H! This week, along with the theme of audio, we were supposed to watch a commentary on the last episode of season 2 of the Wire. The episode is called “Port in a Storm.” When I went to watch the commentary, I had already seen the episode without the commentary so I was interested to see what they had to say about the episode. The commentary was done by Karen Thorsten, a producer and by Tom Zimney, an editor. The director of the episode was Robert Colesberry. It unfortunately was his last work because he died shortly after the episode was released.
Throughout the commentary they mention different themes, like water, Thorsten mentions how seamlessly Colesberry weaves water into the episode without losing a bit of the storyline.
This is the opening shot to the episode:
Pulling a body out of the water, which is later discovered as Frank Sobotka.
I found this whole scene very interesting, it seemed odd to me that the group didn’t freak out when they found out that was Frank, that the police pulled from the water. But Thorsten mentioned a good point, that Colesberry meant for that to happen. He wanted to make more of a mark that Frank was dead and the group was quiet about it. She also mentioned how the bad news spread like a stain on the docks and before you knew it there was the whole crew gathered around the body. Nick’s reaction to seeing Frank’s body was what made the scene to me. He seemed so calm but you knew he was being torn apart on the inside.
This is where Russell discovers that its Frank’s body.
Another theme throughout the episode that Thorsten and Zimney mention is eyes: most of the story is told through the eyes. Thorsten says that this episode is told more through the eyes rather than the facial expressions.
This picture is the end of one scene:
This is the beginning of the next scene:
Once Thorsten said that, I tried to look closer at the facial expressions rather than what the people within the scene were saying. I definitely could tell that there were different meanings in what people said rather than what they felt.
Another theme that was mentioned throughout the commentary was the aspect that the camera was invisible to the viewer. Colesberry used his skills and camera angles to put you in the narrative without you noticing. He really wanted you to be apart of the experience of each episode.
I really enjoyed watch this commentary. It was cool to see the artistic thought process within the episode itself. I usually take an episode for granted and I just watch the entire episode, but now I am starting to look at what went into the different aspects to each episode as I watch it.