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30 review for David Fincher: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Warner

    “I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me, I’m always interested in movies that scar.” I believe David Fincher is one of the greatest living filmmakers. His films are bold, shocking, and they never pull any punches. He’s also the most successful director to have originated in music videos before making the jump to feature films. This book, a compilation of interviews presented in chronological order, gives us perhaps the defining look into who Fincher is as a person and as an artist. I “I don’t know how much movies should entertain. To me, I’m always interested in movies that scar.” I believe David Fincher is one of the greatest living filmmakers. His films are bold, shocking, and they never pull any punches. He’s also the most successful director to have originated in music videos before making the jump to feature films. This book, a compilation of interviews presented in chronological order, gives us perhaps the defining look into who Fincher is as a person and as an artist. In the earlier interviews, the writers go to great lengths to explain to the reader who Fincher is and why you should care. A lot of time is spent on how he worked at ILM, then moved onto making visually striking music videos and TV commercials. Before he was age thirty, Fincher directed his first film, the much maligned Alien 3. Considering the headache and heartache suffered in the making of that film, it’s a wonder that he ever got back behind the camera to make another one. It’s also interesting to note that the films that followed Alien 3—Seven, The Game, and Fight Club—were viewed with hostility by much of the press and viewing public at the time. One person said that with Seven, Fincher had ‘gone and taken a perfectly good genre movie and turned it into a foreign film.’ Some people thought that The Game screwed with the audience in a way that wasn’t acceptable. And many were fond of calling Fight Club a fascist film and something revolting. Now these three films are commonly considered modern classics and are perhaps the best representations of Fincher’s work. David Fincher quickly developed a reputation for himself: his films were dark and brooding and so he must be the same way. But in the interviews he comes across as likable, humble, and occasionally quite funny. Interviewers over the years seemed determined to declare his next film a departure for him, as he slowly moved away from the thrillers that had defined the beginning of his career. It’s as if people thought that Fincher could never be anything else other than the creator of dark and menacing films. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network prove otherwise. The book’s interviews also repeatedly touch on another facet of Fincher’s reputation: that he’s a perfectionist and fond of multiple, seemingly endless takes. This part of his reputation is well deserved. Some interviews speak with actors and crew that he has worked with and a few were not too fond of Fincher’s shooting style. It’s in these parts of the book that it almost transcends being simply about the work of a filmmaker. I think Fincher’s perfectionism and his comments on his craft can be insightful to others making creative endeavors. One thinks that if Fincher was left with limitless funds and never-ending schedules, he might never finish a film. There’s one comment he makes that goes something like, ‘Films are not finished. They’re abandoned.’ This sounds bleak but I think there’s some truth to it. Artists like Fincher are rare—others may have his talents but they don’t have his unflinching resolve to stick to their guns and commit to making the best damn picture possible. Because the book goes chronologically and reprints interviews from years past, what we get is whole lot of repeated information. I don’t mind so much reading Fincher’s thoughts on filmmaking repeated and slightly altered as the years progress, but details about who he is, where he came from, and so on, are repeated without end. This wouldn’t have been a problem if one was reading these interviews over the years, but compiled into one book it makes some of the book feel laborious (if I read how Fincher grew up down the street from George Lucas one more time, I’m gonna scream). Some of the earlier portions of the book devote a little too much time to his work in TV commercials and music videos. It’s understandable for this stuff to be included, as it does paint a better picture of where the man came from, but compared to the segments related to his films, these earlier chapters feel kind of dull. I think this is partially because we all know Fincher’s films, but his commercials and pop videos are something of the past. And unless we were to go to YouTube looking for his earlier advertising work, chances are these earlier chapters of his career are only interesting for curiosity’s sake. All in all, it’s a good book, but it suffers from repetition due to its format. Occasionally when the interviewers ask Fincher what comes next, sometimes he mentions a film which was never made. These include film projects like The Black Dahlia (which Brian De Palma made into a trainwreck), Mission Impossible 3 (which eventually became JJ Abrams’ feature film directorial debut), a chef comedy which may still work out eventually, and an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. And who knows if we’ll ever get the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? The mentions of these unmade films makes the interviews feel slightly dated, but I didn’t mind, because even these failures to launch represent some part of the filmmaking business and Fincher’s career in Hollywood. At the time of this review, we know for a fact what comes next for David Fincher: the release of the hugely anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Now, I have to admit that I could never get into Flynn’s novel, but I’m looking forward to the film anyway. Why? . . . David Fincher. Listen: there are not many master filmmakers in the world, but I consider Fincher to be one of the few. And I’m happy to have read this book, as it helped me to understand him and his work better than before. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Amazing insight into the process of one of my favorite filmmakers. It can be a little redundant at times (as expected, since this is a collection of interviews spanning two decades) but I actually learned a lot more about him than I expected to. A really great, quick read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gan

    Fantastic book with insights how David works as a director on many of his movies. It also is a collection of many of his interviews to learn the type of person he is and what motivates him to make the movies he does

  4. 5 out of 5

    Myrt

    A Myrt's Review David Fincher Interviews from The Conversations With Filmmakers Series Edited by Lawrence J. Knapp A Comprehensive Look Back at the Works of the Upcoming Gone Girl Filmmaker David Fincher has a reputation for taking on and developing dark subjects with his own unique twist.  He has had an interesting career to say the least.  Before he began his film directing career, Fincher had built a distinctive career as a commercial and music video director. This collection of interviews with Da A Myrt's Review David Fincher Interviews from The Conversations With Filmmakers Series Edited by Lawrence J. Knapp A Comprehensive Look Back at the Works of the Upcoming Gone Girl Filmmaker David Fincher has a reputation for taking on and developing dark subjects with his own unique twist.  He has had an interesting career to say the least.  Before he began his film directing career, Fincher had built a distinctive career as a commercial and music video director. This collection of interviews with David Fincher starts with a Premiere Magazine interview in 1991 on the set of Fincher's first film, Alien3.  The various interviews chronologically cover his career from then through the book's final interview which was done as Fincher was preparing his release of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo.  This is an interesting look into the creative perspective that David Fincher puts into his individual films and made me go back and rewatch several of the movies he has made with new eyes.  This is a great addition to any film student or fan's book collection. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 4

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    David Fincher is just such a fascinating personality. Part of this comes from his actual persona, and the rest comes from his incredible films, which are simply unparalleled in their artistry and economy, as well as their laser focus on telling the story they are designed to tell. This compendium of interviews functions in a similar manner to each of his rather excellent DVD commentaries--he walks the perfect line between giving you the fun anecdotes about making a movie and giving you the backr David Fincher is just such a fascinating personality. Part of this comes from his actual persona, and the rest comes from his incredible films, which are simply unparalleled in their artistry and economy, as well as their laser focus on telling the story they are designed to tell. This compendium of interviews functions in a similar manner to each of his rather excellent DVD commentaries--he walks the perfect line between giving you the fun anecdotes about making a movie and giving you the backroom deals and details, as well as all of the technical information for the aspiring filmmaker. Every interview with him seems to contain some measure of all three of these types of content, and makes for some incredible reading if you have any interest in any of those.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shehab Shaheen

    David Fincher is my spirit animal. He knows his thing and he is a realist when it comes to making a movie that is meant to entertain an audience. Aside from the repetitive nature of this book it covers some serious approaches to the filmmaker style and his uncompromising nature. There is a lot here to learn on how to do " YOUR " movie without getting fired. " I don't think directing is fulfilling, It's horrible. Because the only thing you doing is prioritizing to cover the downsides. that great David Fincher is my spirit animal. He knows his thing and he is a realist when it comes to making a movie that is meant to entertain an audience. Aside from the repetitive nature of this book it covers some serious approaches to the filmmaker style and his uncompromising nature. There is a lot here to learn on how to do " YOUR " movie without getting fired. " I don't think directing is fulfilling, It's horrible. Because the only thing you doing is prioritizing to cover the downsides. that great thing you wanted to do, That cool shot - Forget it - it's not happening. You are never able to do what you want " DF

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ken Bates

    This book jut makes me sad that the modern Hollywood system has pushed out a director like Fincher. He hasn’t made a featured film since Gone Girl in 2014. He’s directed episodes of Netflix shows since then but it’s not the same control over the product in those manners. Here’s hoping for his next twisted flick.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ramon

    Fincher's a brilliant mind so these interviews are great; as ever, because of the particular format of this book series some questions and answers repeat themselves, but that's not too bad a deal. Best of all, I felt like re-watching his entire filmography again. Fincher's a brilliant mind so these interviews are great; as ever, because of the particular format of this book series some questions and answers repeat themselves, but that's not too bad a deal. Best of all, I felt like re-watching his entire filmography again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michał

    It's scary how often I found myself agreeing with 'the most perverted brain in Hollywood'. Have my babies, Dave. It's scary how often I found myself agreeing with 'the most perverted brain in Hollywood'. Have my babies, Dave.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    1. David Fincher is better at making movies than everyone else. 2. David Fincher hates making movies more than anything else.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    the greatest modern tragedy is that this book ends right before he made Gone Girl....... when's the sequel dropping @ Laurence F. Knapp? the greatest modern tragedy is that this book ends right before he made Gone Girl....... when's the sequel dropping @ Laurence F. Knapp?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    For me it was a well written text book. This guy is a legend behind the camera, and anything upcoming directors can learn from him - they should.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Vaca

    Essential reading for any aspiring filmmaker, Fincher fan, and interview fanatic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lanthimum

    Utterly fantastic. The best non-fiction book I've ever read, I think. Utterly fantastic. The best non-fiction book I've ever read, I think.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mihkel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deedee Messana

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Forero

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Adamo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Roger

  20. 4 out of 5

    Citizen Erased

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abdulrahman Khawj

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abir Hasan Eka

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roger

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Germenis

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harry

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anders

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cipriano

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Hornbeck

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