from W magazine. sorry if this has already been posted:
“on Social Network, "I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that Social Network was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation.”
…By his reckoning, Fight Club and, especially, Zodiac (neither of which were box office successes) are films, while The Social Network (which is a box office smash—close to $100 million in America alone) is simply a movie.
“It’s a little glib to be a film,” Fincher maintained. “Let’s hope we strove to get at something interesting, but Social Network is not earth-shattering. Zodiac was about murders that changed America. After the Zodiac killings in California, the Summer of Love was over. Suddenly, there was no more weed or pussy. People were hog-tied and died. No one died during the creation of Facebook. By my estimation, the person who made out the worst in the creation of Facebook still made more than 30 million dollars. And no one was killed.”"
^^interesting what he says about Zodiac. although i have no interest in getting in a discussion about that film again anytime soon ;-)
Sorry, i meant thinks The Social Network is overrated.
I HATE the fact that i can’t edit on this damn computer.
Is Fincher just being a little modest and evasive here, and have a lot of you guys simplyi read too much into The Social Network? I think it’s interesting that he thinks Zodiac is more about important than The Social Network in terms of what it’s actually saying(and no, let’s not going over that boring Truth argument again, because he isn’t say that here), when social networking has a much greater potential to create long-term problems in society than the occasional serial killer.
Fincher is a counterpuncher.
He pretty much nailed my thoughts exactly. When I hear people say that The Social Network “brilliantly defines the generation” or is “the Great Gatsby of the 21st century” I am simply baffled, as I thought the movie almost went out of its way to avoid any outside perspective or realization of the effects FaceBook had. Which is not to say I didn’t dislike the film (though I think it is, yes, overrated).
His words speak volumes about the immaturity of some mainstream filmmakers. I agree that the social network isn’t anything special but his belief that if no one dies in a story the nothing very important is happening is sad. Do I need to list a bunch of films, novels, etc. where no one dies, where people simply interact with each other, that are monumental works of art?
I know he means well but, well, come on!
Well, there are a number of different contradictory “lessons” one could take from this depending on one’s personal feeling about either movies in general or The Social Network in particular.
One is that since the director can be viewed as the primary artistic force behind a film his take on what it’s about should be considered the correct one and anyone disagreeing would be wrong.
Conversely, one could say that since a director is merely a collaborator, and the writer and or actors may have a different feeling on the matter, the director’s take on it is merely one of many involved in the production so it shouldn’t be seen as defining but merely illuminating another aspect of the film.
One could also say that the film itself exists beyond the concepts or purposes of its creators so one needn’t refer or defer to their opinions on it since the movie can contain ideas or meaning the makers weren’t consciously aware of.
This may also point out that “style” can blind people to flaws in a film and thus give it a greater sense of import than it may actually contain due to a pleasing visual effect that encourages people who enjoy the movie to seek more profound reasons for their enjoyment than are present. Suggesting that a too intense a association with the director’s contribution to a film can be a mistake.
Or that an interview with an artist can cause as much obfuscation as enlightenment due to any number of reasons intentional or otherwise.
As far as I’m concerned, what Fincher says doesn’t change my feelings about the film, and it is just another example of why I tend not to seek out interviews with directors, or indeed any artist, regarding their own work.
Maybe im in the minority here, but I completely get the whole “defining of a generation” thing, although maybe not THE defining thing of a generation. Maybe I feel that because im part of that generation…being 20 years old.
The generation that is being discussed in The Social Network has had very little to be defined on, 9/11, at least in an American point of view (Im English…) although has left a huge impression, and all the ‘fear of terrorism’ that followed, it still came a bit early, pre-teen/teens for most of us. The internet is something that people our age can own.
I also agree with Greg X about not always wanting to hear what directors think/feel about their own films. Although it does interest me, and I believe there is always importance to what a director was aiming for, there is just as much importance to what a personal belief for. If we lived and died by what the director says the film is about, whats the point of discussing film? We would just have to ask her/him and leave it at that.
I think you read into that too literally. He’s saying how there was a major cultural shift because of the zodiac killings, while people just got rich off of Facebook (at worst). I’m inclined to agree with that to an extent considering Facebook is more of a part of social media upheaval. An important par of course, but it isn’t the catalyst and wasn’t the first.
No that interested in this what Fincher is saying, but wasn’t he being over dramatic here:Suddenly, there was no more weed or pussy.
Joks: You were right the first time, Facebook is overrated.
When’s the MUBI movie coming out, and who’s playing who?
“The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation.”
I’ve never really put much stock in notions about generational distinctiveness, and it’s weird that Fincher addressed it, because I didn’t see it in the movie; though the film’s reception sort of fostered it, I assumed that Fincher’s thinking was beyond that, because the movie is smarter than that.
it is, however, an excellent “the-way-we-live-now” piece, as good as All the President’s Men or Quiz Show, I think. It’s not so much overrated as it is misunderstood, by dint of being “the facebook movie” which everyone feels the need to weigh in on. While the film is, on one level, about people’s growing alienation from face-to-face interaction, that is only one of its minor aspects.
I think the film was more focused on the manners and mores of an educated elite, and the shift in society from status based on family and privilege, to status based on achievement and notoriety (as Fincher seemed to acknowledge, it was never really about the money). I think the Winklevoss twins’ cynical attempt to drape their contention with Zuckerberg in the trappings of the old “Harvard Codes” was the real crux of the film. That those who ostensibly will be, and in some cases have become, America’s leaders have no sense of personal integrity, ethics, and especially no sense of social responsibility, is what I think the film was focused on (and kudos to Fincher for not being moralizing about it). This is not the Harvard of The Paper Chase, which, incidentally, I think would make for an interesting double feature with The Social Network.
I think that Fincher’s a bit overwhelmed by all the awards attention the film is getting. He’s quite right that the Zodiac killings had far more of an impact on the social fabric than the power struggles of a group of Harvard kids. But those struggles represent somethign about human behvior within a given social class. There’s no need to drag out The Great Gatsby for an analogy — or anything else for that matter. it’s a very good film and speaks the current moment about aspects of human nature than have been around for eons — and aren’t vanishing anytime soon.
I too wouldn’t say Fincher is saying overrated. Merely pointing out it’s not what he set out to do that the critical community is labeling the film as.
Honestly, I never got this whole speaking for a generation thing either. The scope and focus was different for me.
“Facebook is overrated.”
Except maybe in cultures which use it as a tool to facilitate revolution to the point that goverments outlaw its use. But in the US, certainly overrated.
-I think that Fincher’s a bit overwhelmed by all the awards attention the film is getting.-
Yes, I think it’s partly that and partly that Fincher’s just skeptical of the whole process other than the actual making of the film. Immediately before the portion quoted he actually says “I hate the awards part of the moviemaking process” and later in the piece his producer Scott Rubin says of him:
“he can have 19 conversations simultaneously in his brain and he doesn’t miss anything. He’s capable of taking any point of view and dismantling it until he comes to the conclusion that, for him, makes perfect sense. I thought of David for Social Network because, fundamentally, Social Network is a portrait of an anarchist, and I think David is an anarchist. Besides being brilliant, David has the same fuck-off arrogance as Mark Zuckerberg. David is hardwired to question authority and existing structures. And he likes nothing better than to blow them up.”
So if ZODIAC is a film, and SOCIAL NETWORK isn’t a film, what is BENJAMIN BUTTON?
Better yet, what is THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO going to be?
Scott Rudin’r read-out of Fincher is exremely astute.
“Zodiac” is a film Fincher feels closer to than “The Social Network.” He showed me a pic of his elading lady for “Dragon Tattoo” on his Ipod, and seemed quite excited, so I guess we’ll have to see.
Finchewr is very much a “techie” and manyof his works qualify as “trick films.” Clearly “Benjamin Button” falls into that category, and so does “Fight Club” in many ways. The use of one actor to play the Winkelvoss twins is very much a trick, but he said it was quite practical as he was unable to cast twins who’d be able to engage in the film the way he’s hoped.
It’s interesting that Fincher judges his films exclusively on what he perceives as the historical significance of their premise.
I haven’t seen Zodiac as I had zero interest in using any of my brain power on it…however reading this and other things on mubi I had the passing thought what was the big deal about the Zodiac killer? On reading up on him for an hour last night, he seems to have been a pretty ordinary sort of killer as these things go, as in not particularly feindish, sadistic and so on, not even a rapist apparently which is unusual(must have been a disappointment to Fincher – and doesn’t seem to have generally “hog tied people” either in fact could find no reference to this) so …what is the big deal about him? Was it more the tantalizing communiques and the fact he was never caught?
I’ve seen all Fincher’s other output and think of them all as movies…except maybe Fight Club is borderline.
no more weed or pussy – lol sounds like a dick
Zodiac was a briliant film. As is The Social Network.
’It’s interesting that Fincher judges his films exclusively on what he perceives as the historical significance of their premise."
Actually, if you read the whole interview, he’s not making the distinction solely on that basis.
He’s referring to the Lake Berryessa attack:
“Hartnell tried to relax the man by talking to him, and they spoke for a few minutes about his car before the man removed some of the clothesline from his belt and ordered Shepard to hogtie her friend. Hartnell balked at the idea, and the man began to shout, “Get down! Right now!”
Shepard acquiesced, and as she did so, she took out her wallet and tossed it to the man, who ignored it. When she was finished, the hooded man tied her up and tightened the knots that she had used on Hartnell. "
ok thanks …I didn’t btw mean to sound dismissively arch or anything about Zodiac, I’m sure it is a very well made film – I just don’t find reconstructions of serial killer’s antics all that interesting and I always have this perception it is going to be ramped up and/or low in integrity in the re-relling. Maybe I should watch this one though to be a Fincher “completist”
Yeah, I didn’t want to watch Zodiak either, but I’m glad I did.
I’m sure that many of the long-timers here are fatigued with talking about this film, Megg, so I’ll just say this: although there are recreations of the attacks, they’re for the most part very matter-of-factly presented, and although it presents a hypothesis about the identity of the killer (Graysmith’s), Fincher subtlety undermines this conclusion. In short, it’s not a movie about a killer, it’s a movie about a process, about how we come to know what we know.
are fatigued with talking about this film
yeah I guessed that would be the case!
I like what you said about it anyway & Robert’s comment is encouraging, will get onto it.
Zodiac is another of Fincher’s technically competent but badly paced films that misses the emotional point of it’s subject.
Fincher aside for a second,
let’s not forget that the film rests largely on one of the best American screenplays of the last several years, and I think it would be a stretch to say that Aaron Sorkin’s script is overrated.