It’s Really Nothing
It’s Really Nothing
On the latest season of Pose, a group of the women go to a beach house. The star of the show stays out late and when she comes home at dawn, there’s a shot of her opening the gate from the beach to the house and despite the brilliance of the rest of the show, it is this moment I cannot stop thinking about.
Why? Because the gate has a Magna Latch on it. This is a lock that you have to lift at the top to release the gate. It does not look like others locks. I first encountered one at the gate of my friend’s pool and I swear I stood there for ten minutes trying to figure out how to get in before my friend came to rescue me.
This was only a few years ago.
I don’t know if it’s just that I run in different circles than places that usually have Magna Latches but to me, it was a marvelous modern invention.
So when this lock showed up at the beach house on Pose, I had a relationship with it, I fully expected Blanca to be as baffled as I was by the magna latch but instead she just lifted up the top and walked right in as if she’d been unlatching gates like this all her life.
But I think the likelihood of a character born and raised in the Bronx, who had never been to the ocean before, being familiar with a magna latch is almost impossible. This character, like me, when confronted with a magna latch, wouldn’t have had immediate facility. It felt like a false note in the show when she just popped it open.
Additionally, these locks were invented in the early 90s when this show takes place, so even if this house was at the vanguard of latch installation, it would be unlikely that a woman from the projects would have knowledge of them.
Does it matter? I don’t know. I can imagine in the moment of filming it made sense to get a shot of her opening the gate and being done with it. Maybe MJ Rodriguez, who plays Blanca, had seen many magna latches before and just opened the gate and walked in, cut, print, next scene. In the world of filming, speed is of the essence and probably no one was worried about the authenticity of a gate lock. They probably didn’t think it mattered.
But it mattered to me. It took me right out of the show and then I kept thinking about it, this detail that didn’t matter at all — but somehow did. I thought of it every time I lifted the magna latch when I returned to my friend’s pool where I first encountered it. I suppose it concerns me because it makes me think of all the details I brushed aside when I’ve made things, the details I was sure no one would notice, the trivial moments I just let go. What this experience showed me is how there’s always someone who will notice, for whatever reason.
I also can’t help trying to imagine how I would have solved this if I were making this show — and I think it’s as simple as just skipping the gate opening shot. I’d show her approaching the gate and cut to her walking in. No encounter with modern gate technology necessary. It could have been easily solved. But maybe everyone on the team had extensive magna latch experience and could not imagine a person who might be baffled by it. Or maybe they had no experience of that latch at all and so their brains just glossed right over it.
None of it matters. The show is great regardless — but I’m pretty sure they’d have preferred me think about it for different reasons than an anachronistic gate lock. Feel free to contact me with all future magna latch consulting issues.
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Originally published at http://artiststruggle.wordpress.com on November 24, 2020.