For this research paper, I have chosen to do my research paper on the director David Fincher. David Fincher was born on August 28, 1962, in Denver, Colorado. “Known for his image-driven and often dark films, Fincher is one of the most innovative and meticulous directors working today” (Biography.com). David Fincher started creating movies at the age of eight using an 8mm camera. “He developed a love for film at an early age and started making movies after getting a Super 8 camera for his 8th birthday. His father was a writer and his mother was a mental health nurse” (Biography.com). He went on to take up his first job as an assistant for director John Korty, his job consisted of loading cameras. working close by John Korty he got a glimpse and firsthand experience of seeing films being produced. In the year 1983, he joined and started working for the company known as the Industrial Light & Magic. At ILM he got the opportunities to work for productions like ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’, ‘Twice Upon a Time’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’. He would leave the company in 1984 to go direct a huge budget music videos for artists like Madonna, Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson. That same year he also went on to direct a small commercial for the American Cancer Society his work was highly appreciated for everyone that he worked with. The first feature film that David Fincher directed was Alien 3. This is where the franchise begins for David Fincher it subsides into mediocrity. His first film as a director didn’t go as planned the production company didn’t allow him to have full creative control and after the film was completed it didn’t come out the way that he envisioned or wanted it.
In the film Seven Two homicide detectives, Somerset(Freeman) and Mills(Pitt) both detectives are set up to the task to go catch a grisly serial killer who based his killings on the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and envy. In this film, John Doe is presumably one of the most obscure and cruel villains of all time. In the first scene, we get to see the viciousness of him, “An obese man forced to eat until his stomach explodes” is how the murder has been described. John Doe’s perception and his desire in his original plan may be what makes him evil, but what executes him as a great villain is a care and meticulousness with which he conducts the killings. He cuts off his fingertips off so that he won’t leave fingerprints. How twisted is it to deliver that kind of pain on yourself instead of wearing gloves? For one of his victims, he visits him every day, caring for his bedsores just enough to make sure he doesn’t die from infection and actually feel the pain of sloth indefinitely, which just shows how patient and meticulous he is in his work. Similar themes of pressure and obsession can be found in Seven, Zodiac, and The Social Network
“”The themes of pressure and obsession differ slightly in all three films, however, there is an overriding sense in each film that the workplace and environment has a pressurizing effect on the characters.”” (Zelig). After the release of Seven, he has received a lot of feedback, he learned a lot about how his viewers and about how you can disclose specific information to the public in order for them to come to certain conclusions.
Fincher then decided to put the data that he collected to the test and play with the audience’s conception by pulling multiple twists in the final moments of his next film, The Game. The fundamental premise of The Game is that the main character wants to make his life more interesting by entering the game but he does not know what the game really is. For the span of the film, the main character strives to go find out what is going on and to go find out whether or not the game is for his pleasure or if he was a victim in a crime. Through the development of these situations, the audience is also trying to resolve the puzzle based on the evidence and circumstances of the film, but after the film offers ample evidence to promote one idea and then flips for the fourth time the audience loses interest by the films final twist during the climax. The reason that Fincher lost authority over his audience towards the end of the film even though he made certain to incorporate evidence that would lead them down specific strings of thoughts is because by the secondary twist the audience’s guard was up and they were expecting for a twist at the ending, hence, allowing any of the ends result in the film to not come as a surprise. Nonetheless, after learning from this mistake Fincher recovers himself by combing the things that he learned in his past film and incorporate it into his next film while also playing his viewers like a violin.
The Fight Club creates an underground world of people fighting with one another so they can find the purpose of their lives. Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the main characters who start in the film. They create a collection of rules in which everyone must comprehend by. The fight club exists because individuals become weighted down by ownership making them miss the profound essence of life. A lot of the people in the fight club operate duty jobs or lower level administration jobs that are absurd. “””It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”” (Lambie).
Society becomes so rationalized that one must push himself to the extreme in order to feel anything or accomplish anything. The more you fight in the fight club the tougher and stronger you become. “ Fight Club evolves into a second organization – Project Mayhem – which seeks to tear down civilization through increasingly destructive acts of highly-publicized violence” (Wiker).
Fight Club regularly presents the battle for the narrative voice, even if it is not apparent until after the narrator’s confession that he and Tyler are really the same person. The structure of the narrative in the film helps to emphasize the fact that the identity of the narrator is not normal and has a split personality. However, it only becomes clear to us that that’s what is going on at the end of the story, meaning that the structure has worked well. Fincher is well known for taking multiple takes of each scene. For example, during the opening sequence in The Social Network, Fincher took 99 takes of the scene.
Some of David Fincher’s style include Silhouettes, single frame insert, fluid tracking camera, stationary shots, low key lighting, green and blue tinting, wide angle and low angle shots and much more. some examples of these are using silhouettes to portray relationships between characters. Single frame shots using Images that flashes on the screen briefly it is also used to help hint at relationships between people. Low lighting. The green or blue color temperature to create a tint throughout the entire film it is also used to portray how he views the world: dark and gloomy, it creates a connection from the film to the real world. Fluid tracking motion used to show information happening all at once In Fight Club, Fincher employs a tracking shot when the camera pans down from an office to Tyler Durden when he is looking out the window down to a parking garage through a van and then through another building.
Stationary shots unfocused background with the character walking into focus. Using a Single Frame Insert to send a subliminal message. “”David Fincher incorporates darkness, psychological themes, and violence into his films, separating them from other films of the Neo-noir genre”” (Hurst).
Fincher looks to have a very dark style when it comes to the visual aspect of his films, therefore this seems to come across in the way the narrative of his films too. Fincher seems to be a director that frequently concentrates on creating a deliberate narrative construction and even though Fight Club was an existing story written by Chuck Palahniuk, Fincher makes it clear that he understands the intentions of the author. From his style of film making the audience is able to recognize the feeling and thoughts of the characters. David Fincher also likes to mix the morals of characters in his films. he is well known as an Auteur for his work in films.
The use of darkness to conceal characters and facial traits is usually employed to hide the identity of the antagonist or to hide the face so that the viewer converges on the action at hand. This is represented very well in Seven, where the identity of the killer is kept a secret until the end of the film, despite his being on camera several times until then. Anytime the figure emerges, his face is either hidden in shadow, or he is silhouetted in such a way as to distort his face.
Darkness and Silhouettes are used to disguise figures and faces throughout Fight Club. By hiding the eyes and faces of characters in the movie, the audience concentrates more on the action at hand, and less on the expressions of the individuals involved in the scenes.
In order to make the three intruders more ominous, they are originally presented as silhouettes, and throughout the film, their eyes and faces are obscured during scenes of action. When the burglar played by Dwight Yoakam is attacking Jodie Foster’s character, his eyes are obscured by shadow, and when it is not his eyes are obscured by shadow. The use of shadows works very well with Fincher particular type of liquid camera work.
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