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Get David Fincher rewrite! And a director!

November 25, 2008 |  9:28 am

Fincher_curious

A surprisingly clunky Q&A session took place last night after the screening of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Three times director David Fincher was asked what theme in the film attracted him to devote five years to making "Button" — twice by the moderator and once by an audience member.

"I dunno," Fincher replied. "I made the movie because I read the script and liked it. I don't have an answer to that question." The moderator tried to help Fincher along by rephrasing the question a bit, give him another chance to sound a bit more thoughtful and articulate, but Fincher shrugged off the inquiry with a similar cavalier reply.

Later, a timid gal in the audience, awestruck by the film, told Fincher how moved she was emotionally by its epic themes of shifting time and doomed romance and asked him if they were reasons he wanted to make "Benjamin Button." "No," he said. "I just liked the script."

Fincher didn't seem to care at all about what inspired the film, not even the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald short story upon which it was based. When asked about differences between the two versions, Fincher said he doesn't know and, basically, doesn't care. He confessed that he didn't bother reading the story until two years into making the movie version and now can't remember it.

Each time Fincher gave such startling replies, he giggled and shrugged his shoulders, as if the questions were utterly ridiculous. Afterward, in the lobby, you could hear lots of attendees express shock at how poorly he came off.

Photo: Paramount

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Comments

I wouldn't take the aloof nature of David Fincher to seriously. He gave an honest answer and I suspect that the challenge of creating the script is what inspired him.

Filmmakers are very driven people and in most cases very scientific in nature. Fincher love's to create amazing imagery. He worked with optical effect's on Empire's Strike Back and is very much a VFX artist. If the script provided a solid cinematic journey then in most cases that's the most a filmmaker really needs. Past that process you must actually build the vision's in your mind and that can be a long and difficult experience. So his 'alouf-ness' is most likely due to exhaustion and the fact that the film inherently reveals why he was inspired to make it.

I agree with casual observer. I'd rather have a tactless director who makes brilliant films than an eloquent director who puts out mediocrity.

My father-in-law worked with Fincher on "Se7en." Fincher is a masterful artist, and like most of his type, he is not all that good at social interaction. Fincher likely told the truth when answering questions, and it doesn't occur to him that the audience wants more than the answers he gave. Like most artists, he prefers the art to do the talking.

This basically mirrored his earlier appearance in NYC (he did a QnA at the Apple SoHo store a couple of weeks ago). He's so laconic it comes off as condescending at times. The moderator and audience kept wanting more thoughtful (or at the very least thought-provoking) answers and most of what they got were the sort of answers you described above.


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