David Fincher video essay

What makes David Fincher such an acclaimed filmmaker? What is it about his style and grasp of material that makes some cinephiles go nuts and sing his praises? A new video may have just discovered Fincher’s secret: he hijacks your eyes with the use of camera movement. Watch the David Fincher video essay below.

David Fincher seems to be everywhere lately, thanks to his new Netflix series Mindhunter. Fincher helmed four of the 10 episodes of the new Netflix series, and even the episodes he doesn’t direct still very much have the feel and style of a David Fincher film. At times it almost feels like Fincher turned his film Zodiac into a TV show. So just what is the secret of that Fincher-esque style? Can you even quantify and dissect such a thing? Apparently you can, as that’s exactly what Evan Puschak has done with a new video essay titled How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes.

How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes

Puschak’s supremely well-edited video reveals that the secret ingredient to Fincher’s memorable style is movement. Specifically, the way in which he times the camera movement to coincide with the moment of the characters on screen. With tilts, pans and tracks, Fincher is able to move in lock-step with his actors, an effect which better helps put the viewer into their mindset. These shots lock you into the behavior of the characters. As the video here points out, the matching of camera movement to actor movement isn’t just close, it’s perfect, meaning Fincher and the directors of photography he works with time this out in every movie exactly.

This is an overall excellent video essay, particularly because it does a fantastic job of pointing out elements there were hidden in plain sight all along. You may have noticed these camera movements, but there’s a good chance you didn’t really notice what they were doing. This is the type of video that explains why Fincher’s contemporary filmmakers tweet stuff like this:

Meet The Real Ed Kemper From Mindhunter

One of the most memorable characters from the Fincher-directed Mindhunter is hulking yet well-spoken serial killer Edmund Kemper, played magnificently by Cameron Britton. Kemper, like most of the serial killers featured on the show, is a real person. He’s still alive, too, imprisoned in  the California Medical Facility. Brian Tallerico at Vulture has a piece up today that delves into Kemper’s history and crimes. It also features two video interviews with the real Kemper. Besides being chilling in their content – just like on the show, Kemper talks in a calm, nonchalant manner about his horrible crimes – these videos also illustrate just how spot-on Britton’s performance was as “Big Ed.” Watch one of the videos below.

Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle

In Mindhunter, Kemper is asked by FBI Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) what fate he deserves as a serial killer. Kemper says that psychotherapy would be useless, as he tried it when it was younger and it “didn’t take.” Kemper’s helpful suggestion is a lobotomy, which he equates to the lobotomy given to actress Frances Farmer. “I loved Frances Farmer. She was an actress. They lobotomized her in the ’50s. She was very smart and intense, very misunderstood — she was a lot like me,” Kemper says.

That name may be familiar to Nirvana fans who’ve heard the song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle,” but if you wanted more info on Farmer’s unfortunate lobotomy, Andrea Reiher at Popsugar has an in-depth piece that delves into Farmer’s sad story. Reiher writes:

In 1943, Farmer was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic, and she was in and out of different mental hospitals until 1945, when she was committed to Western State Hospital for the next five years. In an autobiography published posthumously after Farmer died from cancer in 1970, the actress claimed she was abused throughout her stay in the hospital. Later, author William Arnold published Shadowland, a book that alleged Farmer also received a lobotomy during her institutionalization.

This is just one more piece in the ever-growing puzzle that is Mindhunter, a show that appears to be growing more and more popular with every passing day.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: