[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher. These articles contain spoilers.]
Listening to the commentary tracks for Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, and Panic Room, you can hear in Fincher’s voice a slight bit of annoyance and frustration. It’s not quite bitterness, but there’s an acerbic quality from a man who’s exhausted and can’t help but lay out wry observations. The Panic Room track in particular conveys the sense that no one should ever make a movie because it’s a hellish experience meant only for masochists. But his commentaries pick up afterwards, and I believe that’s partly because Fincher found his true love: digital.
Digital completely changed the way Fincher made movies, and it allowed him to provide the precision to performances that he’d applied to all other aspects of his pictures. From here on, he sounds much happier, and when talking about Zodiac, it’s like a trip down memory lane as he recalls childhood memories of a serial killer who terrorized and tormented a city, and would never be caught. Zodiac is by no means a happy movie, but it’s one that feels like part of a revitalized director who found a picture that fits perfectly with his admiration for process, attention to detail, and the cynicism of how a search for “truth” can rip lives apart.