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.