What Is ‘Cinematic TV’?


Vulture‘s Matt Zoller Seitz presents a thoughtful, instructive video on the visual grammar of television, and discusses the meaning of the much overused word ‘cinematic’.

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It’s a matter of judgment and discernment, of having a vision as well as a plan, making particular choices for particular reasons, and letting those choices guide how a scene is shot. Who is the scene about? What is the scene about? And how can the direction (and editing and music and cinematography) reinforce this, overtly or subtly, in ways that go beyond simply pointing lots of cameras at a room full of actors and cutting among them as they talk?

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He singles out the marvellous The Knick as an example of a TV show that can truly be called cinematic.

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If you haven’t watched The Knick, you need to do so right away. The second season of Steven Soderbergh’s medical drama has just begun.

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