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Fincher on the Art of the Title (Sequence) and House of Cards, Maybe Dragon Tattoo

The Playlist tips us off to a Fincher retrospective over at the Art of the Title. Probably my favorites would be The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Panic Room, although I’d never really noticed Zodiac’s until today and it’s so pretty and creepy at the same time.

When asked whether Fincher ever does as the script dictates, Insert Title Here, he answers:

Almost never. For Panic Room, the sequence takes a trip up the island of Manhattan through quick shots of buildings to get the idea of, “You’re downtown, you’re midtown, you’re traversing the park, you’re moving to the west side: here’s where the story takes place.” This was the same idea as the title sequence to West Side Story, so we had to do something a little different.

The piece puts them together in a montage and then looks individually at each film. But you’ll all probably want to know what’s going on with House of Cards and the Dragon Tattoo sequel. His answer:

Well, trying to figure out a sequel to Dragon Tattoo. We’ve got to be able to make it our own thing. And I’m trying to get House of Cards rolling — that’s what Neil Kellerhouse and I are working on now.

Is this your first foray into TV? What led you to that series?

Yeah. I just really liked the story. I liked the characters. It’s an interesting look at politics.

At what stage is that?

Well I shot the first two episodes, and we’re sound mixing in the next couple of weeks and then finishing. James Foley has directed two and Joel Schumacher directed two, and now Charles McDougall has directed two. It’s up and running so that’s a fulltime job.

Do you want to do more TV?

I like television. There’s something amazing about having to put on a show. You have an idea for a scene, you talk it out, it gets hammered out in rough form, you do a rehearsal, you look at it and figure out what’s working, you go away for an hour, and then — bang! — you’re shooting. There’s no navel-gazing at all. Anytime you’re sitting there scratching your chin, you’re taking time away from shooting. It’s a very different discipline. It’s exciting.

Click to watch the Art of the Title do Fincher.

11 Comments on this Post

  1. steve50

    Se7en, Fight Club and TGWDT are my faves, especially coming thru Norton’s forehead after a flight thru his synapses in FC. Creepy get my attention faster. TSN is the most moving when you’ve seen the film several times, but that’s the score more than anything.

  2. Panic Room has always been on of my very favorites. I saw that in the theater as well and it was amazing on the big screen. TGWTDT goes without saying….it’s probably his best.

  3. I actually wasn’t too crazy about TGWTDT’s title sequence. I dunno I just didn’t like it. To each his own. I respect it, but I just don’t like it. Social Network – despite my *many* reservations about that film – has by far my favorite sequence, although as steve50 pointed out, it’s largely (for me anyways, although the campus at night really is beautiful and I just love Rooney Mara) the film score, possibly my favorite thing about that movie.

  4. BTW, this was a fascinating article. I love interviews with Fincher, my favorite director. I want to hear anything he has to say. The most exciting but was when he was asked what he is working on his first remark was Dragon Tattoo. I this snippet on here it didn’t list the question so I thought he had been asked specifically about Dragon Tattoo, but know he was asked a general question and led with that answer makes me very excited that this might actually happen!

  5. “Well, trying to figure out a sequel to Dragon Tattoo. We’ve got to be able to make it our own thing”.

    Translation the sequel books are shitty and predictable, I’m trying to see if we can make them half way decent. He is going to have to change a lot. I mean Lisbeth Salander actually gets a boob job and has a relationship with an underage boy in addition to going full on James Bond mode. Good on Fincher to scrap the book Version.

  6. @Jerry: Fincher was asked about the boob job thing and said “that’s not who Lisbeth is” or something to that effect, saying he admired Stieg Larsson but didn’t always agree with his choices.

  7. Se7en was the first I witnessed and also the best, in my eyes.

  8. Doody1972

    When he talks about The Crying Game, he says:

    “For me, it was just as interesting and compelling and beautiful that the reveal was going to happen for Forest (Whitaker) rather than for the audience. But you know, people see different movies! We were just watching two completely different movies.”

    Well it must be two different movies because the reveal happens to Stephen Rea in the movie.

  9. Tero Heikkinen

    LOL, that’s true. Maybe Fincher saw a prequel :)

  10. Yeah if we could scrap that who first part of the second Dragon Tattoo book it would go so much better. The boob job and fucking a homeless teenager always bothered the shit out of me. I guess he was trying to say that Lisbeth lost herself for a bit, but thing is he created this character that we KNOW is not going to fucking lose herself and compromise who she is for anyone, especially not b/c she’s lovesick over the manwhore Blomkvist. Though I guess she might fuck a teen. I think she’d fuck anyone if she feels like it….but for the love of god she would neverrrrrrr get a boob job. Ever.

  11. Al Robinson

    I think that the title sequence for “The Social Network” was perfect. It was so understated, yet exactly right. Nothing else needed to be said.

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