My usual visits to the MoMA were beautifully transformed into a red carpet premiere, screening and after-party in the museums’s Sculpture Garden, for the NYC Premiere of HBO’s “The Staircase!”
HBO’s “The Staircase” is a true-crime series that will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The series is based on the popular Netflix documentary called, “The Staircase,” which follows Michael Peterson, a novelist who was guilty of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson, yet tried blaming her fall down the staircase as the reason of death. Being that its based on a true story, I was curious to see how the actors would would portray these real-life characters. As soon as the series begins, we are struck wth the most intense scene – the death of Kathleen. Colin Firth and Patrick Schwarzenegger morphed into their characters, and the acting was seamless and the dynamic was powerful while they played off each other’s emotions. While interviewing Patrick on the red carpet, he mentioned that he was nervous on set being that he was working with Academy Award Winning Actor, Colin Firth, however, after seeing the premiere, I can confidently confirm that he had no reason to be nervous. The two actors perfectly and effortlessly played father and son, dealing with the absolute shock of the event that took place in their very own living room.
The conscious editing of the series kept me intrigued as it constantly switched from present, to past, to present, and at the end, to the future. It kept the audience engaged since we witness the complete contrast between the death and the happy-go-lucky-family sharing their wishes for each other, and laughing, around the dinner table. The director foreshadowed the staircase, through a scene where Kathleen trips on that very staircase while going upstairs. That type of small detailing certainly didn’t go about unnoticed, and it feels like a personal little clue from the Director himself. Patrick mentioned during our interview, that unlike the documentary that following Michael specifically, especially during the court process, that the HBO series follows the family dynamic of the Peterson family. We witness that loving family from back and forth scenes, turn against each other while the family separates between believing the father is innocent to not, and that provides a new insight and imagination when compared to the documentary.