David Fincher

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The Film Society of Lincoln Center has just announced Gone Girl will open the fest. Today they posted great picture of Fincher directing Ben Affleck with a long track in place for what promises to be a rad tracking shot. We just have to wait to Rocktober to see it.

The Social Network

The Hollywood Reporter runs its second story on David Fincher, Sony and the supposed upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, wherein a source continues to huff and puff their side of the story all the while complaining about what a diva and tyrant Fincher is because of his “excessive” demands. Second story, same unnamed source, same one-sided lament. Let’s put this into the bigger picture. First, what do you do if you have a movie people only barely want to see that without Fincher’s name is even more of a DOA project? What do you do if you want the Fincher name but don’t want to wrestle from him the directorial control that would make the movie worthy of that name?

Put it this way: they need Fincher a lot more than Fincher needs them on this film. Yes, put Fincher and Aaron Sorkin together and you potentially have magic again, as you had with the Social Network. But you don’t hire a guy like Fincher in the first place if you want a director you can lead around by the balls. You say – we trust you because you’re one of the best directors working today, because you do not compromise your principles, nor do you invest time in something that will waste everyone else’s.

Conveniently missing from Masters’ story is Fincher’s side of things, the difficulties on his end on Dragon Tattoo and Social Network. But hey, why bother with those kinds of facts? Let’s get those clicks rolling to help this particular news outlet stay relevant. We live in an era where sexy headlines are the only ones that draw the kinds of traffic numbers websites need to stay afloat. Kim Masters is a reputable journalist with an ear towards scandal but there is something fishy about this story in that it’s entirely one-sided and no one seems to give a damn. I’m not a journalist but even I know that both sides are worth looking into. All we have here is gossip. Nasty gossip at that.
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This story reminds me of Ben Bradlee in All the President’s Men saying “WILL SOMEONE GO ON RECORD FOR THIS STORY!?”

According to an anonymously sourced exclusive, that could neither be confirmed nor denied, David Fincher’s first choice is Christian Bale play the lead in the Jobs biopic. Okay fine, interesting story, interesting film project but it’s being floated out there as truth with not a lot of there there. All the same, I trust Jeff Schneider would not float a story that wasn’t by someone in the know.
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David Fincher is filming Gone Girl as we speak, with a release date now set for October 3, 2014. That only means a whole year to wait. It will zoom by.  Set pictures have surfaced of Fincher and Ben Affleck, the film’s star, along with The Bar (if you read the book, you know the Bar).

Please visit the Southeast Missourian for all of the photos – they have requested we remove them.

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…Is a moving painting…it is as though you can take it in with all five senses. A work of art.

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.

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Men Who Hate Women. That’s what Stieg Larsson called his book, which then became The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. To know this story is to know Larsson. If you forget about him, the key to this story is lost. The story is about men who hate women and the women who fight back. Larsson was a bit of a hero in this and other battles he personally fought throughout his very short life. He was against the extreme right in Sweden, against racism and misogyny.  After witnessing the rape of the a 15 year old girl named Lisbeth, he never forgave himself for failing to help her.  This, it’s been said, was what motivated him to write his books.  A Swedish film did a great job of turning his book into a movie that was sold in countries all over the world. So why remake it at all?

Because a story about a female avenging those men who hate women is more relevant now that it ever has been. In fact, it’s downright revolutionary. The only kind of women we see are those who are unrealistic comic book heroes, or those who are trussed up as ultimate fantasy fodder for gamers. It’s getting worse, not better.

So, you could do as many a critic will no doubt suggest, not remake the movie. Let it just sit out there in Sweden as “their story.” Or, a popular American director like David Fincher can make Dragon Tattoo redux – he can take this well known story, render it with an obsessive’s eye, redefine its archetypical characters and most importantly, give a much wider audience the chance to experience the film’s gravitational center: Lisbeth Salander.

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IndieWire’s bi-weekly feature “Critical Consensus” asks EW’s Owen Gleiberman and Elle magazine’s Karen Durbin about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the culture of Top 10 lists. It’s a great discussion, worth your time to read to to bottom. (We’ll let this post serve as an open thread to share your own reactions to TGWTDT, for those who see it today.) Here’s Gleiberman comparing Fincher’s adaptation to the original, and floating a “feminist conspiracy theory.”

ERIC KOHN: Owen, you’ve awarded Fincher’s movie an “A” in your review, while calling the previous version “dutifully effective” but inferior. What makes Fincher’s version so much better?

OWEN GLEIBERMAN: There’s been a sort of raging pre-release debate, most of it online, about the Swedish version vs. the Fincher remake. And to me, at least, it’s kind of funny that the whole discussion is trapped in a paradigm—the original was “pure and artistic,” the Hollywood version is “unnecessary”—that seems almost exactly the opposite of what’s true. The Swedish film was, of course, very faithful to the book, and it got the job done (I enjoyed it a lot). But come on, people—it’s such a prosaic and rather functional piece of filmmaking. And it will probably be seen, at least in the United States, by about one-thirtieth the number of people who see Fincher’s version. If you really look at it, there’s a kind of indie-rock-snob, I saw it first and I’m cool mystique embedded in the over-lionizing of the Swedish version. As a movie, it lacks mood, style, visual poetry and danger.

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(via Jeff Wells at HollywoodElsewhere from Fincher’s interview with Rene Roderiguez in the Miami Herald.)

“I think Scott [Rudin]’s response was totally correct,” Fincher said. “It’s a hard thing for people outside our business to understand. It is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. But as silly as this may all look from the outside — privileged people bickering — I think it’s important. Film critics are part of the business of getting movies made. You swim in the same water we swim in. And there is a business to letting people know your movie is coming out. It is not a charity business — it’s a business-business.

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A friend of mine once had a theory we called the “anal sex rule,” which indicated that films featuring anal sex do not win Oscars. It seemed a very good theory and one we’ve come back to again and again (so to speak). And now, Mr. Fincher seems to agree, as he told Entertainment Weekly in a candid chat — and he’s right, you can’t win. The internet is a Greek chorus that monitors and judges ALL behavior. “They” so badly wanted to cast Fincher as the asshole last year (not warm and fuzzy enough to be an Oscar winner, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth) and with Benjamin Button as the guy who “wanted an Oscar.”

“There’s too much anal rape in this movie” to get nominated, he says, half-jokingly. “I think we’re very safe.”

Fincher says he isn’t preparing for the Oscar process, but he points out that “we didn’t gear up for it last time, either” (2010′s Social Network scored eight nominations). And he’s not opposed to campaigning, especially if it helps out his collaborators. “When it came to Benjamin Button, I wanted it for Brad [Pitt] more than Brad wanted it for himself,” he says. He also wanted to support fellow Social Network nominees like screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and star Jesse Eisenberg. “I thought that kid f—ing brought it, and I was incredibly thankful to be able to be there and record that performance. It’s an exceptionally brave and tremendous performance. When a movie is celebrated in whatever way, I think it’s bad form not to engage in some way, because people shower you with goodwill. It seems only polite to acknowledge it and be thankful for it. And then there’s 90 percent of it that is, ‘If you’re going to do this Q&A, you have to do this Q&A. if you’re going to do this, you have to do that.’”

More….

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A friend of mine once had a theory we called the “anal sex rule,” which indicated that films featuring anal sex do not win Oscars. It seemed a very good theory and one we’ve come back to again and again (so to speak). And now, Mr. Fincher seems to agree, as he told Entertainment Weekly in a candid chat — and he’s right, you can’t win. The internet is a Greek chorus that monitors and judges ALL behavior. “They” so badly wanted to cast Fincher as the asshole last year (not warm and fuzzy enough to be an Oscar winner, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth) and with Benjamin Button as the guy who “wanted an Oscar.”

“There’s too much anal rape in this movie” to get nominated, he says, half-jokingly. “I think we’re very safe.”

Fincher says he isn’t preparing for the Oscar process, but he points out that “we didn’t gear up for it last time, either” (2010′s Social Network scored eight nominations). And he’s not opposed to campaigning, especially if it helps out his collaborators. “When it came to Benjamin Button, I wanted it for Brad [Pitt] more than Brad wanted it for himself,” he says. He also wanted to support fellow Social Network nominees like screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and star Jesse Eisenberg. “I thought that kid f—ing brought it, and I was incredibly thankful to be able to be there and record that performance. It’s an exceptionally brave and tremendous performance. When a movie is celebrated in whatever way, I think it’s bad form not to engage in some way, because people shower you with goodwill. It seems only polite to acknowledge it and be thankful for it. And then there’s 90 percent of it that is, ‘If you’re going to do this Q&A, you have to do this Q&A. if you’re going to do this, you have to do that.’”

More….

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First Showing first, then The Film Stage, these images emerged.  2011’s Prince of Darkness, David Fincher, whose film has to be the year’s most anticipated.  Dark and dirty.  Loving it.

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(Top: Spielberg, Scorsese, De Palma, Lucas, and Coppola, 1994. Bottom: Hooper, Russel, Aronofsy, Nolan, and Fincher, 2010)

Last year’s slate of Best Directors was one of the most impressive lineups ever. Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Joel and Ethan Coen, David O. Russell and of course, the winner, Tom Hooper. I’m not going to go over this each and every time I write about the Oscars this year, but you have to know that in the 13 years I’ve been doing this I’ve never seen a less experienced, out of nowhere winner like Tom Hooper beat someone like Fincher, who not only has built an esteemed career, who not only won every critics award he came up for (more than any director in awards history, recent or not), but was a homegrown director our film industry here in America should celebrate up one side and down the other.  Some films have tremendous power to move us and The King’s Speech was one of those. It was like Slumdog Millionaire (minus Danny Boyle’s brilliant career behind it), or Million Dollar Baby (minus Clint Eastwood’s brilliant career behind it). And so, we are forgetting (as we pause to remember!) and moving forward with the notion that the Academy — and we can throw in the DGA now — will never vote for a movie that pundits and critics are telling them they SHOULD vote for if they didn’t “like” that movie as much as they liked the one that moved them.

Give Oscar voters a choice, most of the time they will go with the admirable character over the darker one. That was why, believe it or not, when No Country for Old Men came out, there was doubt it would even get nominated, doubt it could even win – why, because it was too dark and it had an ambiguous (albeit brilliant) ending. Back then, no one ever thought the Academy could take their swinging balls and make a brave choice like that. Now, of course, it seems silly that anyone ever imagined any other film winning that year. The same sort of scenario played out with The Departed. When The Hurt Locker came around, there was some similar discussion, but since we’d already seen films with darker themes winning, the question revolved around box-office clout, of which the Hurt Locker had little.

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“He gives her cunnilingus and in my opinion, not enough.”  So says Rooney Mara in the opening of the eight minutes David Fincher showed to lucky crowds in front of select screenings of Straw Dogs tonight.  After nearly a year of films that focus on story without paying much attention to the images, Fincher’s palette blooms like distant heat lightning on a desert horizon; it can be no other director.  With every film he grows as a visual storyteller.   I can say with certainty that I’ve never seen anything like this.  Something savage has been unleashed in the star, Rooney Mara.  At their finest, Fincher’s films work best when he has a star who can absorb and thrive on the hardcore focus he dishes out.  Jesse Eisenberg did it.  Jake Gyllenhaal did it.  And now Rooney Mara does it.

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From the first note of the first frame of The Social Network we are immersed in David Fincher‚Äôs senses. The soundtrack roars immediately to life with The White Stripes pulsating guitar riff on ‚ÄúBall and Biscuit.‚Äù We are in a darkened bar. The characters are talking so fast you can barely make out what they‚Äôre saying. You might not get what they’re saying but your senses have already come alive — the words match the music, the editing matches the words and good luck figuring out what‚Äôs coming next.

But then the rattle of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue. “Did you know there are more people with genius IQs living in China than there are people of any kind living in the the United States?” “That can’t possibly be true.” The two young stars face-off. One is talking a mile a minute with a mind faster than anything else in the room. But he’s getting it back pretty good from the girl sitting opposite him. And then he drops it, “How do you distinguish yourself from a population who all got 1600 on their SATs?”

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Darren Aronofsky picks up Natalie Portman’s Best Actress BAFTA, after the cut.

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In his latest always entertaining Oscar column, Movieline’s Stu Van Airsdale takes me to task on my suggestion that this year’s Oscar race will render the critics irrelevant in a way we’ve not yet seen. ¬†Like, not ever. ¬†Usually even films like Crash, Shakespeare in Love and Braveheart, which scooted through to a Best Picture win at the last minute, had SOME critics awards behind them. ¬†Yes, I am talking not about REVIEWS but about critics AWARDS – not just awards but top ten lists.

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In each of the five films nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild yesterday, overcoming an obstacle to become a winner drives the main characters. Micky needs to rid himself of his brother’s shadow and his own lack of self worth, Nina needs to rid herself of her repressed, infantilized vision of herself to become a perfect dancer. Cobb needs to overcome the guilt he feels in planting the idea in his wife’s head that the dream was the reality. And finally, George VI needed to overcome his fears of being King, of speaking publicly, of rising to the occasion and ruling a country at war.
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BEST FILM
The Social Network

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Carlos

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher, The Social Network

BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

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And… back to business as usual. (Thanks to Steve in the forums)

Top 10 Best Films
The Social Network
Inception
Black Swan
The Fighter
Winter’s Bone
True Grit
The King’s Speech
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours

Best Film – The Social Network
Best Director – David Fincher, The Social Network

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