I’ve pretty much broken up with Mr. Robot, but I want to comment on this:
That’s certainly one way to describe it, but I find it grating. The mandate for the camerawork is to fill two-thirds of the frame with nothing and have the character address someone who’s offscreen. I tried to find a screenshot, but all I got from a Google image search was this shot from Elliot in a therapy session:
Then the reverse shot of the therapist will have her on the right side of the screen talking to Elliot who’s off to the right. So instead of a two-shot, or instead of intercutting the scene with the camera in the space between them, positioning the audience as if they’re part of the conversation, it fills the screen with irrelevant things and puts relevant things outside the borders.
I get it. You’re trying to show a sense of characters disconnected from each other. But it’s overdone and showy, like a film-school student pushing a gimmick too far. It furthermore distances the audience from the interaction between the actors and replaces their interaction with editing. Ugh. And I just can’t stop noticing it now. A little goes a long way, Mr. Robot. A little more goes too far.