Erlend Lavik, a Norwegian academic, offers up a 36-minute video essay on the visual style of HBO’s “The Wire”:

Via Slate’s David Haglund, who writes up some of the more interesting tidbits: “The primary influence on the show’s look is documentary filmmaking, particularly the work of Frederick Wiseman, Lavik says. In conversation scenes, for instance, the camera will often not switch to a speaker until that character has begun talking, as though the cameraman does not know in advance who will speak when.”