Tim Miller, creator of Love Death + Robots with David Fincher, and Director of Deadpool, attended the Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival (FICCI, Colombia), and he talked about science fiction, comics, animation, Terminator: Dark Fate, actress Natalia Reyes, Heavy Metal, James Cameron, and David Fincher.
The critically acclaimed score for David Fincher‘s Mank from Academy Award™ winners Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. Featuring 90 minutes of new compositions in the style of orchestral, big band, and foxtrot music of the 1940s.
3xLP pressed on 180-gram vinyl in a deluxe hinged box set. Foil-stamped canvas spine.
Side A 1. Welcome to Victorville 2. Trapped! 3. All This Time 4. Enter Menace 5. First Dictation 6. A Fool’s Paradise 7. Once More unto The Breach 8. About Something 9. Glendale Station 10. What’s at Stake? 11. Every Thing You Do
Side B 12. Cowboys and Indians 13. Presumed Lost 14. (If Only You Could) Save Me 15. Means of Escape 16. All This Time (A White Parasol) 17. M.G.M. 18. A Respectable Bribe 19. I, Governor of California 20. A Leaden Silence 21. San Simeon Waltz 22. Time Running Out
Side C 23. Mank-Heim 24. Lend Me A Buck? 25. You Wanted to See Me? 26. In Your Arms Again 27. The Dark Night of The Soul 28. Clouds Gather 29. Way Back When 30. An Idea Takes Hold 31. Marion’s Exit 32. Absolution
Side D 33. Scenes from Election Night 34. Election Night-Mare 35. All This Time (Dance Interrupted) 36. All This Time (Victorious) 37. I’m Eve 38. A Rare Bird 39. Look at What We Did 40. Menace Returns 41. Forgive Me 42. Final Regards 43. Where Else Would I Be?
44. The Organ Grinder 45. All This Time (Not No More) 46. Costume Party 47. Dulcinea 48. Shoot-Out at The Ok Corral 49. The Organ Grinder’s Monkey 50. An Act of Purging Violence 51. All This Time (Happily Ever After) 52. A Rare Bird (Reprise)
It’s safe to say that in recent years, Netflix has struggled to generate the kind of “prestige” dramas that still routinely draw viewers and critical buzz to premium cable networks or streamers such as HBO. Few among us could hope to understand the demographics being sought by such a massive entertainment juggernaut, or decrypt the desires of the unknowable algorithm as it tries to translate social media hype and bots sharing GIFs into subscriber predictions for three quarters from now. Trying to account for every variable would take supremely gifted intuition and insight into the human condition … the exact skillset of the fictional (but reality inspired) protagonists of Mindhunter. And Netflix let Mindhunter lay fallow, so who’s going to save us now?
The drama devised by creator-writer Joe Penhall and showrunner David Fincher was the rarest kind of Netflix project—a beautifully rendered, big budget, period piece drama with near universal critical praise and audience plaudits to match. And yet, as is so often the case with these diamonds in the rough, the show simply didn’t seem to have the groundswell of support and widespread hype to match the adoration it received from its rapt viewers. At the very least, it wasn’t as widely adopted as Netflix seemingly demands every show be in order to avoid the ever-looming axe, although Mindhunter was never truly canceled with finality—instead, it was sent into “indefinite hiatus” as Fincher’s attention drifted by necessity to an array of other projects. That “hiatus” has now stretched for more than three years, and although rumblings of a Mindhunter revival always seem to be percolating, each passing month only renders a third season less likely when all is said and done.
And that truly is a shame, because Mindhunter was one of the most gripping, unnerving, brilliantly designed and powerfully acted series that Netflix has ever brought to the world of streaming. It’s also a painfully incomplete narrative, as its second season concluded with numerous major storylines dangling in space, robbed of their dramatic possibilities. Watching the series again in retrospect, it’s clear that Mindhunter had a map for where it was headed over several more seasons, but it feels very unlikely we’ll ever see the satisfying payoff of its journey into the darkest parts of the human psyche.
Some bodies are more than meet the eye, as seen in the “The Autopsy” installment of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Based on Michael Shea‘s short story of the same name, the episode sees a coroner brought in to do the autopsies of several miners who died when one of them set off an explosion with a mysterious object, only to learn of the surprising truth behind him.
F. Murray Abraham and Luke Roberts lead the cast of “The Autopsy“, which hails from The Empty Man writer-director David Prior. Primarily set in an isolated location, the episode is a chilling game of mental chess as Abraham’s Dr. Carl Winters grapples with the revelation of why the miners died, and how he may be next.
In anticipation of its premiere, Screen Rantspoke exclusively with director David Prior to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, his installment “The Autopsy,” his and del Toro’s shared love of reading, The Empty Man‘s mishandled release, and more.
[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” Episode 3, “The Autopsy.”]
A little while ago, director David Prior got an unexpected gift. A package showed up in the mail. Inside was a tiny figurine of a bearded man.
“I got it in the mail before I even knew what it was. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s nice. A little souvenir. Did Guillermo whittle this himself?’” Prior said. “I assumed it was Dr. Winters when I got it.”
Dr. Winters is the main character in “The Autopsy,” the episode of the Netflix series “Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” that Prior directed. In this version of Michael Shea’s short story, adapted with the help of screenwriter David S. Goyer, Winters is called on to help an investigation into what local police believe is a tragic mining explosion. By the time he gets a chance to examine the bodies pulled from the wreckage, Winters discovers that something about those deaths wasn’t exactly natural.
But as Prior discovered when he watched the completed episode, the small statue was of him, not his protagonist. In each of the “Cabinet of Curiosities” installments, Del Toro continues in the tradition of past anthology hosts with a short introduction. Each ends with him tipping his hat to the director of the episode audiences are about to see, with their figurine likeness front and center.
That kind of onscreen salute is far from the support that Prior’s debut feature, “The Empty Man,” got when it was released almost exactly two years before. A victim of studio merger jockeying, a theatrical distribution model in chaos, and a whole host of marketing bungles, “The Empty Man” took a groundswell of devoted fan support to gradually reach the audience it deserved.
“The Autopsy” doesn’t have quite the immense and global scope of that debut feature, but the same meticulous, precise spirit of Prior’s visual storytelling comes through. It’s a detective story of a different kind, with Winters (played by F. Murray Abraham) bringing a key emotional match to the jargon-heavy work of his profession. What this doctor finds is beyond the anatomical puzzle he expected.
And it’s another story that marries the technical craft of unsettling audiences (split fingernails! corpses in bags covered in insects!) with heady thematic ideas about what life is worth and how to spend it. From the mine explosion set piece to the insert shot of whiskey splashing into a coffee mug, everything in “The Autopsy” serves a purpose. Prior spoke with IndieWire about the process of joining a horror playground in progress and adding another impressive tale to his own collection.
Cinema is often referred to as painting with light — but it could be said that David Fincher’s movies paint with darkness. Beginning with Alien 3, and moving on through Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, Mank, and the TV series Mindhunter, the acclaimed director has made use of low-key lighting and anemic palettes to explore the darker recesses of the human mind.
Now, Fincher has taken his characteristic chiaroscuro to “Bad Travelling,” a grisly maritime adventure involving a dishonest, paranoid crew — and a giant crustacean lurking below decks. The Love, Death & Robots episode marks Fincher’s first completely computer-animated short film, as well as his first directorial contribution to the Netflix anthology series he executive produces alongside fellow director Tim Miller.
To create the nautical world of “Bad Travelling,” Fincher teamed up with Blur Studio, the animation and VFX production company founded by Miller. We spoke to Compositing Supervisor Nitant Ashok Karnik and Co-CG Supervisor Jean Baptiste Cambier about working with a living legend of modern cinema, and how V-Ray’s lighting tools helped Fincher embrace the darkness.
Sitting down with ComicBook‘s Jim Viscardi at San Diego Comic-Con 2022Deadpool Director Tim Miller discusses comic books, video games, The Goon, his abandoned Lone Wolf and Cub classic manga adaptation with David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, another abandoned X-Men comic adaptation project, Deadpool, Love, Death & Robots and its “The Art of” book.
David Fincher had produced two volumes of his Emmy Award-winning anthology series Love, Death + Robots before he decided to make his animated directing debut in the third volume. His episode, “Bad Travelling,” tells the story of a sailing vessel attacked by a giant, bloodthirsty crustacean. “My take on it skewed more towards [the reality TV series about crab fishermen] Deadliest Catch meets Alien, with a touch of motorcycle touring gear thrown in for good measure. It’s not swashbuckling at all. You get this idea that this is a rough job — it’s not something you aspire to.”
Love, Death + Robots, was a project that Academy Award-nominated Fincher (Mank, Mindhunter) and fellow executive producer Tim Miller (Deadpool) had longed to make for years. Inspired by the boundary-pushing comic magazine Heavy Metal (co-founded by acclaimed comic artist Moebius in the 70s) and motivated by a keen desire to move the needle on animated storytelling, they worked to craft a platform that could house a range of creators and styles under the same roof.
Since its 2019 debut, Love, Death + Robots has impressed an ever-growing fanbase of critics and audiences with its bold, fearless approach. “It’s not even creative freedom,” describes Oscar-winning Spanish animator Alberto Mielgo, “I would say, almost creative anarchy.” Mielgo, whose first season animated short “The Witness” earned two Emmys, returns in the third season with “Jibaro,” a meticulously crafted 3D animation chronicling a deaf knight’s deadly dance with a golden siren. “Jibaro” is the only original work featured in Volume 3.
The other eight installments are artful adaptations of sci-fi and fantasy short stories, covering a wide range of animation stylesand narratives: Emily Dean’s trippy, Moebius-inflected tale of an astronaut in peril, “The Very Pulse of The Machine;” Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s (Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3) testosterone-fueled, robo-bear action movie send-up, “Kill Team Kill;” and Fincher’s “Bad Travelling” among them. Miller’s entry “Swarm” notably brings sci-fi legend Bruce Sterling’s fiction to the screen for the very first time. Patrick Osborne’s 3D-animated short “Three Robots: Exit Strategies,” meanwhile, is the series’ first sequel, rejoining Volume 1’s “Three Robots” protagonists K-VRC, XBOT 4000, and 11-45-G as they piece together humanity’s final days on Earth.
Queue brought together creators Fincher, Miller, and Nelson (who serves as the anthology’s supervising director) with contributing directors Mielgo, Dean, and Osborne to discuss the anything-goes approach to the series and their wide-ranging inspirations.