For the past six months the show has been available on Netflix (which offers the first month for free), time for a closer look at Fargo. What is the show about, which style is used and why it’s a unique, weird and awesome show.No spoilers! And a few words from the Director of Photography.
Fargo the movie
I have just seen the first and as yet only season. For the people who have no idea what the show is about: crime, dark comedy and surreal are words which fit Fargo’s profile. The mood of the show relates to the movie from 1996, directed by the Coen Brothers, and awarded with prizes.
The story and some of the characters also have similarities to the movie - the lead character in the movie is called Jerry Lundegaard and in the show he is called Lester Nygaard - however they’re significantly different.
Trailer Fargo 1996
Crimes are happening in a small town in which normally people only worry about huge piles of snow coming down from the sky, and how they are going to deal with it this year. Small talk, ice fishing and washing machines, nothing exciting. The narrow minded inhabitants as well as the narrow minded local police, have no clue what to do about the disturbing events in their town. Well, all but local police officer Molly Solverson, who appears a little less narrow minded and just a bit smarter than the rest of the townsfolk.
Trailer Fargo 2014
What caught my eye, were the equally simple-minded shots, used in the show. With which I mean: calm, discreet, perfect pictures. The look and style of the show merge perfectly with the calm, discreet and unusual story, just like the movie. The show feels real, without too many special effects and it can’t be compared to a polished blockbuster. The shots are pretty static, 'normal’ and also perfectly executed with a surrealistic silver lining. Just like the story.
Words from the Director of Photography Dana Gonzales
In an interview with Go Creative Show, he says: "we want it to feel like the movie Fargo. We incorporate modern film techniques and storytelling while keeping our eye in the Coen Brothers style”. It’s interesting that Dana Gonzales tells us that in the 10 episodes they have referred to other Coen Brother’s movies: Fargo, 'A Serious Man’ and 'No Country for Old Men’. Paying tribute to the classic style of the movie and the Coen Brothers.
Another interesting topic, which he mentions, is the importance of location. The whole show is shot in Alberta, Canada, during one of the worst winters in years. The show takes people on a journey. Gonzales: "personally, watching movies and being a big fan of Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, I want to be taken somewhere. Most of the locations are real and I want to be part of that”. It’s all about realistic locations and wide, vast distances which make Fargo what it is.
Dana Gonzales ends his interview with some advice. "My biggest tip for beginners in the filmbusiness? Just do it. Film after film after film and learn your craft. In the end you know what you are doing”. The only way you can learn in this business is by making mistakes and doing it. Evolve. And do if for the love of film, not for the money. “Don’t ever make a decision based on money. Live for the right project, the money will come”.
Want to know my advice? Sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful television show Fargo. A second season is announced, so hurry up.