On love and global warming: True Detective

The HBO show True Detective included some of the most compelling filmed drama seen here in many a moon. But as much as most critics liked the show, what everyone liked was the credit sequence. Created by an Australian studio called Antibody, the creators told Art of the Pitch what they envisioned:

We boarded out the sequence with full photographs very early on. The production was inspired by the work of photographer Richard Misrach. We started with that and also folded in other evocative and strangely beautiful shots of pollution, prostitution, and wildlife across the Gulf Coast. 

They reference an influential Misrach show called Cancer Alley, about the heavily industrialized Louisana coast, which features this spooky shot of an an old Dow Chemical plant, clearly a touchstone to the designers of the haunting credit sequence:


The images deeply impressed this environmental-type reporter, but the former script reader in me was impressed by the dialogue, which turned philosophical readily, but never lost the heightening power of drama.

Here from The Locked Room episode is an exchange that illustrates the strange power of college- professor-turned-writer Nic Pizzolatto's exploration of pollution. 

One police detective, played by Woody Harrelson, Marty, a man struggling with family life, thinks out loud to his partner, the classic obsessive loner, played by Matthew McConaughey, who has much different concerns on this mind: 

"Hey — think a man can love two women at once? I mean — be in love with them?"

"I don't think that man can love — least not the way you mean. Inadequacies and reality always set in. This pipeline is covering up this coast like a jigsaw –this place is going to be underwater in thirty years. 

It's even better with the haunting music, courtesy of T-Bone Burnett and The Handsome Family:

HBO's True Detective – Main Title Sequence from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: