He wakes up every morning knowing that he is amazing. Or maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he is the way I picture him: humble. But if I was him, I would wake up with a “fuck yeah” smile and a whole lot of confidence in my shoulders. I mean after all, he is David Fincher.
Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of his movies, if you find them to be too long and gratuitously violent (like my mother does), you’ve got to admit that the guy has an eye for detail; he’s always in search of a good writer and a talented costume design team. Think about it, would “Fight Club” really be that cool if Brad Pitt wasn’t wearing that snake-skin red leather jacket?
In The Social Network, he taunts us with cute boys in suits, wallows in saturated colors, and plays with power of focus. One great example of that is when the Winklevii are rowing in the Olympics and Fincher cranks the depth of field way out of reality to make them and everything else look like tiny toys in a man-made landscape. Or when Eduardo Saverin is at the bank and walks into focus catching us completely off guard.
At a full three hours, it’s true that Benjamin Button is one long movie. But in those 3 hours, we time-travel without leaving the theater, through several decades. And using the power of costume and make-up design Fincher never allows us to question or forget what time it is. From the plaid coats of the 30’s, the straight pin-striped pants of the 50’s or the Member’s Only broad shoulder jackets in the 80’s, every year shows itself through the fashions.
Fincher didn’t start out making movies. He followed the road to features, like most of his peers, by taking a detour through music videos. This wouldn’t seem like such a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that David Fincher is the man behind some of the best hard-rock music videos.
Music videos, that I personally think saved music videos.
There’s Paula Abdul in “Cold Hearted Snake” and “Straight Up” which starts with Paula in front of a white screen, wearing a heavy leather jacket, high-water black jeans, and tap shoes. And she’s just dancing for a good 20 seconds. Doing what she does best, dancing. It kind of reminds me of Beyonce’s Single ladies. Just saying…
Then there is Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” This is a film on its own terms, that makes a slight nod to the eternal Metropolis. A pale overexposed Madonna struts her stuff in an elegant lace slip and then, next thing you know, she’s rocking out like a real man in an oversized three-piece suit.
And how could I forget the best music video ever, George Michael’s Freedom. The video features the top models of that time, all lip-syncing the song. Fincher took a risk not having George in the video at all. But it caught a blaze, pun intended. It’s a dusty, pale, steamy testimony to what music videos are really about: how music slithers and slips into our every day life.
Image layout by the always amazing Phaymiss
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