Tony Sopranos windy backyard
April 24, 2006 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Why does it always seem to be windy in Tony Soprano's backyard? Some sort of dramatic symbolism, or filmed in a windy part of New Jersey?
posted by Keith Talent to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
 
No show with that budget would film in a windy area unnecessarily. I'm guessing it's manufactured pathetic fallacy.

Remember that his back yard has often served as a metaphor for what's going on in his head/body (the ducks, the bbq, the wind, leaves in the pool, etc.).
posted by dobbs at 12:21 PM on April 24, 2006


I'm sure that it's symbolic. The ducks, which Melfi pegged as a symbol of family/anxiety are long gone. This season (I'm trying to be spoiler free here) seems to be a season of change, wind factors into that, especially in the context of the ducks.
posted by togdon at 12:36 PM on April 24, 2006


I dispute the premise. I can recall plenty of scenes filmed around the pool and with the family using the grill, and none of them struck me as particularly "windy" scenes. Whence did you form your conclusion?
posted by cribcage at 12:51 PM on April 24, 2006


Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky. --Ojibwe Saying
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:56 PM on April 24, 2006


Can they mic his nostrils any more louder? it's got to be on purpose-- because his breathing is literally rumbling my speakers.
posted by stavx at 1:39 PM on April 24, 2006


The last time I watched the show, it occurred to me that it's been windy in the backyard every time this season. I think dobbs and togdon and Artifice_Eternity are right.

Also, at one point the wind was making the cover on the air conditioning unit rattle when Tony was outside trying to relax. He said something like, "If it's not one thing, it's another." So on a more mundane level, the guy can't get any peace, even in the spot that's been a refuge for him throughout the series.
posted by wryly at 1:45 PM on April 24, 2006


Artifice_Eternity seems to nail it. Cribcage, this season every shot of the backyard seems to involve high winds, or at least enough that it's noticeable.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2006


I don't think that The Star Ledger's TV writer has mentioned the wind, but has some good insights into the show (although the look at this week's episode isn't my favorite.)
posted by armacy at 2:02 PM on April 24, 2006


Did you guys watch all the episodes from this season? He's breathing heavy 'cause he isn't healthy. He is coming to terms with his own mortality, everyone around him knows he is hurting and he knows that everyone knows.

SPOILER ALERT --- Remember when he was about to die in the coma and walk into the big white building where all his family was? Remember Mellow calling to him through the wind in the trees? Again, the windy backyard this season is a reference to that. It isn't any more windy than normal, and his breathing probably isn't any different than normal; it's just what he's picking up on now that he's back from nearly being dead.
posted by pwb503 at 2:07 PM on April 24, 2006


...it's been windy in the backyard every time this season.

...this season every shot of the backyard seems to involve high winds...

In that case, let me offer a third possibility to the two explanations you gave: Maybe those scenes were shot around the same time, during windy weather.

If someone was filming in my backyard during the past week, you'd see clouds and rain. That doesn't mean that I live in a windy part of Massachusetts. Y'all honestly think the producers are intentionally using wind as some sort of metaphorical device? Occam's razor, folks. Anything's possible, but your theory strikes me as half-baked (pun intended) lit crit.
posted by cribcage at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2006


True, cribcage; it could have been all filmed outdoors on the same day or two for the whole season, and they wrote in some referencing comments (like the air conditioner thing above) because, well, that's what writers do when the situation arises.
posted by davejay at 2:25 PM on April 24, 2006


Y'all honestly think the producers are intentionally using wind as some sort of metaphorical device? Occam's razor, folks. Anything's possible, but your theory strikes me as half-baked (pun intended) lit crit.

Cribcage, have you watched The Sopranos regularly? It's a sophisticated show that works on both obvious and subtle levels.

The shots we've seen of the backyard have featured long, slow pans of the trees being blown around. A similar shot was used in the dream/coma sequence mentioned by pwb503. These shots didn't just have wind blowing in the background while other action was going on -- the wind in the trees was the main focus, in each case.

Also, the "Ojibwe saying" about the wind has so far been referenced in, I believe, every episode this season.

I think David Chase may have lifted the wind idea from David Lynch, actually. Long, slow pans of trees being buffeted by the wind were also a staple image in Twin Peaks.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:58 PM on April 24, 2006


Y'all honestly think the producers are intentionally using wind as some sort of metaphorical device?

You honestly think they're not? What the hell do you think they pay the producer $20 million dollars - twice what they pay the show's lead actor - for? (Search that page for (David Chase and James Gandolfini).

Or maybe Tony has a panic attack every time he sees a certain kind of lunch meat by coincidence. Or maybe the fish that talk to him are actual, literal, talking fish. I mean, have you ever seen the show? I'll grant you that some of the symbolism is about as subtle as a high school production of Othello, but there is plenty of it.
posted by ChasFile at 4:42 PM on April 24, 2006


Fortunately, most of the gang members are sufficiently heavy enough so that it would take a major tornado to get them moved by anything other than their usual waddle walk.
posted by Postroad at 5:09 PM on April 24, 2006


What the hell do you think they pay the producer $20 million dollars...

David Chase isn't "the producer." He created the bjorkin' show. So yeah, he makes a lot of money. That would fall under the heading, "Not Rocket Science."

I mean, have you ever seen the show?

No. That's why, when the poster commented that it's "always" windy in the Sopranos' backyard, I replied that there have been dozens of scenes where that wasn't the case. (At which point he clarified that by "always," he had actually meant "in several episodes from the sixth season.")

Yes, there is both metaphor and symbolism in The Sopranos. The deli meat, the talking fish, and Uncle Ben are all great examples. Y'know why they're great examples? Because the writers bludgeoned them to fucking death. That's right: an actual, literal, talking fish. Does that strike you as subtle? Hell, it's the sort of symbolism that catches the attention even of folks who think the daughter is named "Mellow." (Ahem...)

But I definitely think you should ask Chase about this. Catch him at his next public appearance and pull him aside. "Uhh...excuse me. Mister Chase? Yes, well, in episode BF12, I noticed that the wind seems particularly strong..." Ten bucks says he laughs and replies, "A wizard did it."
posted by cribcage at 7:43 PM on April 25, 2006


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