DEFINITION January 2022 – Web


Fact File

LOCATION The show’s

sickeningly sweet setting isn’t a real town, and production took place in various locations around California. The town’s name, Madre Linda, means ‘pretty mother’ in Spanish CAST Dylan Arnold plays Love’s secret toy boy Theo, but auditioned for Joe in Season 1, and Forty in Season 2. Victoria Pedretti auditioned for Beck, before landing the role of Love

that we’re seeing the action via someone’s eyes, rather than the objective detachment of a camera lens. “One important aspect of the cinematographic approach was the moving camera. I’d say 70% of the time we were on a short, telescoping crane. This allowed us to give a sinuous perspective to the shots that, again, is deliberately not objective,” Shah says. “It works on a pretty subtle level, where instead of the camera just sitting and watching things unfold, it’s always coming from somebody’s point of view.” This also accentuates the paranoia of Love and Joe, who are worried about the prying eyes of their neighbours. FRAMING FOR MURDER The roller coaster that is the central relationship becomes increasingly chaotic over the course of the season, and is eventually totally derailed. The show’s cinematography matches the tone and pace of a toxic relationship – its highs associated with brighter environments and physical closeness, while its lows are punctuated by darkness, distance and uncertainty. “When they’re in sync, they’re in close proximity physically, even if the world is bigger and kind of ambiguous around

are different from the rest of the story. We were in the boy’s home, shooting spherical and wider lenses, trying to have a more subjective viewpoint,” he explains. “This was so it felt more like Joe’s version of reality, rather than an objective sense of what the truth might have been. That did a pretty strong job of letting us feel that Joe’s just making the best of it – he is almost doing the right thing.” These scenes are integral to having the viewer in Joe’s corner. The choice of spherical lenses eradicates all aforementioned unease caused by the distortion, because we are not intended to feel morally confused by Joe’s actions when he is an innocent child. Another way the team chose to subtly present a subjective perspective was to use movement to facilitate the feeling “I’d say, 70% of the time we were on a short, telescoping crane. This allowed us to give a sinuous, deliberately subjective perspective”

FATHERHOOD Joe has to grapple with the challenges of raising a child, while dealing with his own demons

them,” Shah explains, citing the scene where Love is watching the media circus next door through the window, before Joe comes to comfort her on the couch. “There’s already a lot of friction between them, as they’re in this predicament because she couldn’t contain her rage, while he couldn’t contain his lust. But there’s a moment when they’re fighting together to make things right.” The cinematography presents a much more hostile picture at times, when Joe and Love are positioned more directly as adversaries. “That’s distinct from the moments where Joe is realising that Love is an enemy to be dealt with. For example, the dinner scene when she tries to murder him with the poison on the handle of the knife,” he muses. “In

21. JANUARY 2022

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