David Fincher

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Big Ben
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Re: David Fincher

#26 Post by Big Ben » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:41 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote: Link?
Link to a Czech release.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: David Fincher

#27 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:13 pm

Looks like Fincher is causing a minor kerfuffle on twitter by saying some negative things about Joker and Orson Welles.

The reaction is overblown, as you'd expect. I like when artists express their opinions about other artists and art, even when I disagree. And he's not being disrespectful; he's just saying what he thinks. So good for him.

I do disagree with his Welles comments, though.

J M Powell
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Re: David Fincher

#28 Post by J M Powell » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:28 am

I can't find anything to disagree with in the Welles comments. Seems like an even-headed judgment.

I haven't seen "Mank" yet, though I've read it expresses a Kaelist take on the issue, which would be disappointing if true; at any rate, Fincher's comments here don't seem at all dismissive of Welles in the same way she was.

It might have made Welles smile to see a minor controversy caused in part by someone accusing him of being a "showman." RKO adopted the motto "Showmanship in place of genius" after they fired the man, as a way of assuring everyone that the studio wasn't going to produce any more artsy films by anyone like Welles—who was by implication accused of being a genius whose flaw was insufficient showmanship.

"Genius" and "immense talent" are undisputed, but, importantly, Fincher affirms those qualities.

Filthy or no, "immaturity" is right, as is "hubris."

And Fincher is also right to say that studio interference was far from the only difficulty Welles's career encountered. I find most of Welles's work to be great, imperfect, and usually all the greater for its imperfection; but most of the serious wounds to those films, before and after Hollywood, were self-inflicted.

Welles is one of the best. But he's hardly alone in a pantheon of one, and (not here, but elsewhere, and perhaps less so these days) all too many cinephiles speak of him as though he were. His own personality is inextricably integrated into his oeuvre, both the conditions of the films' creation and the individaul works themselves—not always to the benefit of the works. We don't have to succumb to oral-stage binary judgments about him just because of the damn Kael thing.

Students used to ask me, "Isn't 'Citizen Kane' kind of overrated?" and I would respond, "Definitely. Like the Beatles."

I meant it.

I had three different Beatles T-shirts I would wear on teaching days to set this up.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: David Fincher

#29 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:07 pm

J M Powell wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:28 am
I can't find anything to disagree with in the Welles comments. Seems like an even-headed judgment.
I most take issue with this line: "But to claim that Orson Welles came out of nowhere to make ‘Citizen Kane’ and that the rest of his filmography was ruined by the interventions of ill-intentioned people, it’s not serious, and it is underestimating the disastrous impact of his own delusional hubris.”

It's even headed enough; I appreciate the take. But I think Welles' post-Kane oeuvre is just absolutely great. Fincher's not NOT saying Welles made great films after Kane, but it feels like a jab at or a takedown of a legitimately impressive body of work.

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knives
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Re: David Fincher

#30 Post by knives » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:38 pm

Also literally no one claims he came out of nowhere. His theater work is of course well positioned in history and there’s been a lot of work in recent years focusing on Welles pre-Kane cinematic efforts.

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Big Ben
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Re: David Fincher

#31 Post by Big Ben » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:46 pm

Fincher appears to have forgotten Welles' stage adaptation of Macbeth from 1936 with an all black cast which was a smash success. He most certainly did not just appear out of the aether.

J M Powell
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Re: David Fincher

#32 Post by J M Powell » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:46 pm

I understood him to refer to a take I definitely have heard before from cinephiles, though of course seldom if ever from academics: that Welles as a film auteur came out of nowhere, in that Citizen Kane was his first feature and also a fully cinematically mature work, a claim to the adjudication of which his theater and radio work wouldn't be particularly relevant.

Of course, this take is wrong, and it's so wrong that bringing it up in order to argue against it is almost like arguing against a straw man. So I take your point.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: David Fincher

#33 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:47 pm

Call me a cynic but taking shots at Welles sounds like a little edgy PR by Mr Fincher

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: David Fincher

#34 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:59 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:47 pm
Call me a cynic but taking shots at Welles sounds like a little edgy PR by Mr Fincher
That’s exactly what I thought. Good for him. He got the perpetually online casual cinephiles mad!

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: David Fincher

#35 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:02 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:47 pm
Call me a cynic but taking shots at Welles sounds like a little edgy PR by Mr Fincher
In that case, the edgy PR continues as Fincher claims Jack Gyllenhaal was distracted and scatterbrained during the shoot for Zodiac.

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knives
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Re: David Fincher

#36 Post by knives » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:21 pm

Sounds like he was method acting.

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Murdoch
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Re: David Fincher

#37 Post by Murdoch » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:40 pm


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hearthesilence
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Re: David Fincher

#38 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:07 pm

Murdoch wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:40 pm
In more lighthearted fare, Fincher likes to critique movies as he watches them, much to Soderbergh's annoyance.
That's one of the entertaining aspects of his commentary on Chinatown. Even though it's one of his all-time favorites, he's still criticizing shots and saying that he would have re-done them and, say, move Nicholson an inch more to get the shadow right, or re-do the last shot because he didn't like some of the background movement. I can't deny he has great eyes - he points out a "barn door" shadow from one of the lights in one shot (Jake's final confrontation with Noah, when he walks out to the patio/backyard). I think most audiences would have overlooked it as a mundane shadow.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: David Fincher

#39 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:14 pm

That's from a really well-done profile of Fincher in the New York Times Magazine:
Brad Pitt, who calls Fincher one of “the funniest [expletive] I’ve ever met,” often gets together with him for movie nights, during which, Pitt said, “He’ll be muttering the whole time: ‘That shot works. That’s a bad handoff. Why would you go to the insert of the glove there? Stabilize!’ It’s like watching a football game with Bill Belichick.” (Fincher described playing his favorite video game, Madden NFL, as “the only time I’m not thinking about movies.”) Another close friend is the filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, who told me about visiting Fincher during postproduction on his 2002 thriller, “Panic Room.” Soderbergh described the scene this way: “David had a laser pointer out, and he was circling this one section of a wall in the upper part of the frame, saying, ‘That’s a quarter of a stop too bright.’ I had to leave the room. I had to go outside and take some deep breaths, because I thought, Oh, my God — to see like that? All the time? Everywhere? I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

I asked Soderbergh to name his favorite Fincher film, and he replied that choosing one was tough, but if he ranks them according to the one he rewatches most, the answer is “Panic Room.” This is an uncommon pick. The film — in which Jodie Foster fends off home invaders over the course of a single night — is a spring-loaded formal exercise, set almost entirely in one location, that offers no overarching points about human nature, or the limits of the knowable, or the sociopathic extremes of ambition, the way other Fincher films have done. And yet, Soderbergh argued: “I don’t know anybody else who would imagine executing something like that and then actually have the fortitude to do it. It makes my head hurt watching it. It makes my knees buckle.”

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hearthesilence
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Re: David Fincher

#40 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:20 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:14 pm
That's from a really well-done profile of Fincher in the New York Times Magazine:
Brad Pitt, who calls Fincher one of “the funniest [expletive] I’ve ever met,” often gets together with him for movie nights, during which, Pitt said, “He’ll be muttering the whole time: ‘That shot works. That’s a bad handoff. Why would you go to the insert of the glove there? Stabilize!’ It’s like watching a football game with Bill Belichick.” (Fincher described playing his favorite video game, Madden NFL, as “the only time I’m not thinking about movies.”) Another close friend is the filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, who told me about visiting Fincher during postproduction on his 2002 thriller, “Panic Room.” Soderbergh described the scene this way: “David had a laser pointer out, and he was circling this one section of a wall in the upper part of the frame, saying, ‘That’s a quarter of a stop too bright.’ I had to leave the room. I had to go outside and take some deep breaths, because I thought, Oh, my God — to see like that? All the time? Everywhere? I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

I asked Soderbergh to name his favorite Fincher film, and he replied that choosing one was tough, but if he ranks them according to the one he rewatches most, the answer is “Panic Room.” This is an uncommon pick. The film — in which Jodie Foster fends off home invaders over the course of a single night — is a spring-loaded formal exercise, set almost entirely in one location, that offers no overarching points about human nature, or the limits of the knowable, or the sociopathic extremes of ambition, the way other Fincher films have done. And yet, Soderbergh argued: “I don’t know anybody else who would imagine executing something like that and then actually have the fortitude to do it. It makes my head hurt watching it. It makes my knees buckle.”
It's been a while, but the most appealing thing about Panic Room I can remember is the way it took a left turn into a dark comedy, thanks primarily to Dwight Yoakam's character.

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colinr0380
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Re: David Fincher

#41 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:12 am

Panic Room is great, and I would maybe argue with that article that it does have a bit of a critique of human nature, but a lot of it comes across less from the characters (although it is definitely there with the privileged Jared Leto character instigating the raid and then being summarily removed from the situation to leave the blue collar criminals behind to finish carrying out the robbery. Something which maybe parallels to Foster being the ex-wife to a wealthy man in a consolation, but extravagant, apartment across town from her ex-husband and his new (younger) wife. With Foster presumably only being kept so close and in that position of luxury because of her ex wanting to keep the daughter close by. She is kind of trapped subsisting on her daughter in some ways (although the daughter is on her side and appears to have chosen to go with her, which is probably what kept her in the picture), whilst on the other side of things the Jared Leto character is the more classical, expected type of character of an entitled member of the younger generation trying to get hold of a monetary legacy. But both are facing the prospect of being ejected from their positions of power due to monetary upheavals. It is probably telling that it is not the 'innocent' cop who comes to the door or the neighbour across the way who get hurt whilst the most brutal beating is saved as punishment for the ex-husband when he blithely turns up in the middle of the situation) and much more expressed through the environment in which the characters are operating inside. The 'simple' and 'enclosed' nature of the story really lets the focus go on to the tiniest of details, and it feels like even in the most chaotic and haphazard moments that nobody can escape the pre-planned, pre-visualised fates in store for them. Probably best illustrated by the dive out of the room to get the mobile phone moment

And there is that beautiful twist to the dynamics halfway through as Foster is trapped outside and starts laying Vietcong-style traps around the apartment. I think it is important that all of the action happens on their first night there, both narratively because the criminals were not planning for the place to be occupied but also emotionally too, because Foster's character already feels like she's a bit out of place in that apartment but then as she starts to become more familiar with the environment and the ways that various rooms and floors connect together (which parallels with the growing familiarity of the viewer) she can start to 'own' the space more confidently and make the criminals follow her directions instead.

It is also interesting the way that much of the film is kind of an intellectual exercise in tension, which perhaps makes the confrontation at the end feel all the more impactful for being so brutal and happening so quickly after having been so long delayed. The suddenness (and preciseness) of the moments of violence gets contrasted against the almost constant feeling of threat that hangs over the film.

Its strange because it is a film that feels both calculated and rather soulless about privileged people killing each other over money that nobody deserves to have (even the only sympathetic but still thoroughly compromised by association character), yet that kind of becomes its power. I care more about the damage done to the building in some ways more than the characters (which perhaps ties it most to Fight Club, where I think we end up seeing people surprised to now be feeling a bit better about themselves after facing trials but only after they have done massive structural damage to the world surrounding them as collateral damage from their infighting!)

The recent film which takes the Panic Room enclosed space conceit and runs with it is probably the 2015 Salma Hayek film Everly, in which the camera resolutely stays within a single room for the entire duration and only 'goes outside' as a consequence of the walls of the building steadily getting destroyed!

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therewillbeblus
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Re: David Fincher

#42 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:04 pm

BBC article David Fincher: Hollywood's Most Disturbing Director probably belongs here, though hopefully folks from the Mank thread read it, as it sheds some cathartic light on what I think Fincher is doing with that film from those who work closely with him (and certainly refutes simplistic "good"/"bad" readings on humanity).

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