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198 words about The Mandalorian
Season 2, Episode 5: "The Jedi"
‘Twas a rainy Saturday morning when The Mandalorian and I had a moment. S2: E5, “The Jedi,” directed by Dave Filoni. Started on a shadowy planet rife with dead trees and fan service. But something felt different. Not just the chiaroscuro lighting, no, everything was shot at counterintuitive angles. Characters at the edges, obscured actions, the image always canted and imposing. My goodness, what’d got into Filoni? Commodified Kurosawa and worn Western had been The Mandalorian’s mode, yet this was like Peckinpah at his most daring. Like Ashes Of Time Wong Kar-Wai. Vignetting the screen, protagonists talked over Baby Yoda’s head, which barely broke the bottom of the frame -- what symbolism! The show’s most powerful, intuitive character, railroaded by the egoistic expositing of hero tropes managing the plot, limiting the space. Climactic show-downs in the final act were just sporadic flares in singed velvet murk, interstitial movements with no visible resolutions. As the Tarkovsky quote goes: “Poetic cinema.” I had to hit pause for a minute. When I started again, “The Jedi” was all wide-shot, medium-coverage, standard-ass Disney. It’d been a glitch, the app zoomed in. The moment was lost, tears in the rain. Anyways, my kids liked it.