Come anticipate David Fincher's "Zodiac"

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Information here. Supposed to open in time for Oscar qualification in December. Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., and, um, Anthony Edwards.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:09 (fourteen years ago) link

ARGH! I just read Black Dahlia and am now reading Zodiac. Will this never stop? I always tend to (unknowingly) read books that are/have just turned into movies. :-(

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I've worked with some of the production crew. The location manager was my boss on 'Teh Game'.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Reading books because a movie adaptation is coming out, C/D?

Doesn't exactly apply, but close enough.

100% CHAMPS with a Yes! Attitude. (Austin, Still), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Any bets whether this is less, shall we say, frantic, stylistically, than Mr. Fincher's other work?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

they built a funny fake BART station platform at the Church St MUNI station for this

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:28 (fourteen years ago) link

At Duboce Park you mean, right, Shakey?

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Heh, my first thought was Neil Stephenson's Zodiac.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:31 (fourteen years ago) link

argh yes Church and 18th

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:43 (fourteen years ago) link

"Frantic" as in Se7en could be OK. However, the screenwriter has done what became actioners for The Rock and Travolta, so let's hope they weren't his fault.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Let's hope Jake doesn't turn soft with puppy dog-ish glee as Brad Pitt did (Se7en is the quintessential Pitt performance: he has moments when he's so embarrassing you have to leave the room and moments when his stiffness works in his favor).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 18:11 (fourteen years ago) link

i hope he makes SF look as pretty as he did with the Game, again. it was so gleaming and shiny.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 18:24 (fourteen years ago) link

fincher isn't particularly frantic.

Enr1que (Enrique), Friday, 29 September 2006 12:14 (fourteen years ago) link

but i'm anticipating this like a motherfucker.

Enr1que (Enrique), Friday, 29 September 2006 12:15 (fourteen years ago) link

haha Michael your worked on TEH GAME??! I built the website for that movie! Did you ever see it? It won awards and stuff. Each of our team members (4 people) were given little business card cases with "TEH GAME" etched into it and a little card inside with the "CRS" logo and the address of the website.

Euai Kapaui (tracerhand), Friday, 29 September 2006 12:18 (fourteen years ago) link

youall have such cool jobs.

Enr1que (Enrique), Friday, 29 September 2006 12:28 (fourteen years ago) link

haha Michael your worked on TEH GAME??!

Locations Dept.

M. White (Miguelito), Friday, 29 September 2006 14:10 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
The trailer.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 00:53 (fourteen years ago) link

This is actually the second movie made from Graysmith's book. This is the first

I don't doubt that this movie will be better, but it'll have as much to do with the actual Zodiac case as the Black Dahlia movie does.

(looking forward to this too!)

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Saw the trailer at Casino Royale, looks good.

Marmot (marmotwolof), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:23 (fourteen years ago) link

this didn't even register on my radar with 'the black dahlia' coming out, but now i want to see it even if it's only to wash the taste of that steaming pile out of my mouth.

gear (gear), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:26 (fourteen years ago) link

bet it won't be as good as the zodiac killer

am0n (am0n), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Is it me or does Jake look more cleancut and contemporary than his costars?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 01:59 (fourteen years ago) link

downey looks awesome, really seedy. jake looks and sounds like he wandered in out of a wes anderson movie.

gear (gear), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 02:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Which is probably the point.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 02:05 (fourteen years ago) link

ive been waiting for a remake of all the presidents men, i just wasnt expecting one with serial killers in frisco

pinkmoose (jacklove), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 07:29 (fourteen years ago) link

this looks good! or at least watchable. i love a good dramatization of real-life unsolved horrible event!

latebloomer (latebloomer), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 20:54 (fourteen years ago) link

this didn't even register on my radar with 'the black dahlia' coming out, but now i want to see it even if it's only to wash the taste of that steaming pile out of my mouth.

Damn straight. I nearly slashed the screen while I was watching the Black Dahlia. What a complete waste of time. :-(

Nathalie (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 21 November 2006 21:07 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I saw the trailer last night.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 31 January 2007 17:07 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Shades of Stanley Kubrick!

Lights, Bogeyman, Action


DAVID FINCHER, impolitic as ever, is ridiculing the notes he’s been getting from the studio executives overseeing his latest film, “Zodiac.”

“ ‘It’s easy to get lost in all the details,’ ” he intones, reading their critique of one scene from his laptop. “ ‘Are there any trims you could make here to cut down on the information and focus it even more’ ” on two main characters?

“I love this,” Mr. Fincher says, leaving no doubt as to his sarcasm. “It’s this weird shell game where they go, ‘Can you focus it more on the people by making it be less of them?’ And of course what it really gets down to is that they want me to audition their cuts to them.”

But he won’t. Instead, he says, “you just rope-a-dope.”

That same uncompromising attitude extended to his relationship with the cast, led by Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal, who endured multiple takes of 70 shots and beyond. Mr. Downey affectionately called him a disciplinarian, while Mr. Gyllenhaal, saying that as a director he “paints with people,” added, “It’s tough to be a color.”

At 44, Mr. Fincher remains Hollywood’s reigning bad-boy auteur, and his impatience with meddling has become as famous as his tendency to test his actors’ patience, stamina and preparation. But not as famous as his films, the most celebrated among them “Se7en,” the 1995 thriller that grossed $350 million worldwide, and “Fight Club,” his over-the-top answer to young male anomie.

After five years of withdrawing from one project after another, Mr. Fincher will present “Zodiac,” about the serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the late 70s, on March 2. Then, in 2008, comes “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the screenwriter Eric Roth’s epic reimagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story about a man who ages in reverse. (Of more interest to some fans, “Benjamin Button” will reunite him with the star of “Se7en” and “Fight Club,” Brad Pitt, and amounts to a sharp turn for Mr. Fincher into romanticism.)

To trim “Zodiac” to just over two and a half hours, Mr. Fincher said he had to make painful cuts. Gone, for example, is a two-minute blackout over a montage of hit songs signaling the passage of time from Joni Mitchell to Donna Summer; in its place, artless but quick and cheap, are the words “Four years later.”

Mr. Fincher has always been outspoken, but if he takes this movie a little more personally, there’s a reason: For him, the Zodiac murderer, who terrorized the Bay Area and was never caught, isn’t just any old serial-killer story.

Raised in Marin County, Mr. Fincher was only 7 when the area was seized with fear in 1969. “I remember coming home and saying the highway patrol had been following our school buses for a couple weeks now,” he recalled in December in an interview in New Orleans, where he was editing “Zodiac” while filming “Benjamin Button.” “And my dad, who worked from home, and who was very dry, not one to soft-pedal things, turned slowly in his chair and said: ‘Oh yeah. There’s a serial killer who has killed four or five people, who calls himself Zodiac, who’s threatened to take a high-powered rifle and shoot out the tires of a school bus, and then shoot the children as they come off the bus.’ ”

“I was, like, ‘You could drive us to school,’ ” he recalled thinking.

It was that same sense that initially drew him to “Se7en,” he said: the fearsome power of the stranger among us. “That’s what Zodiac was for a 7-year-old growing up in San Anselmo. He was the ultimate bogeyman.”

“People ask me, ‘When are you going to make your ‘Amarcord?’ ” Mr. Fincher added, with a little laugh at the comparison to Fellini’s autobiographical tour-de-force. For now, he said, “It’ll have to be ‘Zodiac.’ ”

Much has been made of Mr. Fincher’s “dark eye,” his gloomy palette and dim view of human nature, as seen not just in his hits but in his lesser films “The Game” and “Panic Room.” And he’s had a reputation for cutting-edge special effects and innovative camerawork since, at 22, he directed his first commercial, for the American Cancer Society, featuring a fetus smoking a cigarette in utero, an ad that led to an early career as a top music-video director.

But the source of his dark-hued lens on life, Mr. Fincher suggested, might be as simple as that original bogeyman. “It was a very interesting and weird time to grow up, and incredibly evocative,” he said. “I have a handful of friends who were from Marin County at the same time, the same age group, and they’re all very kind of sinister, dark, sardonic people. And I wonder if Zodiac had something to do with that.”

Mr. Fincher was first approached about “Zodiac” by Brad Fischer, a producer at Phoenix Pictures, with a script by James Vanderbilt. It was based on two books by Robert Graysmith, a former San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist who became obsessed with the Zodiac, and who built a case against one suspect, now dead. Mr. Fincher said he wanted Mr. Vanderbilt to overhaul the script, but wanted first to dig into the original police sources. So director, writer and producer spent months interviewing witnesses, investigators and the case’s only two surviving victims, and poring over reams of documents.

“I said I won’t use anything in this book that we don’t have a police report for,” Mr. Fincher said. “There’s an enormous amount of hearsay in any circumstantial case, and I wanted to look some of these people in the eye and see if I believed them. It was an extremely difficult thing to make a movie that posthumously convicts somebody.”

Mr. Graysmith said Mr. Fincher’s team found evidence that investigators had missed. “He outdid the police,” Mr. Graysmith said. “My hat’s off to them.”

With a finished script and a $75 million budget, Mr. Fincher and Phoenix approached Sony, then invited other studios to bid. The most aggressive, Warner Brothers and Paramount, decided to team up. At the same time Paramount invited Warner to share the $150 million budget for “Benjamin Button.” So Mr. Fincher agreed to do the two movies back to back.

The result has been a marathon. “Zodiac” required 115 shooting days, about twice the average, though it came in under budget; “Benjamin Button,” which is still shooting in New Orleans, will take 150 days, not counting months to complete the illusion of Mr. Pitt’s metamorphosis from newborn old man to demented, dying baby.

Perhaps most challenging for “Zodiac,” Mr. Fincher said, were the adjustments he made as a director — both in adopting a quieter visual style and in trying to get the most from his cast.

“It’s as unadorned a movie as I’ve ever made,” he said. “It’s just people talking, and it’s hard to make an audience realize that they have to be paying attention. One way you do that is by not doing very much.” There are none of the “perceptual games” that he said he played in “Fight Club,” where the subject was “the most unreliable narrator possible,” for example. “It was like, cast the movie right, get the script right, shoot the scenes as simply as we can and get out of everyone’s way,” he said.

Mr. Fincher said the last thing he wanted was for an audience to seize on period details like an avocado-colored rotary phone, or an actor’s sideburns, and miss the point of a scene. In several days on the set in San Francisco and Los Angeles in late 2005 and early 2006, he could be seen constantly retaking shots to dim a lamp, remove a too-colorful car, or alter the costume of an extra whose garb seemed lifted from a fashion layout rather than what people really wore.

Mark Ruffalo, who stars as the lead detective, said “Zodiac” was unlike any other Fincher film. “He’s just completely gone for the character and the story, and has sort of made that the rule, and not the look,” he said. Near the end of filming, Mr. Ruffalo recalled, Mr. Fincher said he’d watched a rough assemblage of about half the movie. “He said: ‘I think it’s great, but I’m in territory I’ve never been before. I just don’t know if they’re going to get it. And that’s exciting news: ‘Here’s my brand, and I’m stepping outside of it.’ ”

More difficult was changing the way Mr. Fincher worked with, and made demands of, his actors. On “Panic Room” he grew frustrated with his process — detailed storyboarding and previsualization to diagram a movie shot-by-shot — because it left little room for discovery, Mr. Fincher said. “It just felt wrong, like I didn’t get the most out of the actors, because I was so rigid in my thinking,” he said. “I was kind of impatiently waiting for everybody to get where I’d already been a year and a half ago. And I’ve been trying to nip that in the bud. I felt like I needed to be more attentive to watching the actors.”

He added: “Every once in a while there are actors you can defeat.”

For Jake Gyllenhaal, who stars in the movie as Mr. Graysmith, Mr. Fincher’s attentiveness was a mixed blessing.

Mr. Gyllenhaal said he came from a collaborative filmmaking family: “We share ideas, and we incorporate those ideas.” He added: “David knows what he wants, and he’s very clear about what he wants, and he’s very, very, very smart. But sometimes we’d do a lot of takes, and he’d turn, and he would say, because he had a computer there” — the movie was shot digitally — “ ‘Delete the last 10 takes.’ And as an actor that’s very hard to hear.”

Mr. Gyllenhaal, 26, partly blamed culture shock; he’d just finished “Jarhead” for Sam Mendes, who gave him a much freer rein. Mr. Gyllenhaal stressed that he admired and liked Mr. Fincher personally. And he noted that other members of the “Zodiac” cast had far more experience, adding: “I wish I could’ve had the maturity to be like: ‘I know what he wants. He wants the best out of me.’ ”

That said, Mr. Gyllenhaal spoke candidly about his frustration with Mr. Fincher’s degree of control over his performance.

“What’s so wonderful about movies is, you get your shot,” he said. “They even call it a shot. The stakes are high. You get your chance to prove what you can do. You get a take, 5 takes, 10 takes. Some places, 90 takes. But there is a stopping point. There’s a point at which you go, ‘That’s what we have to work with.’ But we would reshoot things. So there came a point where I would say, well, what do I do? Where’s the risk?”

Told of Mr. Gyllenhaal’s comments, Mr. Fincher half-jokingly said, “I hate earnestness in performance,” adding, “Usually by Take 17 the earnestness is gone.” But half-joking aside, he said that collaboration “has to come from a place of deep knowledge.” While he had no objections to having fun, he said, “When you go to your job, is it supposed to be fun, or are you supposed to get stuff done?”

He later called back and said he “adored the cast” of “Zodiac” and felt “lucky to have them all,” but was “totally shocked” by Mr. Gyllenhaal’s remark about reshoots.

Robert Downey Jr., impeccably cast as a crime reporter driven to drink, drugs and dissolution, called Mr. Fincher a disciplinarian and agreed that, as is often said, “he’s always the smartest guy in the room.” But Mr. Downey put this in perspective.

“Sometimes it’s really hard because it might not feel collaborative, but ultimately filmmaking is a director’s medium,” he said. “I just decided, aside from several times I wanted to garrote him, that I was going to give him what he wanted. I think I’m a perfect person to work for him, because I understand gulags.”

Mr. Ruffalo too survived some 70-take shots. “The way I see it is, you enter into someone else’s world as an actor,” he said. “You can put your expectations aside and have an experience that’s new and pushes and changes you, or hold onto what you think it should be and have a stubborn, immovable journey that’s filled with disappointment and anger.”

He said Mr. Fincher was equally demanding of everyone — executives, actors, himself. “He knows he’s taking a stab at eternity,” Mr. Ruffalo said. “He knows that this will outlive him. And he’s not going to settle for anything other than satisfaction, deep satisfaction. Somewhere along the line he said, ‘I will not settle for less.’ ”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 21 February 2007 20:47 (fourteen years ago) link

There was a Zodiac Killer flick released in 2005, starring Justin Chambers (Grey's Anatomy glowering intern bohunk as glowering drunk cop), Robin Tunney (his wife, mailing in her Drunk Cop's Wife role from the East Coast), & Kieran Culkin (son of Drunk Cop, doing some REAL investigative work). Except for the very last scene (where the actor playing the ZK reads from the last letter the ZK sent to the press, with only an artist's rendition of the ZK onscreen & no music in the background - very creepy & effective!), the flick's a pisspoor Son of Sam ripoff.

David R., Wednesday, 21 February 2007 22:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Nathan Lee and David Edelstein wrote excellent-to-warily-positive reviews. Anyone seen it yet?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 1 March 2007 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

This is nearly 3 hours long. It can't suck worse than his other films I suppose.

Alex in SF, Thursday, 1 March 2007 00:47 (fourteen years ago) link

At least it's not nine hours before edits like Birth of a Nation, and then later to suffer with extended cuts.

I rly want to see this! Oh Jake. Oh crrepy pseudo-true-crime. le sigh.

Abbott, Thursday, 1 March 2007 03:11 (fourteen years ago) link

it's amazing.

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 04:04 (fourteen years ago) link

"le sigh"?

Rock Hardy, Thursday, 1 March 2007 04:39 (fourteen years ago) link

"le sigh" is the new SQUEEEE

David R., Thursday, 1 March 2007 04:47 (fourteen years ago) link

time out new york gave this six out of six stars. i'm pretty stoked. (i mean, that isn't the reason why, but that just kinda fueled my already-existent total enthusiasm for this movie)

impudent harlot, Thursday, 1 March 2007 05:16 (fourteen years ago) link

i am excited about this. i love fincher. and it seems like even reviewers who have given him bad reviews in the past have done so somewhat grudgingly, understanding that he's an incredibly talented director but one who doesn't always make very good movies, and with this movie they've found something solidly plotted enough that they didn't have to slog through a lot of filmic vocabulary to praise it.

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:21 (fourteen years ago) link

calling the plotting "solid" is a bit misleading. it's a very twisty labyrinthine movie with lots of red herrings and LOTS left unexplained and no real payoff. some people will probably find it unsatisfying. i think it's awesome.

visually it's unbelievable. one of the best-looking movies i've seen in a really long time. when fincher turns his visual chops to pure period stuff he's incredible. it's especially impressive to see the art direction & visuals slowly change over the several decades the movie takes place. san fran hasn't look this good since vertigo.

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:26 (fourteen years ago) link

i am creaming for the visuals already. i KNOW what he can do, and that's the main reason i keep wanting another fincher movie. they look SO. FUCKING. GOOD.

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Ebert: "Alien 3 is the best-looking bad movie I have ever seen."

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:35 (fourteen years ago) link

from what i understand this is the first hi-def hollywood big budget movie that's all video. and it just kills.

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:47 (fourteen years ago) link

plz to make george lucas go eat a monkey's butt k thx

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 06:55 (fourteen years ago) link

oh wait i'm wrong. it's the first h'wood movie not to shoot to film or tape.

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 07:10 (fourteen years ago) link

and i can't make him do anything he wouldn't actually do when he's not hypnotized.

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 07:10 (fourteen years ago) link

maybe if we put our collective psychic powers together we can make him grow a chin,

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 07:14 (fourteen years ago) link

smoke some more pot kenan

s1ocki, Thursday, 1 March 2007 07:15 (fourteen years ago) link

hey, it don't take drugs to start wishing that george lucas had a chin. that poor bastard. it's sad, really.

kenan, Thursday, 1 March 2007 07:22 (fourteen years ago) link

time out new york gave this six out of six stars.

This is generally not a good sign (nor is using a 6-star scale, wtf).

Mark Ruffalo calls Jake's NY Times complaints "weird sour grapes":

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 1 March 2007 14:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Graysmith *is* an annoying weirdo - Fincher is otm to undercut him bc he's a nutbar

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 17:45 (four years ago) link

his first book is great but it becomes clear that he's an island. the sequel is bananas

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 17:46 (four years ago) link

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that Graysmith didn't deserve to be undercut or anything, just that there were a lot of complaints (esp. from amateur Zodiac sleuths who don't have a lot of good to say about Graysmith) around the time of the movie about making his character the "hero" of the movie. And maybe he comes out that way on first/casual viewing, but the movie doesn't support it at all.

Lauren Schumer Donor (Phil D.), Friday, 10 March 2017 17:49 (four years ago) link

yeah I think the movie could ~somewhat~ mislead viewers into thinking Arthur wotsisname is a viable suspect but yeah, Graysmith def doesnt come off as any kind of hero unless yr just willfully misreading the movie

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 18:41 (four years ago) link

tbf I think there was a lot of willful misreading of this movie at the time and people *did* come away thinking Allen was the Zodiac, despite the explicit exoneration at the end

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:45 (four years ago) link


Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 18:46 (four years ago) link

I know right

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:48 (four years ago) link

ppl are so dumb

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 18:49 (four years ago) link

ikr ted cruz is of course the zodiac killer

Islamic State of Mind (jim in vancouver), Friday, 10 March 2017 18:50 (four years ago) link

during my initial obsession with this movie (around the time the directors cut blu ray came out) i kinda bought into the arthur lee allen theory. but i also got interested in the actual case and looked into it more and realized ALA was surely a creep but probably not the Zodiac. however, this just made it easier for me to see the nuances and subtleties of the movie.

it's important to me thought that, for my
money, the movie doesn't totally exonerate ALA. i think it stays indeterminate (rightly).

ryan, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:54 (four years ago) link

easy dirty harry

ryan, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:54 (four years ago) link

the card at the end was vv different from the one at the end of JFK, for example, which says something about how Clay Shaw was lying and was involved with the CIA, using it to suggest "hey he was involved" (and is willfully misleading about his role with the CIA, which was not really a role at all. the card at the end, coming right after the scene where the survivor IDs Allen is basically all about the futility of the hunt, or at least the futility of this particular lead and the emptiness of the obsession these guys had chasing these ghosts.

the film is spookier and more spot-on for choosing to remain an open mystery at the end and not fictionally "solve" the case, there's none of that scooby doo effect of deflating the scares by unmasking the specter. (maybe that's one of the points of the scooby doo music as well?)

nomar, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:54 (four years ago) link

one of the things that i think is usually lost in true crime movies or in serial killer pics is the pervasive sense of dread accompanying the real life situations, the feeling felt by those who are experiencing it as a local phenomenon, as opposed to the usual cinematic maneuver of depicting the horror of the crimes and the blood and all that. obviously the murders are depicted here and done well, but they're pretty quick hits and not sadistic or methodical. and the gauziness of the killer, using different actors to play the role, is such a key here.

nomar, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:58 (four years ago) link


Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 10 March 2017 19:23 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

rewatching with Finchers commentary today

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 6 May 2017 21:19 (three years ago) link

it's cool how many scenes are his recreations of childhood memories. i think that might be what puts it over, the personal aspect of it where you just feel like he cares about so many small details

also downey suggested the bar trick with the straws... and then had to do 26 takes of it so that the coverage matched up lol doh

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 6 May 2017 21:22 (three years ago) link

the amount of times that fincher says...well we did 50 takes on this shot... 20 takes on this shot

imagine how pissed off the actors & crew would have been if the movie ended up sucking lol

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 6 May 2017 22:32 (three years ago) link

I remember really liking all the commentaries on the blu ray. I can't remember which one james ellroy sits in on, the actors maybe?, but it's great.

ryan, Saturday, 6 May 2017 22:45 (three years ago) link

yeah hes on the actors commentary

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 6 May 2017 22:49 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

we're finally gonna solve this fucker

nomar, Monday, 12 June 2017 20:38 (three years ago) link

Somebody gotta get rid of this fucka!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 12 June 2017 20:39 (three years ago) link

Boo yah!

how's life, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 01:15 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

Yeah (Fincher)'s clearly contemptuous towards the film system these days. I hope he doesn't start doing shitty middlebrow cable series..

― regular speed of candy on chrome (brimstead), Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:36 PM (four years ago)

Whomp whomp.

Anyway, not really much of a Fincher guy myself, but precisely because Kate and I noted his other new series, which I see VG has started a thread on, as well as just living here now and all, I decided a couple of weeks ago I should finally get around to this and snagged a Blu-ray of the director's cut version on the cheap. We watched it last night -- as two of Kate's favorite things are old-school San Francisco and the 70s (as actually lived) in general she was all about this. Having done a massive thread reread I'm pretty much in the 'pro' camp -- absolute technical marvel, loved the ensemble pretty much front to back, stellar scenes in particular throughout. Certainly glad I saw this for the first time on, if not an actual movie screen, a 4K TV. That said the things that didn't entirely work may just be a matter of initial perceptions playing out, and those things are more based on initial assumptions than anything else (I had somehow assumed a generally slower pace, for instance, but the editing alone kept that from happening). Kate was enraptured with the cinematography right out of the gate and remarked on the crispness etc. pretty much from the first scenes in; I'm only now thinking this morning for the first time how this plays against the perception of film and memory now, how there's a '70s' film/TV stock feel which shapes thoughts back on the time -- TV procedurals in particular of course and how they react to 70s films in the field. It's an interesting forcing of immediacy -- there's not meant to be any haze, there can't be. Even the dead-ending and unravelling must by default be clear in the moment.

Something in the opening credits made me think "I know that name" and then it leapt out at me in the end credits -- David Shire on piano. I'm mildly surprised that through this whole thread while both The Conversation and Shire are each mentioned once separately, there's no mention of his piano score for said film specifically, since surely that's as much of a tip of the hat as all the other cinematic reference points throughout the film, meta or otherwise.

Anyway, circling back to Mindhunter a bit, in his Charlie Rose interview the other day Fincher said this re Zodiac:

As for what he learned from “Zodiac” to help him on “Mindhunter,” the director had this to say: “I learned my lesson with ‘Zodiac’…You can ask a lot of an audience, but two hours and 45 minutes and no closure is probably — ‘Yes, get a babysitter; yes, find parking; yes, wait in line; yes, sit and have people with their phones on in your peripheral vision and concentrate for two hours and forty-five minutes,’ is asking a lot.”

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 October 2017 14:33 (three years ago) link

yeah even though the zodiac is relatively well-known among true crime folks, i think a lot of people who remembered the name or kinda know the story didnt know that it was unsolved. and there’s a good portion of people who dont want to go on a fact-finding journey just for the sake of it

i think mindhunter def brings a lot of the style developed for zodiac and if anything makes me wonder what zodiac: the series might have been like
though i adore the film

i reread Graysmith’s first Zodiac book for a true crime bookclub & i really have no patience for it now at all. first time reading that book was exciting as someone who didnt know anything at all about that case but now it’s like
“... nope dude that’s not a thing”
“um youre making that up”
“ok WHAT now?”
“would a linear narrative kill you jfc”
and in general he’s just really a terrible writer.

Fincher’s movie is infinitely more enjoyable than the book has any right to be; that might be small comfort to Fincher now but i think it’s a pretty big achievement.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 15 October 2017 15:06 (three years ago) link

(xpost) I mentioned David Shire on the Conversation thread, when I saw him speak after a screening of the film a few years ago.

Coppola's _The Conversation_

clemenza, Sunday, 15 October 2017 16:09 (three years ago) link

Oh it makes sense to mention him there -- I'm talking about this thread here, you see. :-D

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 October 2017 16:19 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

If they want to verify the accuracy of this Roy Moore inscription, they need the same Sherwood Morrill who drinks like Paul Avery now.

clemenza, Thursday, 16 November 2017 03:04 (three years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 16 November 2017 04:21 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Wow (that he was still alive, I guess). Probably my favorite exchange in the film:

Toschi: "He wrote me, you know? 2500 suspects, the only one who ever wrote me a letter was Leigh Allen."

Graysmith: "They like to help, you know, sometimes."

Toschi: "Yes, Robert, I know."

clemenza, Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:52 (three years ago) link

<3 Toschi was a legend, no question

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:56 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

"Nothing makes sense anymore."

clemenza, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 02:58 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

George Drakoulias, the film’s music supervisor, remembers visiting Fincher’s office when Zodiac was in preproduction. “The whole bottom floor was just research: books and evidence, transcripts, documents, photographs,” he says. “It was a little frightening, especially given the subject and how deep he had gone into the research.”

Graysmith used some pseudonyms in his book, since he implicated individuals as being possible murderers, but Fincher was determined to use only real names, which meant verifying everything with at least two sources. Vanderbilt and Fincher would travel to San Francisco and spend days talking with the cops who’d worked the case when it happened, those who had taken it up in later years, and the two survivors of the killer’s attacks. The shooting script swelled to 202 pages, the depiction of Graysmith shifted, they introduced uncertainties about Zodiac’s criminal capabilities, and Fincher encouraged Vanderbilt to abandon contrived plot conventions like Jake Gyllenhaal’s and Mark Ruffalo’s characters meeting early in the film. “I had had three movies made at this point,” says Vanderbilt. “One was about a killer tooth fairy, one was a John Travolta–Samuel L. Jackson movie that I describe as ‘the one they did together that wasn’t Pulp Fiction,’ and one was The Rundown, which I love, but is the Rock’s second action movie. Doing a serial-killer procedural with David Fincher was a very different world to be in.”

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 20:05 (six months ago) link

I heard Fincher got so into his research he actually started murdering people, man.

Quiet Storm Thorgerson (PBKR), Wednesday, 23 September 2020 20:26 (six months ago) link

one was a John Travolta–Samuel L. Jackson movie that I describe as ‘the one they did together that wasn’t Pulp Fiction

Basic >>>>>>> Pulp Fiction

neith moon (ledge), Thursday, 24 September 2020 08:43 (six months ago) link

Ha! Travolta's character in that is named TOM HARDY!

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 24 September 2020 17:18 (six months ago) link

hard to believe this was one year before Iron Man, the pre-Avengers times

LaRusso Auto (Neanderthal), Thursday, 24 September 2020 17:23 (six months ago) link

two months pass...

Zodiac's 340-char cipher cracked:

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 20:50 (four months ago) link

Did the cracking involve someone going to the library?

clemenza, Friday, 11 December 2020 20:51 (four months ago) link

Close! An American software developer for a federal defense contractor, an Aussie Applied Maths scientist + a Belgian warehouse operator/computer programmer who devised the decryption algorithm solver these three used to solve it.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 11 December 2020 21:00 (four months ago) link

that's really cool actually

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Friday, 11 December 2020 21:02 (four months ago) link

He has another video analyzing Graysmith's solution

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 11 December 2020 21:09 (four months ago) link

v cool

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 11 December 2020 21:15 (four months ago) link

i love that first video walking through how they did it, codebreaking is dope imo

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 11 December 2020 21:27 (four months ago) link

The fuckin' library.

(I know I'm not contributing anything here, I just love quoting the movie.)

clemenza, Friday, 11 December 2020 22:00 (four months ago) link




“Sonofabitch! It’s a commercial!”

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 December 2020 01:15 (four months ago) link

VG I immediately though of u when Sunny posted this on FB :)

howls of non-specificity (sleeve), Saturday, 12 December 2020 01:17 (four months ago) link


terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 December 2020 02:17 (four months ago) link

it def says something about this case that the message ends up (unsurprisingly) being more of the same boring braggadocio

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 12 December 2020 02:21 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

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