“So much of art-making is figuring out where you end—and where the rest of the world begins. I never really understood why we were making things; you’re just kind of following a compulsion. But I’m starting to see a purpose for the hardship.”
-Hiro Murai, episode 290 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, we’re joined by director Hiro Murai! With the return of Atlanta (5:06), we discuss the homecoming of this final season (7:14), Murai’s connection to the character Earn (10:04), the influence of Hayao Miyazaki (14:09), immigrating from Tokyo to Los Angeles at age 9 (17:12), and his search for an artistic identity between these two worlds (20:38).
After the break, how the Coen Brothers and Takeshi Kitano shaped his early work (22:41), including music videos (25:12) for Earl Sweatshirt (27:32), Frank Ocean (30:19), and Childish Gambino (33:08). To close, we sit with a scene from Atlanta’s season premiere (35:27), the kind of work Hiro hopes to make in the years ahead (38:37), and a mission statement from author George Saunders (44:12).
- Watch the fourth and final season of Atlanta Thursdays at 10:00 pm ET/PT on FX , streaming the next day on Hulu.
- Learn more about Hiro’s work on his website.
- Watch the music video for Chum by Earl Sweatshirt.
- View his storyboards for previous music videos.
- Follow Hiro on Instagram and Twitter.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Steven Soderbergh, Janicza Bravo, Bill Hader, Questlove, Miranda July, Ethan Hawke, Lena Dunham, and George Saunders.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi. Reference image by David Altobelli.