It is hard to imagine a successful 90-second tribute to The Wire, the HBO show that ran from 2002 and 2008 and provided a dense and unforgettable informal history of the American city Baltimore. But here it is: an animated film by Elliot Lim that packs in the show’s major themes. The song that the images are set to will be familiar to fans of The Wire – it is the Blind Boys of Alabama’s version of Tom Waits’s “Way Down in the Hole” (one of the many versions used for different seasons.)
Created and written mostly by David Simon, The Wire kicked off as a cops-and-robbers drama in which a group of police officials try to take town a powerful drug syndicate operating from a set of building blocks called the Projects. The show went on to cover other aspects of organised crime in the city. Richly written and beautifully performed, The Wire made stars out of many of its actors, including Dominic West and Idris Elba. The short film uses the idea of sound waves, which are crucial to a police investigation based on wiretaps, to create the intersecting horizontal and vertical worlds that The Wire covers. Here is Elliot Lim talking about why he picked The Wire. The film might just encourage you to revisit the show, or watch it if you missed it the first time.
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