The Thinking Machine #82

Teaching the Audience


In their series The Thinking Machine, critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin create a new video essay for Filmkrant every month.

Andrew Scott made a striking statement about Steven Zaillian’s Netflix series Ripley (2024), in which he is the central actor: “It teaches the audience how to watch the show.” The opening scene is crucial in this process: it lays out the stylistic parameters, and begins immediately to acclimatise viewers to a particular rhythm and mood. At the same time, it demands a special form of concentration (on both sound and image) that ‘goes against the grain’ of much mainstream television.