David Fincher Is Still Fascinated by Serial Killers

(Merrick Morton, Netflix)

The director of Seven returns to familiar material with his new Netflix series, Mindhunter.

Adam Grant
Oct 13, 2017
Esquire

The first rule of interviewing David Fincher: Don’t talk about Fight Club. He directed that movie, along with Seven, Gone Girl, Zodiac, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Social Network. He’s also an executive producer of House of Cards. One of the most meticulous creators in film and television returns to familiar territory on October 13 with Mindhunter, a Netflix drama about how the FBI first developed techniques to catch serial killers and rapists.

Read the full interview

BFI LFF: MINDHUNTER Q&A with David Fincher hosted by Nev Pierce. Complete Audio

Nev Pierce and David Fincher (BFI, Twitter)

Nev Pierce
Audio recorded by Joe Frady

Plus: MINDHUNTER Q&A with David Fincher, Jonathan Groff & Holt McCallany hosted by Kate Taylor.

2017-10-11 Matthew Doyle (Twitter) - Preview of first two episodes of MINDHUNTER at LFF plus Q&A

David Fincher, Jonathan Groff, and Holt McCallany (Matthew Doyle, Twitter)

Five Questions for: David Fincher

Interview by Ellie Walker-Arnott
October 10-16, 2017
Time Out (London)

DIRECTOR DAVID FINCHER is renowned for exploring the darker recesses of the human psyche, with brilliantly unsettling crime thrillers ‘Se7en’, ‘Zodiac’ and ‘Gone Girl’ to his name. Now he’s bringing his forensic eye to the FBI’s elite serial killer unit with a new Netflix series ‘Mindhunter’. Prepare for a trip to the dark side.

1- This isn’t the first time you’ve looked at serial killer psychology. What was it about this story that intrigued you?

‘“Mindhunter” is about a lot of things. It was a time and a place where the FBI had to begin to understand they didn’t know everything about criminality. I was taken with this idea that, in order to truly comprehend your enemy, you have to empathise with them.’

2- ‘Mindhunter’ is set post-Watergate in 1979. Do you think it also speaks to today’s political turmoil?

‘My parents lived through the Great Depression, assassinations and the Cuban missile crisis. They thought the world couldn’t get more crazy. My dad, who was a journalist, would probably be shocked at how things are now. In every generation, humanity finds a way to shock and disturb.’

3- You’ve done TV before with ‘House of Cards’. How does it compare to making feature films?

‘A motion picture is like a band’s first album. There’s a lot of time figuring out what you want to be. Television is more like a second album. “Quick! We need another album”. It’s more frenetic, but allows you time for characterisation. The audience have to invite you into their home and be willing to go places that you want to take them.’

4- You’ve spoken before about wanting to shock audiences. Is that always your intention?

‘If you’re just shocking people for the sake of it I don’t know that it becomes indelible. The most indelible moments an audience has with a film come from a subconscious place, from curiosity. People won’t go into the basement with you unless they want something.’

5- The movies that you’ve made stick with people. What films have left that kind of impression on you?

“‘The Exorcist” still troubles me. “Jaws” is incredibly evocative. I can remember the summer of ’75 because of “Jaws”.’ ■

‘Mindhunter’ is available on Netflix from Fri Oct 13.

David Fincher Knows Exactly Why We’re All So Obsessed With True Crime

Eliana Dockterman
Oct 10, 2017
Time

David Fincher has made a career of delving into abnormal minds, with Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl. But he says his newest project, Mindhunter, isn’t about psychopaths. It’s about the people who figured out how to hunt psychopaths — and that’s an important distinction.

Fincher produced and directed four episodes of the addictive new Netflix show, which starts streaming Oct. 13. The series is about the agents who interviewed the likes of Charles Manson and the Son of Sam in order to better understand the psychology of mass murderers. By doing so, they created a psychological profile for these killers that would allow the FBI to catch similar psychopaths more quickly in the future.

The show is based on the real life events chronicled in the book Mindhunter by the FBI agents who coined the term “serial killer.” But Fincher says he struggled with how deeply the show should dive into the details of these grisly murders. “I said many times as we were in the process of making the show, ‘Wait a minute, we’re making this show about serial killers. We’re not making this show for serial killers,'” the director says.

Fincher spoke to TIME about why he hates the idea of becoming the “serial killer director,” casting the cheery Glee star Jonathan Groff in a dreary role and why we’re all so obsessed with true crime stories.

Read the full interview

John Carroll Lynch on playing the president, a killer clown, and the Coen brothers’ warmest character

A.A. Dowd
9/27/2017
A.V. Club

Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about.

The actor: Over two decades of big- and small-screen work, John Carroll Lynch has become one of Hollywood’s consummate “that guy” character actors, capable of punching up the margins of whatever he’s in. Theatrically trained, the Colorado native made his first big impression as eternally supportive husband Norm Gunderson in the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning Fargo, before scoring a reoccurring role as crossdressing older brother Steve on The Drew Carey Show. Since then, he’s carved out an eclectic body of film and television supporting performances, playing his imposing stature for both paternal, Gundersonian decency (such as during a moving one-episode appearance on The Walking Dead) and for supreme, skin-crawling creepiness (like in Zodiac or The Invitation). Lynch has also worked with several major directors, from Martin Scorsese to Clint Eastwood to John Woo. Recently, he’s picked up the filmmaking bug himself; his directorial debut Lucky, starring the late Harry Dean Stanton in one of his final roles, opens in New York and Los Angeles this Friday, before expanding into further markets.

[…]

Zodiac (2007)— “Arthur Leigh Allen”

First thing’s first. Is Arthur Leigh Allen the Zodiac Killer?

JCL: No, and the reason I don’t think so is twofold. First, in performing the role, David Fincher asked me to play it as an innocent man. [Pauses.] Until the end. [Laughs.]

AVC: Until that last scene with Robert Graysmith.

JCL: And then the other thing was… and this is going to sound like a weird defense, but… Arthur Leigh Allen was a pedophile. To get to be a pedophile, to really choose to do that, consciously in your life, it’s my belief that you have to run through some really severe walls of societal norms and morals. It has to be a mania, an obsession, of such grand proportions for you to ignore the health and safety of children to do it—I don’t see how you go, “I want to sleep with children and kill people.” The only way I can think of it not being that way is if he molested children—[Aside.] this is a horrible answer—and he realized that wasn’t it. He just thought it was. But I find that hard to believe. Now, that’s a terrible defense of Arthur Leigh Allen. He wasn’t the Zodiac Killer, he wasn’t a serial killer, because he was a pedophile. But I will say that the circumstantial evidence that Graysmith presented, and that David Fincher expanded upon during the making of the movie, is pretty overwhelming.

AVC: But there have been so many suspects over the years. People have made these iron, convincing cases against several people.

JCL: Sure. That’s what the movie’s about, isn’t it? I think that movie is about the virus of obsession. And I don’t think that’s stopped. The Zodiac isn’t the first one to do that, obviously. The first one I can think of us is the guy here [in Chicago]. The Devil In The White City.

AVC: Oh, right, with the death hotel. Holmes?

JCL: Yes, H.H. Holmes. That guy may be the first recorded one. Although Jack The Ripper was before that. But it’s like the myth of vampirism. There’s just something attractive to people about these men who see themselves as above humanity. To be released from the constraints of moral society. We might be seeing that play out in other ways.

AVC: David Fincher has this reputation as an intense perfectionist, sometimes demanding 50 takes to get a scene right.

JCL: As a person who came from the theater, I love that. It doesn’t bother me at all. The fact that he wanted to do it again was perfectly fine with me. I was also aware of it, so I didn’t take it personally. I didn’t think, “I suck now” because we were on 50. I think if you get to 50 with Clint Eastwood, you’re doing something wrong. [Laughs.] But Fincher is meticulous. He’s like the other masters I’ve worked with. They understand filmmaking to a degree that I could only dream of. And they are following their passion. This is a poor analogy, but Picasso was a cubist and went through a wide variety of movements in his career. He could have drawn figures better than anyone if he wanted to. He didn’t want to. So that’s what it’s like working with David Fincher. He’s after something. And it takes him 50 takes to get it.

AVC: He knows what he wants.

JCL: He knows what he’s looking for, and he knows how to get it. I also think he likes the performances of exhausted actors. He finds something interesting about that.

Read the full interview

‘Lucky’ director John Carroll Lynch talks Harry Dean Stanton’s final role

By Jason Fraley
September 26, 2017
wtop

Podcast: 28:04 min

WASHINGTON — He’s one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history, from “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) to “Alien” (1979), from “Paris, Texas” (1984) to “Repo Man” (1984).

Now, just days after his death at age 91, Harry Dean Stanton gives his final performance in the indie dramedy “Lucky,” marking the directorial debut of actor John Carroll Lynch (“Fargo”).

[…]

Who can forget his suspect in David Fincher’s “Zodiac” (2007)? His acting chops are on display in two scenes: first as he’s called into the police station where the cops remark, “Nice watch.” They don’t seem to notice the clue right under their noses: the watch is a “Zodiac” brand.

“[Fincher] did a great job,” Lynch said. “That [acting] foursome — Elias Koteas, Anthony Edwards, Mark Ruffalo and I — had one of the best days on set that I’ve ever had.”

His final scene is just as brilliant, as Jake Gyllenhaal’s Detective Robert Graysmith enters Lynch’s hardware store, engaging in a silent staredown that suggests he’s the killer.

“Graysmith so desperately needs to know,” Lynch said. “The scene is written like the end of ‘Moby Dick’ where Ahab is tied to the whale. Melville writes, ‘The whale looks at Ahab, and Ahab looks at the whale.’ That’s how I saw it. They recognize each other in that moment.”

Read the full interview

Steven Soderbergh: ‘There’s no new oxygen in this system’

The American director discusses his long-awaited return to feature filmmaking with Logan Lucky.

Interview: Matt Thrift
Illustration: Robert Manning
Little White Lies

It’s been four years since Steven Soderbergh announced his retirement from filmmaking, slamming the door on his way out with an impassioned cri de coeur on the state of the industry at the San Francisco Film Festival. In the event, it turned out to be more of a working-vacation, what with his 2013 TV movie, Behind the Candelabra, and two seasons of The Knick released in the interim. Now he’s back on the big screen with Logan Lucky, one of his best films to date, bringing with it a new fight against the system with the film’s experimental distribution model. We sat down for a long chat with American cinema’s most restless workaholic, the original Sundance Kid.

Read the interview

Thanks to Joe Frady

Art of the Title: Angus Wall & Elastic

Art of the Title: Angus Wall

Art of the Title: Elastic

In Studio Partners:

Design: Elastic
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
VFX: a52

Still Image: Joe LaMattina

Carrie Coon on working with David Fincher

The very talented and charming Carrie Coon (don’t miss her superb performances on “The Leftovers” and the 3rd season of “Fargo) offers some insights into her experience working for the first time in a film. A David Fincher film.

 

From minute 28:28 to 33:52:

Conversations with Carrie Coon of FARGO

SAG-AFTRA Foundation
Published on May 12, 2017
YouTube

Q&A with Carrie Coon of FARGO. Moderated by Jarett Wieselman, BuzzFeed.

 

From minute 21:31 to 29:51:

Carrie Coon’s Amazing Five Years

Little Gold Men (Vanity Fair)
August 10, 2017
Overcast

Podcast: 53:57

Emmy-nominated actress Carrie Coon stops by to talk Leftovers, Fargo, and what’s next.