The Bokeh of Mike


Jonathan Banks as Mike.

BOKEH is the Japanese word for those out-of-focus light particles. I just learned it and I’m trying to fix it in my sluggish, middle-aged brain.

THE LONG GOODBYE is a great film for bokeh, if you’re looking for some.

These images are from the season 4 finale of Better Call Saul, however. A really good one. It seemed visually darker than every preceding ep. Looking it up on the IMDb, cinematographer Marshall Adams is curiously unlisted for this episode, which is criminal, as his work is so good here.

The director, Adam Bernstein, also directed the video for Sir Mix-a-lot’s Baby’s Got Back, which is, you know, not a bad piece of work in its own right, but hardly in the same league as this. (He did some memorable work on Breaking Bad too, plus lots of other high-profile TV.) Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s show not only combines stark tragedy and black comedy, rather than blurring the difference, it intensifies the natural contrast between the two and somehow doesn’t tear itself apart. I think it maybe has the strongest tonal contrasts of anything, ever.

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