Wrong About American Gods’ CGI

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Hi guys,

Just listened to your American Gods Episode 3 podcast. Regarding the use of CGI, I think it’s been totally appropriate to the story. When Shadow was in the Bone Orchard and saw the buffalo with flaming eyes, and when he saw the car driving over marshmallows, those were dream sequences and weren’t supposed to look realistic. The marshmallows were because Mr. Wednesday gave him a cup of cocoa with marshmallows in it, telling him to think of snow. Shadow has no faith, believes nothing, but he does what Wednesday asks him to do anyway. Shadow’s response to Mr. Wednesday when he was given the hot chocolate was almost childlike. He abruptly went from annoyed and anxious — “Why are you talking to me about marshmallows? Like I’m worried about marshmallows.” To sighing, “Yeah, I like marshmallows.” The dreamy car/marshmallow scene is very childlike — Shadow is setting aside his skepticism and cynicism, and is showing the faith of a child. Interestingly, this is right before the conversation with Wednesday about Jesus, who said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

For the CGI sequences with Anubis weighing the Mrs. Fadil’s heart, the Jinn in the desert showing his true supernatural self, the surreal rooftop scene with Zorya Polunochnaya, and the rain scene with ..again, these aren’t *supposed* to look realistic. They are supposed to have that surreal, dream-state, unearthly quality, so the viewer has the feeling, “Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.” And that’s actually a comparable cinematic style — the Wizard of Oz gave us dull, drab, ordinary Kansas in black and white, and the magical land of Oz was shown in eye-popping technicolor.

Anyway, that’s my take on it. =)

M K Rowe

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