‘Gone Girl’ and the Inverted American Dream

Sheryl Oh
July 5, 2017
Film School Rejects

“What’s the point of being together if you’re not the happiest?”

TO CELEBRATE AMERICA, WE’RE TAKING THIS ENTIRE WEEK TO LOOK AT HOW CINEMA HAS EXPLORED THE AMERICAN DREAM. FOR MORE, CLICK HERE.

Gone Girl is a fascinating case study of the American Dream, and most of that stems from Amy Elliott Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike). I don’t quite know how to describe her or even label her – is she an antihero or is she an outright villain? I suppose that depends on whose side you’re on – Amy’s or her husband, Nick’s (Ben Affleck). And even then, the pendulum of opinion can swing constantly.

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The Plot Twist Checklist

Ciara Wardlow
August 8, 2017
Film School Rejects

A toolbox for the construction of plot twists, not an instruction manual (nobody reads those anyway).

A great plot twist is the stuff movie legends are made of. It’s what separates the good from the mind-blowingly great; the fertile ground from which many a movie meme and some of the most iconic lines in all of film history have sprouted (“No, I am your father,” “What’s in the box?!”, Bruce Willis is a ghost, etc.). As a good plot twist thrives on innovation and doing the unexpected, it is impossible to put together a genuine “how-to” guide for the crafting of plot twists. Instead, included below is a curated collection of some of the tools most frequently used in the construction of the best cinematic twists and turns. Maybe some of you might want to use these to craft some of your own twisting narratives, but even if not, as with any art, identifying and understanding the tools being used only enables a deeper appreciation of the finished product.

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Cross-Examining David Fincher’s Interrogations

Sheryl Oh
August 8, 2017
Film School Rejects

Allegiances are never simple in a Fincher film.

David Fincher makes some seriously memorable films. That’s like saying water is wet, but his movies are impeccably crafted without seeming ostentatious or painfully clinical. Arguably, the best part about his films is the talking. You won’t find a film of his where character dynamics aren’t laid bare in the form of a lengthy conversation. Literally putting words on screen has been a landmark of his since the beginning of his film career.

Notably, many of Fincher’s movies crescendo to significant arguments and interrogations, and it is never just run-of-the-mill grilling. He has the ability to make talking – for want of a better term – interesting. Part of what makes his interrogations so enveloping and immersive is the insistent, intimate focus on the subjects at hand. Characters are thrust into settings but also command them in cinematically satisfying ways:

Fincher gives us just enough of any given setting, and the details are always overshadowed by the manner in which the characters move and interact within them. (Jones, 44)

Fincher has a new Netflix series coming out in a couple of months; one which will undoubtedly feature some of his signature wordy conversations. While awaiting the release of Mindhunter, we examine what it takes for him to put together the perfect interrogation scene.

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The Average Shot Length of David Fincher Films

By 
07 Aug 2017
VashiVisuals

Analyzing the average shot length (ASL) of films / TV / music videos can be very telling or completely irrelevant. Taken as its own metric…it is just a number. The supposition that action / thriller / sci-fi films genres have a shorter ASL is statistically accurate but that does not mean a longer ASL means less tension, action, drama or intensity.

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Here’s Every Single One of the 2,400 Shots in ‘Gone Girl’ and Other Fincher Movies

Liz Nord
August 9, 2017
No Film School

Thanks to film editor Vashi Nedomansky, you can take a bird’s eye view of some popular David Fincher films and analyzing every single shot used.

Scott Frank: Screenwriters’ Lecture

BAFTA Guru
Published on Jul 2, 2013
YouTube

In this lecture, Scott Frank illustrates the importance of opening scenes, the challenges his craft encompasses and how, ultimately, “it’s all about the words”.

For more on screenwriting, head over to BAFTA Guru. Screenwriting.

 

Scott Frank. Screenwriters’ Lecture

Event recorded on 01 October 2012
BAFTA Guru

Audio and transcript of the full lecture (1:14:36)

“There was a few months when David Fincher was going to direct my script for a movie called The Lookout. It was, as it was with Steven Soderbergh on Out of Sight, a very productive few months. Again, on that movie, I also had a wealth of talented producers, who helped me for years on the script. But those few months with Fincher made me see the script as a movie, not just a story. He didn’t end up directing the film, but when I directed it myself, I shot the script that I wrote for Fincher”

2007 The Lookout
The Lookout (Scott Frank, 2007)

Tim Miller Talks Leaving Deadpool 2, The Goon Movie, & Goes Comic Book Shopping

ColliderVideos
Published on Jul 26, 2017
YouTube

Watch: Tim Miller Talks ‘The Goon’ Movie, Leaving ‘Deadpool 2’, and Goes Comic Book Shopping

By Adam Chitwood
July 26, 2017
Collider

In a new episode of Comic Book Shopping, we’re joined by Deadpool director and Blur Studios co-founder Tim Miller to talk comics, his career, leaving Deadpool 2, an encouraging update on The Goon movie, and his next project. If you like comics and celebrity interviews, this is your show. Each week we’re joined by a new guest, who hits up a local comic book shop with host Jon Schnepp and peruses the wares while also discussing their career, upcoming projects, and of course their favorite comic books.

In this week’s episode, Schnepp and Tim Miller venture to Miller’s local shop Comic Bug in Culver City, where they discuss how Miller got his career started, how he founded the visual effects, animation, and design company Blur Studios, and his early work creating unforgettable cut scenes for video games like DC Universe Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Miller also reveals how he landed the job of directing Deadpool, the long road to finally getting the movie made, and briefly touches on his exit from Deadpool 2.

During the conversation, Miller also gives a tantalizing update on The Goon movie that he’s been developing for years, saying there’s going to be an announcement soon and teasing their take on the movie (hint: it’s Goodfellas meets Army of Darkness). Miller also says he hopes to be shooting a new “big movie” next year, which may or may not be a new Terminator film.

Check out the full conversation in the video above, where Miller’s love for comics shines bright as he explains how he gets a pull list from Comic Bug each week. If you missed our previous episodes, check out the link: Comic Book Shopping (YouTube)