For Our Consideration: Blight club: Mr. Robot, Hannibal, and self-destructive TV

They say every piece of film is a documentary of its own creation. No wonder Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot looks like a funhouse. Our hero sits mostly off-screen, his hooded head peeking out from a corner. A conversation on a park bench is shot in solo portraits, even though the speakers are sitting right next to each other. It’s already unsettling, this would-be-serene image of a woman alone on a park bench exaggerated until she’s all the way at the edge of the frame, crowded by all that nothing. And then her friend hands her something, a disembodied arm suddenly puncturing the frame. Even in ordinary scenes unencumbered by the main character’s paranoia or covert activities, Mr. Robot is off. The reality it presents is fractured and distorted and Photoshopped in the more common sense of the word. Mr. Robot is at war with itself.

Bryan …

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