REWIND: Revisit an Iconic Episode of TV

The Split Screens REWIND section revisits an iconic episode of television via a screening and conversation with the creatives who have brought their vision to life.

Here’s the full lineup of  REWIND offerings. Celebrate the art and craft in these memorable episodes with us. Get tickets now!

MONDAY, JUNE 5

8:45 PM – REWIND – “Pine Barrens,” episode of The Sopranos (HBO)

In person: Creator and executive producer David Chase; co-executive producer and cowriter Terence Winter; director and actor Steve Buscemi.

Writer Terence Winter and director Steve Buscemi take us behind the scenes of one of the greatest of all Sopranos episodes, Season Three’s “Pine Barrens,” the one where Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti are hunted by a Russian gangster in a snowy stretch of New Jersey forest.

“Pine Barrens” is a great example of The Sopranos‘ knack for splitting the difference between serialized, long-form storytelling, in which an entire season is united by one or more ongoing plot strands, and the more traditional sort of TV narrative, where characters and conflicts are introduced at the start of an episode and resolved neatly at the end, in the manner of a lot of mid-century American short fiction. Well, maybe not neatly: the end of “Pine Barrens” is classic Sopranos in that it brings the tale to an inevitable yet surprising conclusion but also a prankishly frustrating one, denying both characters and viewers the closure they crave. Its wrap-up invites speculation not just about what happened but whether there’s actually anything to speculate on, or if the storytellers’ interests lie elsewhere. In that respect, it feels like a harbinger of the show’s notorious 2007 cut-to-black ending, which Sopranos fans argue about to this day.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7

8:45 PM – REWIND – “Separation” episode of THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Starz)

In person: Co-executive producers Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz

The most narratively complex single episode of an ongoing series since the hero of Louie went to China, this alternately unnerving, baffling and hilarious half-hour of The Girlfriend Experience works as a psychological X-ray of the show’s heroine, escort Christine (Riley Keough); a play within a play; and a meditation on voyeurism, exhibitionism, sex, and acting. Co-written by series creators Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, and directed by Kerrigan, the episode doesn’t just avoid the traditional sorts of closure that TV viewers tend to crave; it throws the totality of the show’s first season into question, making us question the intent and substance of everything we’ve seen. As such, it owes less to current trends in scripted TV, even the most rarified kinds, than to 1960s European art cinema classics like Blow-Up, Last Year at Marienbad and The Exterminating Angel.

THURSDAY, JUNE 8

7:00 PM – REWIND – “Minty” episode of UNDERGROUND (WGN America)

In person: Actor Aisha Hinds and executive producer/director Anthony Hemingway

 

WGN America’s groundbreaking series “Underground” made television history with the extended episode “Minty” that originally aired April 12. Featuring an hour-long solo, and career-defining, performance by Aisha Hinds brought Harriet Tubman back to life and she delivered the a monumental and definitive speech in character as the Underground Railroad’s most famous conductor.  Set in 1858 against the backdrop of a nation deeply divided by race, class and gender, Tubman makes a passionate plea to abolitionists to shift their thinking as she challenges them to take swift action against those who are determined to oppress others.  “Minty,” was written by series co-creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, and directed by Emmy and Golden Globe Award® winner Anthony Hemingway

 

9:00 PM – REWIND – “The Wrath of the Lamb” episode of HANNIBAL (NBC)

Via skype: Creator and executive producer Bryan Fuller.

A special big-screen presentation of the final episode of NBC’s late, lamented Hannibal, a nightmare fantasy from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) that reinterpreted the novels of Thomas Harris through the eyes of an expressionist, polymorphous sensualist. Reworking much of the plot of Harris’ Red Dragon, but in a more hallucinatory way than in previous film versions, the finale builds and builds to a genuinely orgiastic release of pent-up intellectual and sexual energy; by the end, viewers may need a cigarette and a towel.

Fuller will join the audience afterward via Skype to discuss the finale, the legacy of his cult classic, his new Starz series American Gods, and fourth season of Hannibal that he’s been carrying around in his mind for two years now, wherein serial killer Hannibal Lecter and FBI profiler Will Graham travel around Europe together as “murder husbands.”