Cinematographer Darius Khondji

When looking at the works of David Fincher you can see that his style, his unique eye for lighting and perspective transcends the personalities of his Directors of Photography. However, each Fincher film also has a unique touch that comes from the artist behind the camera. Especially so with the haunting imagery of "SE7EN".

For everyone who cares to take a look behind the scenes of SE7EN and at the works of cinematographer Darius Khondji, here are two links to satisfy your cravings. One is a pre-PANIC ROOM interview by Nic Wistreich, the other a post-PANIC ROOM article in The Persian Mirror, highlighting and commenting on each feature film work by Mr. Khondji.

The reason I emphasize PANIC ROOM, is that it marks a sad turning point in the professional and friendly relationship between Fincher and Khondji -- with various accounts of what has happened during the shooting. While IMDB keeps the report slim, stating only that "Darius Khondji left the project after just two weeks into principal photography", other articles report creative differences between Khondji and Fincher, the studio or otherwise Khondji falling behind schedule (and thus being replaced by Conrad W. Hall, son of the legendary Conrad L. Hall).

What's interesting now about the Persian Mirror article is that it gives another account of what was going on ... and it ain't nice.

Other masterful works of Mr. Khondji include "The City of Lost Children", "Delicatessen" and Madonna's "Evita".

And of course:
Thanks to J.D. for finding and reporting the Persian Mirror article!

Darius Khondji interview by Nic Wistreich

Darius The Great, The Persian Mirror  (Part I)  (Part II)


  1. Some of this stuff is ridiculous. For one thing, Nicole Kidman did not quit because of personal problems. She quit Panic Room because of an injury in her leg she got on Moulin Rouge which she aggravated while running up the stairs in a Panic Room scene.

    Fincher's wife also was not a producer of the movie by any stretch. He and his wife divorced in 1995. Cean Chaffin may have been his girlfriend (she was the only female producer and they've had a long professional pairing, but I don't know if they've ever dated) at the time, but that's just a guess if there can be any truth in the claim that a Panic Room producer was close to Fincher.

  2. Why isn't my comment showing?

  3. Hi Angelo,

    thank you for your comments! Since there are some funny people out there who think that "If you wanna see big boobs go to" or the likes are quintessential to this blog, I have made the comments section of this website "pending approval". This is why it may take up to (but usually no more than) 24 hours for your comments to be published.

    I agree with you that some of the claims in the article sound outlandish ... especially so the one where it says the ending of "Se7en" was totally predictable. (Can anyone really think that? Hey let's discuss!!!)

    The second part I believe the writer of the article got wrong: To my understanding he is talking about Ms. Chaffin, who is mentioned in several occasions to be and have been Mr. Fincher's girlfriend -- and indeed during the production of PANIC ROOM.

  4. Oops, sorry about that. I didn't notice the "All comments must be approved by the blog author" down there.

    Anyways, that comment about Kidman quitting Panic Room for personal reasons and to deal with her divorce are so weird. From what I read in Swallow's book about Fincher, Konji loved working with her, so I don't see why he'd make up a reason for her quitting when everyone knows she had a leg injury. I have to assume that's just a bad translation.

  5. In the curious case of David Fincher article in esquire they mention the Cean Chaffin is Fincher's partner in crime in both work and play.

    The article does make some really weird claims, like the studio being pissed about the delays because Kidman quit for personal reasons.

    Also the claim that they sued Fincher?? I've never heard of a studio sueing a director while they we in production on a film-a film that never really stopped shooting despite it's troubles.

    They also made Fincher seem like he was the studio's bitch, claiming that the firing of Darius had nothing to do with him and Fincher not seeing eye to eye and everything to do with the studio's dissatisfaction about how long everything was taking.

    The crew's resentment and dissappointment in Fincher's vision. The script made by anyone else would of really stunk.

    The ending of Se7en is soooooo not predictable.

    That people who wrotet that article are full of BS.

  6. "DP Harris Savides, ASC says his working relationship with director David Fincher was more facilitator than collaborator. " - March 2007 issue of (ICG) International Cinematographer Magazine

    Khondji's failure to understand what Savides [as well as Claudio Miranda] both know about their role in working with Fincher is what led to his being fired from Panic Room.

    Bogus article full of misinformation and cheap shots aimed at Cean Chaffin and Fincher.

    Your Friend,
    Dr. Evil

  7. "Alien: Resurrection (deemed by many critics as the Only good follow-up to Ridley Scott’s original classic)." -- Darius Kadivar, The Persian Mirror

    LMAO. I stopped wasting my time after I read that.