David Fincher is a master craftsman. This is known.
By all accounts an obsessive perfectionist in the Kubrick mould, Fincher’s cold, clinical precision; distinctive colour palette; and powerful visceral thrills have made him one of the standout modern American auteurs.
Last year’s Gone Girl was a Fincher offering which, while I would personally not class amongst his absolute best, still stands up as a fantastic bit of moviemaking.
(Since you ask: Zodiac, The Social Network, and Fight Club are the three to beat.)
It stands up because it’s twisty, malevolent, and — a word that might as well be the director’s middle name — meticulous. With very few exceptions (sorrynotsorry, Benjamin Button), I make it my mission to get to the cinema whenever there is a new Fincher out, as all those layers and techniques of his can only really be fully imbibed from a big screen.
After my first viewing of Gone Girl — and specifically after the physical effects of the cinematic rollercoaster had faded — I started to reflect on a technique I had only vaguely consciously registered, and in fact thought perhaps I’d just imagined: a generous, and very effective use of doubling. Locations, shots, dialogue. All seemed to be replicated again and again, creating a necessary and palpable sense of unease and disorientation; but I couldn’t be sure, and I never got around to going back for a second helping to confirm or refute this.
Until now! Thanks, Vimeo!
Fincher, you devious devil, you!