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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Witness the transformation of Rooney Mara. The film is now well into production, and will be released in December.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Whoa. Okay, I'll buy a ticket for this.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Fincher seems to have mastered the art of turning films that have no business even existing into must sees.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:16 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
Fincher seems to have mastered the art of turning films that have no business even existing into must sees.

I was just thinking that earlier today; Panic Room, a Facebook movie, a gimmicky serial killer movie- they all sound like pretty awful ideas, and they all turned out excellent (although apparently people are pretty divided about Panic Room.) The only real flop was a high-toned literary adaptation.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:19 pm 
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This screenplay is adapted from the novel, so how far does the plot of the Swedish film depart from the plot of the novel? Because the plot of the Swedish film was irreparably absurd; one of the worst 11th hour twists I've ever seen.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:29 pm 
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RNL wrote:
This screenplay is adapted from the novel, so how far does the plot of the Swedish film depart from the plot of the novel? Because the plot of the Swedish film was irreparably absurd; one of the worst 11th hour twists I've ever seen.

I haven't read the books or seen the Swedish films, but that W. article states that Steve Zaillian has changed the ending, and in Fincher's mind made it better, so I'm guess Fincher et al. are of the same mind as you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Read the W article that The Playlist linked. It goes into more detail about Mara's auditioning and transformation to Lisbeth Salandar:
Quote:
Mara didn’t blink. “David added the rape scene at the last minute, and I said, ‘Ohmigod! They must be really serious.’ They did one test, then another a week later. They shot me in the subway in L.A. in full hair and makeup with a motorcycle. Every day they had a new request. On a Monday morning, David called me in, and I said, ‘What do you want me to do to my hair now?’ I was at the end of my rope. He told me I had the part. I hadn’t even read the script yet.”

...Five days later Mara moved to Stockholm. She began training—learning to ride a motorcycle and kickboxing. The (temporary) dragon tattoo proved to be tricky: Fincher did not want it to look Asian or like it came out of a comic book. He finally settled on a dragon that could have been drawn by Escher—more like an engraving and quite beautiful. In one “very intense” day, Mara’s eyebrows were bleached, her hair chopped, and her lip, brow, nose, and nipple pierced. “I didn’t even have pierced ears,” Mara said, still sounding a little shocked. “They put four holes in each ear, and, weirdly, that hurt the most. It was all very organized. With David, everything is measured and carefully considered. He wants what he sees in his head.”

...“I wanted her from the beginning,” Fincher stated. “Rooney may be a trust-fund baby from football royalty, but she’s levelheaded and hardworking. It’s so odd how who people are comes out in auditions. We didn’t make it easy for Rooney, and there was no way to dissuade her.”


It also talks about how this version will be different from the book and previous film, and why Fincher was finally interested:
Quote:
The script, which captures the novel’s bleak tone (its original Swedish title was Men Who Hate Women), was written by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian, who wrote Schindler’s List, and it departs rather dramatically from the book. Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending—the resolution of the drama—has been completely changed. This may be sacrilege to some, but Zaillian has improved on Larsson—the script’s ending is more interesting.

...Aside from the visceral and cinematic nature of the material, Fincher was also intrigued by the villains in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. They were not politicians or dictators—instead, the top bad guys are big businessmen. “Fascism has worked its way out of politics,” Fincher said, “and gone into high finance. Today Woodward and Bernstein would be investigating corruption in the financial arena. I was interested in that. And, of course, the girl.”


Most amusingly, he thinks The Social Network is overrated:
Quote:
"...on Social Network, I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that Social Network was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation.”

...By his reckoning, Fight Club and, especially, Zodiac (neither of which were box office successes) are films, while The Social Network (which is a box office smash—close to $100 million in America alone) is simply a movie.

“It’s a little glib to be a film,” Fincher maintained. “Let’s hope we strove to get at something interesting, but Social Network is not earth-shattering. Zodiac was about murders that changed America. After the Zodiac killings in California, the Summer of Love was over. Suddenly, there was no more weed or pussy. People were hog-tied and died. No one died during the creation of Facebook. By my estimation, the person who made out the worst in the creation of Facebook still made more than 30 million dollars. And no one was killed.”


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Well, he's right about Zodiac being his best film.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:56 pm 
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That's a relief that Zaillian's changed it drastically.

There's a good lurid murder mystery in there somewhere.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:21 pm 
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mfunk9786 wrote:
Well, he's right about Zodiac being his best film.

Absolutely. And pretty much right about the overrating of The Social Network too. I think it is a very good, compelling, entertaining movie. It ended up being my favorite in a year that didn't have any truly Great Films by my estimation, but I didn't attach nearly the social import to it that most critics did. I just thought it was a remarkably well-told story with a very smart script and precise direction. I'm not sure though, that I agree with Fincher's implied take that a film's importance hinges on how many people get killed. I disagree with him somewhat on Zodiac in general. Even though it is my favorite, I would classify it (via Fincher's terms) as a "movie" rather than a "film," as it strikes me as a investigative procedural where the pleasure is derived in its precise attention to detail and facts and watching Graysmith attempt to solve a mystery for which there is no solution. Thematically, I found it to be, like most of Fincher's work, about obsessive drive rather than about a loss of innocence or the end of The Summer of Love (though that's there too, and may have resonated for me more if I had been alive during that period). I think Fincher is at his best when he remains focused on visual storytelling rather than on trying to say something of import -- Benjamin Button and Fight Club are my least favorites of his. Ultimately though, his considerable talents are at the mercy of the script he accepts. Eric Roth's Forrest Gump Redux was awful, and Fincher's technical virtuosity could do nothing to save it. Aaron Sorkin writes a crackerjack script about the founding of Facebook (of all things), and in Fincher's hands the end result is likely Oscars for everyone. Steve Zaillian's track record is all over the place, so it's hard to predict how The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might turn out, but the subject matter is certainly in Fincher's wheelhouse, and I can't wait to see the result.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Fight Club's a movie I find fascinating ever since reading through the thread on it here - especially Sausage's posts - and I'm always interested in the responses to it. I'd rank it as Fincher's best because of that fascination that I have each viewing, the film dives right into its fascist philosophy without giving the viewer an anchor. Zodiac though is I'd say Fincher's most enjoyable film since the violence and obsession on display are balanced with the comedic touches of the script and performances - especially Downey, Jr. who has no problem playing the character as himself even when his character's a real person - that allow the film to take on a more down-to-earth tone compared to Fincher's previous works where paranoia/fear are amped up to eleven.

I haven't read this book, but judging by the translated title ("Men Who Hate Women") and what I've read about the series it sounds very Fincherian (to coin a term) with his often-used individual struggling against a sinister force.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:
Well, he's right about Zodiac being his best film.

Absolutely. And pretty much right about the overrating of The Social Network too. I think it is a very good, compelling, entertaining movie. It ended up being my favorite in a year that didn't have any truly Great Films by my estimation, but I didn't attach nearly the social import to it that most critics did. I just thought it was a remarkably well-told story with a very smart script and precise direction. I'm not sure though, that I agree with Fincher's implied take that a film's importance hinges on how many people get killed. I disagree with him somewhat on Zodiac in general. Even though it is my favorite, I would classify it (via Fincher's terms) as a "movie" rather than a "film," as it strikes me as a investigative procedural where the pleasure is derived in its precise attention to detail and facts and watching Graysmith attempt to solve a mystery for which there is no solution. Thematically, I found it to be, like most of Fincher's work, about obsessive drive rather than about a loss of innocence or the end of The Summer of Love (though that's there too, and may have resonated for me more if I had been alive during that period). I think Fincher is at his best when he remains focused on visual storytelling rather than on trying to say something of import -- Benjamin Button and Fight Club are my least favorites of his. Ultimately though, his considerable talents are at the mercy of the script he accepts. Eric Roth's Forrest Gump Redux was awful, and Fincher's technical virtuosity could do nothing to save it. Aaron Sorkin writes a crackerjack script about the founding of Facebook (of all things), and in Fincher's hands the end result is likely Oscars for everyone. Steve Zaillian's track record is all over the place, so it's hard to predict how The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might turn out, but the subject matter is certainly in Fincher's wheelhouse, and I can't wait to see the result.

Well, considering it did get the highest aggregate critical rating of any film since the Godfather, it's kind of hard to disagree with the notion that it is overrated. My guess is that the surge in ratings for some of the better films since Fall probably has something to do with the severe lack of good American films throughout the first half of 2010.

I still think Social Network is a very good film, not just an entertaining movie. I don't really understand why he is claiming that Social Network isn't as important of a film as Zodiac just because Zodiac's actual story involved murders and (arguably) incited more social change in America. I personally don't think a biopic's backstory is as important as how the film's actually made. Surely there are more sound arguments in support of Zodiac being a better film than Social Network.

Anyways, I'm excited for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, had no idea he was doing it.


Last edited by James Mills on Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Wonderful insight!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:01 am 
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swo17 wrote:
Fincher seems to have mastered the art of turning films that have no business even existing into must sees.

That's exactly how I feel. I knew about the Zodiac case so when I heard he was doing a movie about it, I saw no potential in it being interesting. How so so wrong I was (I think it's his best too). I've yet to see The Social Network, but felt the same way until I read the good reviews for it. I'm not expecting it to live up to the hype once I see it, but it will be with a more open mind than I had when I heard he was doing a "Facebook movie".

Now I'm even interested in this because I felt the ending of the original movie (which I quite liked) had too many endings, and led into a jumbled sequel (which I never even finished).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:03 am 
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It's a very entertaining movie, you'll enjoy it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:05 am 
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Fincher's delineation of "film" from "movie" is indeed pretty silly:
W article wrote:
Fincher divides his work between “movies” and “films”—by his definition, a movie is overtly commercial, engineered for the sole pleasure of the audience. A film is conceived for the public and filmmakers: It is more audacious, more daring. By his reckoning, Fight Club and, especially, Zodiac (neither of which were box office successes) are films, while The Social Network (which is a box office smash—close to $100 million in America alone) is simply a movie.

Most of his movies work well for me because they tread that line between commercial entertainments and artistic endeavors so deftly. There is some substance beneath the gloss, and thematic connections between all of his films. It is what many of us enjoy about the films of the Golden Age of Hollywood, the ability to smuggle ideas in films that aren't overtly about their ideas.

James Mills wrote:
I don't really understand why he is claiming that Social Network isn't as important of a film as Zodiac just because Zodiac's actual story involved murders and (arguably) incited more social change in America. I personally don't think a biopic's backstory is as important as how the film's actually made. Surely there are more sound arguments in support of Zodiac being a better film than Social Network.

I agree. I like Zodiac more than The Social Network, but it's just because the subject matter appeals to me more, it's a more ambitious film, and it succeeds just as well as The Social Network at reaching its ambitions. I guess Fincher is arguing that the stakes are higher in Zodiac, which is undeniable, but his claim that The Social Network is a less valuable film because, "no one died during the creation of Facebook" is confounding.

As I said before, I think Fincher usually at his best when he is not trying to make what he calls "films." He's talented enough and smart enough that whatever he is trying to convey will come across without him self-consciously striving for profundity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:06 am 
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I avoided the Swedish version of this (and the book) because I'm pretty uncomfortable with the rape-as-entertainment kind of narrative- it sounds like you aren't supposed to enjoy the actual rape, but the overall work is supposed to be action oriented, not very thoughtful fun? That seems kind of repellent to me, but I'm sure the actual way its handled would have a lot of impact on that criticism- can anyone who's read the book (or seen the movie) give me some insight into that?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:09 am 
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Quote:
No one died during the creation of Facebook.

I actually tend to think that we all died a little when Facebook was created.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:11 am 
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swo17 wrote:
Quote:
No one died during the creation of Facebook.

I actually tend to think that we all died a little when Facebook was created.

Le petit mort amirite


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:25 am 
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matrixschmatrix wrote:
I avoided the Swedish version of this (and the book) because I'm pretty uncomfortable with the rape-as-entertainment kind of narrative- it sounds like you aren't supposed to enjoy the actual rape, but the overall work is supposed to be action oriented, not very thoughtful fun? That seems kind of repellent to me, but I'm sure the actual way its handled would have a lot of impact on that criticism- can anyone who's read the book (or seen the movie) give me some insight into that?

I get where you're coming from and was uncomfortable with those scenes. In the movie (like a good cinephile, didn't read the book) it's not titillating at all. There is one love scene later on that is a bit more in that direction, but because it's the two main characters you expect that. I would not be surprised if that scene is not in this new version, given that the Blomkvist character is described in the W article as less promiscuous.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:58 am 
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If I'm reading it right, according to this interview with Stellan Skarsgård, it's being shot with the RED camera.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:10 pm 

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are they changing the setting to America?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 pm 
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No, just the same as before but with Swedes speaking English.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Which is not uncommon, actually


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:04 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
No, just the same as before but with Swedes speaking English.

And British and American actors speaking English with phony Swedish accents!
Image
Bork! Bork! Bork!


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