Based on the real work of the FBI agents who defined the special crimes unit that analyzed serial killers to assist with their capture, David Fincher returns to the world of the murderers that chilled the latter part of the Twentieth Century with Mindhunter. These cases continue to fascinate people to this day and your hosts examine how Fincher’s approach to the material displays all his growth since Se7en.
After the relative disappointment of Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher adapted another hit crime novel, Gone Girl. Perhaps more accessible to American audiences than Lisbeth Salander, Amy Elliott thrilled audiences and delivered a box office success while making Rosamund Pike a household name and giving Ben Affleck a chance to show his own acting prowess. Defined once again by a terrific cast, the work nonetheless left one of your hosts disappointed because of an editing choice. Discover what they thought of it all, the last film release by David Fincher until Mank.
David Fincher redefined television with the release of House of Cards, a series that focused on a different kind of psychopath and broke the fourth wall as a means of connecting with its audience. The show shifted viewing habits and ushered in the era of “binge watching,” as it was called. Your hosts discuss the first two episodes of the series, the only directed by David Fincher, and how they see him trying new techniques and refining choices in a more intimate medium.
Legendary producer Kathleen Kennedy urged David Fincher to adapt Stieg Larrson’s hit novel series about Lisbeth Salander. Despite thinking it wouldn’t be a strong box office draw, Fincher took on the task of adapting a difficult tale to an American retelling. Assembling a stellar cast anchored by Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in a starmaking turn as the titular character, the film nevertheless had trouble finding an audience. One of your hosts had problems with it at the time, and so was challenged on this journey into the House of Fincher to look on the work with fresh eyes.
After The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher turned his attention to the real-life story of the people who changed the world forever with the invention of Facebook. Your hosts explore what Fincher’s dramatization says about the type of people he sees behind the machinery of social media, the accountability of those lost in its web, and whether this is a Fight Club for computer programmers.
One year after Zodiac, David Fincher released a heartwarming tale penned by the screenwriter of Forrest Gump with a similar tour through American history. Pairing once more with Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button uses a unique character to explore the dynamics of age, maturity, pain, and love as advanced effects are leveraged to take the main character on a mystical journey backwards in age as he moves forward in time. The hosts discuss their first reactions to the film, their reactions after having children, and what this film might tell the
world about the fascinating case of the real David Fincher.
A full five years after Panic Room, David Fincher found himself once more on the trail of a serial killer. This one, however, is a terrifying true-life story of a murderer who defied capture and terrorized California, spurring conspiracy theories to this day. Your hosts explore the differences between the theatrical and director’s cuts, how Zodiac sparks on Fincher’s own fascination with the disturbed, and different actors’ ways to handle a director who, by that point in his career, had learned how to get precisely what he wanted and was no longer willing to compromise on what it would take to get it.
Three years after Fight Club, David Fincher decided to create a “small movie” that steered him heavily back into suspense thriller territory. Starring Jodie Foster, Panic Room situated itself in a single house, with a terrified mother and daughter, as they worked to outwit and outlast a gang of thieves hell-bent on capturing the lost money from the previous owner. Despite the supposedly small scale, your hosts explore how Fincher pushed the envelop with effects, camerawork, and performance to create a memorable and entertaining film that helped refine his techniques afterward.
There was one film in 1999 that everyone was waiting for from George Lucas, a surprise hit that redefined Keanu’s career, and an Austin Powers sequel that made buckets of money. But David Fincher left his
own indelible mark on the times as he re-teamed with Brad Pitt to deliver the screen version of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Teaming also with Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, join the hosts as they speak to what Fight Club means to them, what it seemed to mean to the world at the time, and what they think of that last shot.
After Se7en, David Fincher transitioned to a more intimate tale told on a grand scale. The Game found its way to audiences with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn filling the lead roles, and Fincher’s growing comfort with spectacle and misdirection put to full use. Regarded by many as somewhat disappointing after the bravura Se7en, discover the deep resonance that one of the hosts has with the film and the noticeable earmarks of Fincher’s trajectory in playing with expectation and fantasy.