It is hard to be an auteur in modern Hollywood. Ever since Michael Cimono’s HEAVEN’S GATE (1980) destroyed United Artists, studios have been reluctant to allow the sole creative control to be placed into the hands of a director. It is also hard to create a sense of thematic integrity to a body of work when the only jobs in town seem to be reviving franchises or remaking popular foreign language films.
David Fincher has managed to build a career on high-concept dramas, dark cinematography and getting great performances from A list stars, but his authorial signature are distinctive title-sequences. Sometimes they are spectacular, other times typographically ground-breaking, always adding an additional dimension to his thematic concerns. He had a background in making music videos for artists such as Madonna, George Michael, Sting and Aerosmith prior to making movies so he had a grounding of making sharp, self-contained narratives to the sound of rock music.
THE SAUL BASS AWARD
1) THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011)
I have to ‘fess up and admit that I haven’t actually seen this film as I have read the book, seen the original trilogy and still at a loss to understand what all the fuss is about. The title sequence from Fincher’s remake is extraordinary – GOLDFINGER meets Tony Kaye and Led Zeppelin. How can any film live up to the promise of this?
2) FIGHT CLUB (1999)
To be honest, it looks a bit ‘old hat’ now as it has been copied by many films since, every superhero films seems to have a DNA sequence, but this journey through the inner space of Ed Norton was stunning.
3) SE7EN (1996)
He has directed some inventive promo videos for Nine Inch Nails (check out ‘Only’ which is composed of animated executive toys) but this much imitated sequence using NIN’s Closer is a serial killer’s guide to scrap-booking.
4) PANIC ROOM
Understated when compared to some of his others but the suspended typography draws attention to the lines of the city grid and has echoes Hitchcock.
THE ALFIE BASS AWARD
5) THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008)
A clock going backwards? Looks like it came bundled with iMovie.
- Did Michael Bay ‘Borrow’ David Fincher’s Directing Style? (forbes.com)
- Looks Like Michael Bay’s Been Stealing from David Fincher (geektyrant.com)
- “Bootlegged” Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Trailer (mrmovietimes.com)
- Did Michael Bay Steal Shots From David Fincher? (slashfilm.com)
- Saul Bass and Psycho (josheck.wordpress.com)