigger audience, which series deserves.
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Mel

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Reply #34 on: October 11, 2014, 02:39:16 PM
Spoilers 1x09

Maybe not the best one.

Candy store:



"True Detective" or just similar face?



Dramatic under-exposition:



Ocean of cocaine:



Every child born or unborn:



Coca-cola fiend:



All exposed and alone:



Silent scene with humming:



Much telling smile:



btw. While going fast through episode, I noticed that close-ups seem to be used more frequently than in previous episodes.
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Mel

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Reply #35 on: October 11, 2014, 04:13:49 PM
Quote from: max from fearless
the editing is incredible but it feels really worked out in concert with the way it's shot, i'm also still loving the musical cues

One thing is driving another, it is hard to look at cinematography, editing and music apart in case of "The Knick". Everything seems to be in sync.

Spoilers 1x09

Some notes
  • Barrow happy as child, when asked to grab a ride.
  • Lucy's roommate - there is something particular I like about this extra
  • "When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions." - first words spoken by Thackery, when Elkins visits his home. Then comes "This is the question." in reply to question if he did sleep at all. Shakespeare again.
  • How smart Elkins is? First she plays dumb, while sharing rumors at hospital, then she hits the nail, shaming even doctor. She connects conversation about German with hospital, where she steals cocaine.
  • Bertie, his innocence and naivety seems bound to crash hard.
  • Soderbergh is not afraid of using takes with many out-of-focus fragments. Even the opposite, he embraces it.
  • Almost to-be abortion scene. Traumatizing and asexual nudity - one of the best example how it came be used compared to tit-flashing in some other series.
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max from fearless

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Reply #36 on: October 18, 2014, 05:39:52 AM
Ok, finally my notes on EP. 9.

Spoilers ahead...

Gothic Horror. Thack as dracula. Elenor as a ghost. All those dead babies. The way Eleanor appears in the hallway, she almost glides into the BG of the frame. The musical cue when she appears kills me.

Definitely a female-led episode. They all make choices, whereas the men, either languish in the background or can't see things for what they are.

Is Barrow like a greek chorus? Seeing everything, dealing with everyone (not necessarily liking everyone) but almost like a administrator/guide over the hospital and the narrative? He kind of connected this episode for me and then I thought, shit, he kind of connected the riot episode as well, so that's how I got to that thought.

No illusions for Edwards re: Thack. But he can't fully grasp the reality of his situation with Cornelia and the reality race/class relations. Illusions for Bertie who can't see the truth of Thack.

Nurse Elkins, is just as possessed as Thack. She is obviously capable of anything. There both willing to sell themselves out, but she plays Barrow and Thack, and at first I thought, wow, all this for Thack, until that shot when she's in a total state of euphoria. This shot reminds me of the shot in Traffic when Michael Douglas finds his daughter high, and she is somewhere else, beside her father but not with him and that's what I got from this episode. So many of the characters who we knew would get together, have gotten together on the surface of things, but they are truly miles away from each other. Miles that cover: sex, race, class and gender but also different levels of attaining highs/brief moments of release where they feel a short-lived freedom from themselves or from what society says they should be. (through drugs or in the case of Edwards and Cornelia: sex, and interracial sex at that, and all the myths, cliches and historical baggage that contains)

I'm wondering if the cold heart of this show (a show that I was fooled by, especially during the riot episode) is concerned with the distance between us, as human beings and the efforts (sometimes futile efforts) that we make to connect, to associate, to love, to empathise, to trust each other or know each other.

Is Nurse Elkins the most aware character in the piece? I think so. She sees things for what they are. She is very detached and will go as far as she needs to, to get what she wants. She seems to have no scruples whatsoever.

The show built up this archetype of the drug addicted genius (in this case a surgeon) and is now stripping away at all it. These last two episodes reveal a very sick soul, who can't confront himself, his own ghosts (his mentor) and the true nature and repercussions of his work/calling, the weight of life/death in the operating theatre.

The lighting. So much Chiaroscuro in this episode. Gordon Willis was here! So much is left to darkness. Darkness seems to loom everywhere. Again, this fed my feeling of this being a tragic gothic tale. Especially the wide shot of Thack's place as Nurse Elkins knocks on his door. So ominous, so much threat through light/darkness. Pretty incredible.


max from fearless

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Reply #37 on: October 18, 2014, 05:48:51 AM
Soderbergh's previous (blue-tinged-light) high, where a seemingly innocent female character reveals herself to be resourceful (and if I remember correctly running rings around Topher Grace who introduces her to the high) and full of agency and willpower to achieve that high:


Fernando

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Reply #38 on: October 19, 2014, 01:42:41 AM
Few shows have good endings, True Detective was disappointing and while Fargo wasn't bad it didn't have the punch it deserved, well, The Knick had a perfect season and a perfect ending as far as I'm concerned, the very last frame brought me so much joy.

the best part of this great series is that apparently Soderbergh is returning to film season two, so next year we will have whole seasons directed by Lynch and by Soderbergh, we truly are living TV's golden age.


Mel

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Reply #39 on: October 19, 2014, 07:16:45 AM
Spoilers 1x10

Cleary: "Dreaming is for folks not smart enough to get what they want."

This pretty much sums up finale, if not whole season. Almost every character had some disillusions and they crashed when faced with reality: Bertie learning truth about Thackery, Everett being stripped out of everything, relationship between Cornelia and Algernon, Barrow and his debts.

Only Cleary seems to be happy - he can use money for buying a car (did he get that cash for keeping silence or he made some other deal with Cornelia?). Situation of Lucy is more ambiguous - was she names as next of kin by John (guess that would make her happy)?

Wu talking about feeding a dead person to the pigs - direct nod to "Deadwood"?

Few shows have good endings, True Detective was disappointing and while Fargo wasn't bad it didn't have the punch it deserved, well, The Knick had a perfect season and a perfect ending as far as I'm concerned, the very last frame brought me so much joy.

I wouldn't call "The Knick" perfect, although I enjoyed it a lot even with some imperfections - writing could use some improvements (there were parts that were either out of rhythm or contained some soapy elements). On the other hand I couldn't imagine better ending to first season that last frame showing the vial. And how open ended it was? They left a lot hanging in just barely.

I'll try to watch whole season again, since in case of ensemble, I expect there are some snacks left, that I didn't pick the first time thanks to not knowing too much about characters.

Need to figure out way to share the clips for the series...
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Fernando

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Reply #40 on: July 31, 2015, 11:47:43 AM
Season 2 Promo



The Knick returns to Cinemax on October 16.


Fernando

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Reply #41 on: December 17, 2015, 12:10:56 PM
too bad nobody talks about this, it's the best show on tv.

Tomorrow is the finale, right now I don't know if there will be a next season, I hope it will and that Soderbergh does everything again.

SPOILERS S02E09

great episode, so not only Thack cures and saves ppl from almost any decease, he frees them too. I love that he got the job on the Knick by saving from captivity its owner. which btw probably met his death. about the fire, it's almost clear that his son Henry did it right? although Barrow has a financial motive too, but Henry was conveniently late for the meeting which makes him the prime suspect, wonder if Cornelia will connect the dots to his brother or if Barrow will be blamed for the fire.

After what happened to Thack's love interest I thought the operation of the twins would fail miserable, glad that didn't happen.

There are other interesting stories in this (Sister Harriet and Clearly, Dr Gallinger AND his sister, etc.), let's see if someone else chimes in.


Fuzzy Dunlop

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Reply #42 on: December 17, 2015, 06:59:07 PM

SPOILERS S02E09
about the fire, it's almost clear that his son Henry did it right? although Barrow has a financial motive too, but Henry was conveniently late for the meeting which makes him the prime suspect, wonder if Cornelia will connect the dots to his brother or if Barrow will be blamed for the fire.

SPOILERS S02E09

Now I feel dumb b/c I just assumed it was Barrow. But that actually makes a lot of sense. Does that mean Henry was responsible for the passengers being moved/smallpox outbreak? His father seemed genuinely shocked at the accusation, and his sister was the only other person who was aware of the situation.

This show is the fucking greatest. I'm absolutely in love with the way it's shot. Soderbergh's retirement was one of the smartest career moves ever. Check out this amazing article about how he shoots and edits it. http://www.vulture.com/2015/10/on-set-steven-soderbergh-the-knick.html


squints

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Reply #43 on: January 28, 2016, 06:51:17 PM
Spoils


So....Season 2 was incredible.

Her brother totally lit the fire. After he threatens to throw her down the stairs? Of course he lit the fire.  Is thackery dead? I can't believe cleary sold out sister harriett. I absolutely have to see more of these characters. But if that's all there is I'm completely ok with it.

I didn't see anything else this last year that struck me like this show.

 
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche


max from fearless

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Reply #44 on: January 29, 2016, 04:27:35 AM
Spoilers

Easily the best film/TV I saw last year. Easily Soderbergh's best work. The way he married the cinematography (off compositions - Cleary's confession for instance), editing (the way how scenes reflect each other, the lack of conventional coverage), mise en scène/blocking (the long takes....I mean, look, fanboys gush about oners these day, but they are getting so boring and so conventional, I'm sorry but there are played the fuck out, but here in the big party scene, Soderbergh weaves through characters and soars up into the air and back down again, reflecting social standing, character relationships - again blew my mind like the tracking shot following Freddie onto the boat in "The Master" INCREDIBLE) the lighting, the score and those performances!!!! Of course there were several shortcomings especially the way they short-cutted certain characters, there would be emotional leaps, for instance, Bertie's grief is literally gone before the episode is over. But the revelation of true character was incredible. When we get to the end of the season and see the characters for what they are, or see how they dealt with the adversity/oppression that tried to crush them, it becomes apparent that the way this was constructed was pretty breathtaking and that it is about NOW in ways most contemporary set films/TV can't even imagine. Also the boat shots/scenes seemed to really resonate with me and Thackery's demise....WHOA!!! This show pulled no punches and by the end pulled the rug out from under you.