Amazing Interview With The Master

People, it's Bill Desowitz striking again. And this time he is hitting a straight homerun with this one on one with David Fincher.

The piece starts out as a visual effects talk, about digital workflows and head replacements, motion capture and such. But before you know this turns into a really interesting chat about acting, performance, filmmaking, and David Fincher's future projects.

Fincher has some wonderful points he is making, about Benjamin Button and its qualities and flaws, about the advantages of the digital workflow he has put into place, as well as about other movies he saw this year, THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN and INDIANA JONES.

I know this will send the fanboy alarm flaring, but to me this, even if it's "just" an interview, feels very edutaining: Fincher's talking about how the role and ability of new directors has changed compared to 1995, his differentiation between acting and performance, and his assessment of fellow directors Zack Snyder, Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron.

There is this great part, talking about the studio's budgeting for "Panic Room", I really liked:

"Internal budgets that are done at studios have a different agenda. 'Tell us what the absolute minimum is?' As opposed to: 'What is it really gonna cost to pull this off' (...)
I remember on Panic Room, they had an internal budget of $22 million, and we were like, 'Well, that's true: you could do it for that if you were doing it like Assault on Precinct 13, but I don't think you want to market that movie'."

Gotta love the Finch!

Thanks to Bill and Sebas for pointing us to it. Fincher Talks Benjamin Button And VFX


  1. I bet ya not even Fincher's daughter liked "Indiana Jones". No ones does!

  2. Hollywood studios are so full of crap. Actually entire Hollywood is strange. I never understood why someone would want to go to Hollywood/Los Angeles. It's not such a beautiful place people make it out to be, and it's full of cynics, liars and narcistic shallow people who all want to become the next big thing, leaving you behind on their way. The only reason they're talking to you is to use you to get ahead, and then let you drop. All these people so full of themselves, i.e. Stars, fake people who've lost their touch to earth... who would want to go there? Besides the fact that 90% of the films Hollywood studios produce are bullshit, save for a few outstanding filmmakers like Fincher, who have a hard time getting financing, because their films aren't the same formulaic crap people seem to buy into. I prefer a nice girl who's down to earth and a quiet life, I wouldn't want to be in the newspapers. Can anyone understand why people want to become famous? It's a modern phenomenon in our media society. I only see it as pathetic and narcistic, potentially sick. What do you guys think?

  3. I loved Speed Racer too.

  4. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas raped Indiana Jones.

  5. "Speed Racer" must be in my bottom 5 movies of all time. I HATED that film. I swear I came out of the theater wanting to PUNCH the Wachowski Bros. in the cranium. Now with Fincher saying it is quite good, it makes me wanna watch it again. What do you think? Could I be so wrong and "didn't get it"?!!

  6. Nah I hated Speed Racer too. What a load of crap.

  7. @ Phil

    I've never been to Los Angeles so I can't really say. But I know what you mean. Even here in Brazil, where television is the great big thing is terms of audience (50 to 80 million people turn in everyday to see a bunch of crap that is our so called "soap-operas"), there is a city, Rio de Janeira, where all of them are produced that the way you the described it, it's pretty much like L.A., except for the fact it's a beach.

    @ Dimwit
    You're not wrong. You probably just didn't like it. I know a lot of people that didn't like it for a lot of different reasons. When the reviews started to come in I became so disappointed that I didn't go to the cinemas to see it, I waited for the dvd. I liked the film. I guess in terms of cinematic language there is a lot of refreshed old tricks and a couple of new ones. I think the look suits the material and I guess the cast got the joke and went with it. This is just my opinion.

    And regarding the interview - I'm really starting to think that the film Fincher REALLY wants to do next is "Fertig". He always refers to it as "a beautiful WWII story" or "it could be one of the best five films ever made" or "Robert Towne is one of the best screenwriters ever" and so forth. I hope he tosses all his projects aside and spend like 5 years making this one, to become not one of the best, but THE BEST film ever made. Wishful thinking.

  8. @ Thiago

    I agree, I'd love to see Fincher do "Fertig" as much as I would have loved to see "Rendezvous With Rama".

    Hope it will happen.

  9. Speed Racer was a kick in the nuts. It was the Wachowski brothers saying "We have enough money now, so we don't care what you think anymore. We're just gonna make this shitty movie now and cash in our million dollar checks. People are gonna see it anyway, although it's crap. That's what people do, they love crap. And so we give it to them. And if you think we suck... well then, then... fuck you! We don't care! We've got enough money. We made Matrix, remember? Go fuck yourself."

  10. I wouldn't even download Speed Racer for free, or watch it on television.

  11. I'm stunned by the Speed Racer hatred. It was one of the most visually striking movies of all time. It's the most treasured film I have in my blu ray collection.

    Also, even though the styles of each would be wholly different, do you really think Brad Pitt would want to have back to back WWII films?

  12. @ Me

    Good point. I was forgetting about "Inglorious Basterds". But one can only dream...

  13. Speed Racer? I wanted to punch that annoying kid with his stupid chimp friend in the face. What a load of clicheed overstylized crap. Who likes that sort of shit?

  14. Pretty good interview!I always wondered what directors thought of the Dark Knight. I thought maybe they look down on it because its a comic book movie.

    I really dont think 300 is beautiful. I thought it was pretty stupid but Im really looking forward to Watchmen.

    It would be cool to see HEAVY METAL at the cinemas but Fertig sounds like a future project for Fincher.Hes been attached to the project for years..

  15. This is a great interview. Hollywood has to keep on churning, and thus some crap gets made, but real deal filmmakers get to make their movies, and are always resourceful enough to figure out how to do them. Fincher is a great example. It seems like he's learned that for him to be able to work, he has to set a hard line of what a budget needs to be, and it's his skill as a filmmaker that allows this to take place. There is actual monetary value at this point for him being able to do his thing without over-compromise.

    I don't agree with Fincher about THE DARK KNIGHT, which to me is very messy and poorly constructed, but I really enjoyed a lot of what he says in this interview. And I think it's helpful!

  16. Beware Julian, people who insinuate TDK wasn't the greatest film ever get burned at the stake.