The opening of this episode was a prime example of the superb cinematography in Atlanta. It isn’t just a method of making the show look a certain way, it is a storytelling tool. Everything about the cinematography, from the foregrounding to the angles, intrigues you. Something about the way the camera moves forces you to ask questions and look closer. The camera seems to make a conscious choice to show you some things but obscure others.
There is also a lot to be said about the directing. There are many clever details that immerse you further in the world they are trying to create. It brings these characters to life, makes them feel real. Little social ques that we all do. An example of this was Van’s friend having a drink when things got awkward.
The themes in episodes of Atlanta often remind you of Childish Gambino songs. Vanessa believing her friend had changed since becoming rich reminded me of a lyric from outside: “when you leave the hood they think that you look down on em'”. This is how you know Glover hits on truth in his art. The same themes and aspects of life that are explored in his music are in his TV show.
The reason Atlanta is so valuable and important is that it provides a look through the eyes of a number of people. Vanessa’s perspective is a very unique one and we are given an understanding of it here. Obviously I will never experience the life of a black woman. However, we get a deep look at her perspective.
Interestingly enough, Donald Glover’s Earn was barely in this episode. We instead got an intimate look at Vanessa played by Zazie Beetz. It is worth mentioning that her acting was outstanding and we got a greater understanding of her character. She became more than a side character in this episode.
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