“To make these characters be alive, you have a sense of them intuitively and viscerally,” Mann said. “The challenge of it is obvious, but the economy of it is wonderful — if you can make it work.”
Making “the economy” work has been the director’s career. Khoi Vinh:
What’s left out from these movies is as important and beautiful as what’s included. They’re exercises in doing as much as possible with as little as possible, implying whole swaths of narrative information by allowing the audience to extrapolate events, details, backstories and subplots from only the barest hints of their presence…. Mann employs an architectural approach that establishes a plot framework but declines to fill every nook and cranny. He uses very few elements to suggest many more, and in so doing constructs a kind of environment that the audience experiences rather than a narrative account that the audience observes.
Or, as Mann tells his interviewer, discussing audience perceptions:
“It’s liberating to jump into the stream of a story and jump into the stream of a character and convey by attitude, ambience and the tone of that person — and their surroundings and how they’re reacting to those surroundings — the magic of what’s happening. When you can bring the audience into understanding and they have leapt over that little gap, and they’re getting it on their own, it’s a much more intense involvement.”
There is nothing about this show that isn’t coming together.