You weren’t kidding, Soolsma. I’m almost halfway in to “Autumn” (I watched the first of the two videos on HBO’s Facebook page), and that is a LOT of glitchiness...not just sound, but picture too. There are several points where the image just freezes for several seconds and then skips forward (in at least two cases skipping over dialogue, in the rare scene where dialogue is audible!). That is just so disappointing from a company as high profile as HBO. It really detracts from the sense of “being there” and the verisimilitude Barrett and Munden so expertly convey. To me, it seems like this is a recording of the livestream...but the comments seem to indicate that the link is the same as the actual livestream itself (the comments seem to have been made when it was live)! I thought livestream links went dead after the initial stream ended? I had assumed this was something HBO uploaded after the fact. I’m so confused. And if this was the actual livestream that went out to everyone, why is it so messed up? I really hope there’s a “clean” version that was stored somewhere. One would assume the camera was storing the footage and not just streaming it...right? Also, why doesn’t the British production company have a version online? It really seems like this release was treated by both HBO and Sky more as a one-time novelty than as art that might have any lasting value, which is a shame, because it’s quite beautiful and unique—much moreso than the “actual” series, as others have said.
I adored the Last Supper scene, and watching the tide rise over the goblets etc., and the actors working with that and going with the flow (pun very much intended)...although as an environmentalist, I was cringing as I chuckled. Hopefully someone cleaned all that crap up quickly!
Law is really astounding. After that hole-digging, I nominate him for any future remake of Cool Hand Luke. And that scene of just a closeup of emotions going over his face for what I imagine was something like ten minutes (time sort of loses all meaning in this piece)...breathtaking. Not to be gross, but there’s a little string of snot (I assume?) hanging from his nostril for several minutes, just lightly swaying every time he breathes, and it’s the most hypnotic thing I’ve seen since...well, since the fly on Pence’s head, at least.
I did spot three “cuts” in there. One was a very jarring cutaway while the men are dragging Sam from his garden...suddenly we see less than a second of Sam in a totally different location with no context. I’m assuming this was covering for some error that occurred onscreen (like an old school “technical difficulties” screen). The second is shortly after, as Sam is being dragged down the road...someone appears to wander into frame blocking the camera, and the image abruptly jumps forward to a “clean” shot of them dragging Sam down the road (presumably the livestream, like live TV, was slightly time-delayed to allow them to account for such mistakes?). And finally, right after the hole digging, a truck drives by, and we follow it...there is an abrupt jump in the truck’s journey.
BTW, for those who don’t know, the creators said in an interview that the original conception for “Autumn” was to do it as an in-person live festival/interactive theater piece, where thousands of audience members could actually go to Osea and wander around in the concert that is hyped throughout “Summer,” with Law and the other actors wandering, remaining in character and acting out more or less the story we got here. Barrett liked the idea of a TV show spilling out into the real world as interactive performance art, then returning to TV again. In fact, that was the initial concept for the project when he linked up with Law, before they even found Osea and settled on the narrative. Unfortunately, Covid rendered that idea moot...or perhaps fortunately, as we instead got something which can exist for posterity.