There’s always that one friend who, should you be watching a movie with them, will point out some of the inaccuracies and flaws of the picture you’re watching. In a world where whole YouTube channels and web series are dedicated to pointing out what’s right and wrong in a film, it’s kind of hard to avoid such keen-eyed commentary. Whatever your thoughts on this subject may be, there’s one instance of this sort of entertainment that could make even the most jaded party take notice; because Brad Pitt and past collaborator/Mank director David Fincher totally have movie nights, and they’re just as intense as you’d think.
As it turns out, the man who brought us modern classics like Se7en, The Social Network and Zodiac is fanatical when it comes to training his honed director’s eye on any film he sees. Pitt himself confirmed it in a recent New York Times profile celebrating David Fincher’s “impossible eye.” But from the way he describes it below, the process of watching a movie with Fincher sounds like it’s the experience of a lifetime. In Brad Pitt’s words, this is what it’s like to watch a movie with David Fincher:
The funniest [expletive] I’ve ever met. He’ll be muttering the whole time: ‘That shot works. That’s a bad handoff. Why would you go to the insert of the glove there? Stabilize!’ It’s like watching a football game with Bill Belichick.
Football allegiances aside, bringing a movie you really love to a David Fincher movie night sounds like the ultimate trial by fire. The man has a definite type of film, and seeing him applying his thoughts to everything from Warner Bros’ Joker to tentpole culture at the movies on the whole is an equal opportunity for a roasting. Though it should also be noted that Fincher is able to look at his own work and poke holes in what went wrong as well, so it’s not like the man’s just out for everyone else’s blood.
However, if you’re looking for another take on watching movies with David Fincher, leave it to a fellow director to chime in. Steven Soderbergh, the director of films like the Oceans trilogy and Logan Lucky, has also had the honor of doing movie nights with Mr. Fincher. But his take is a little more intense, as his experience led to the following scenario:
David had a laser pointer out, and he was circling this one section of a wall in the upper part of the frame, saying, ‘That’s a quarter of a stop too bright.’ I had to leave the room. I had to go outside and take some deep breaths, because I thought, Oh, my God — to see like that? All the time? Everywhere? I wouldn’t be able to do it.
If you’re ever invited to a movie night with David Fincher, you now have the knowledge from both sides of the coin to determine whether you’d accept or not. While it’s undeniably tense from either description, it would be a chance to see how a living legend of filmmaking sees the world of cinema. So be sure to have enough snacks, drinks and critical oversight to go around; and certainly don’t forget to see Fincher’s latest film, Mank, which is currently in limited theatrical release. Though if you’re looking to give the film the full David Fincher Movie Night treatment, you can also see it in the safety of your own home soon, as it’ll be on Netflix starting December 4.