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Watch: A Supercut Of Every Insert Shot In David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’

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by Ben Brock
June 16, 2014 1:02 PM
6 Comments
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We sort of can’t stress enough how great a film David Fincher’s “Zodiac” is. Fincher’s near 3-hour epic of investigation, based on a true story and rich in enthralling and frustrating dead ends and missed chances, is one of the most perfect films ever made about the actual and often futile process of finding out whodunit (and, for most of the movie, whostilldoingit). As this nice little supercut points out, one of the ways Fincher gets that across is through the art of the insert.

Much of “Zodiac” revolves around documents: the taunting letters and cyphers that the killer sends to San Francisco newspapers, fixated cartoonist-turned-investigator Robert Graysmith’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) drawings, and miniscule details of handwriting that could hold the key piece of information. Josh Forrest’s supercut shows how Fincher’s frequent use of the insert—the quick cut within a frame to some specific object, to show it to the audience in close-up without shifting perspective too much—runs throughout the movie, letting the audience get a look at the various documents vital to the plot, but also stoking the atmosphere of fixation and paranoia that runs throughout the movie, cropping tighter and tighter onto page after page of unexplained, deranged scrawlings.

This excellent supercut is another brick in the edifice of “Zodiac” and its growing reputation as a modern masterwork. [No Film School]

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6 Comments

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 16, 2014 9:19 PMReply

    I'll never forget the night I first saw the film -- a sneak preview at our college. The part where he tells the woman he's going to throw her baby out the window before he kills her, and it cuts to black -- the whole room gasped.

    After is was over, my friends and I drove to IHOP for a late-night meal. Nobody spoke in the car. Somehow my friend Julious missed the fact that they never caught the Zodiac killer. When I confirmed this, his face dropped.

    Memories...

  • Gerard Kennelly | June 16, 2014 9:02 PMReply

    what was the soundtrack during the time-lapse photography showing the Transamerica building going up ?

  • Marge | June 18, 2014 1:31 PM

    It's Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye. That song also really stuck out to me the first time I saw that scene in the theater.

  • jimmiescoffee | June 16, 2014 5:37 PMReply

    'zodiac' was my favorite movie of 07. i remember seeing it the day it came out and going back the next day to see it again. all time classic. best of decade stuff.

  • GERARD KENNELLY | June 16, 2014 9:03 PM

    i bought it on region 1 dvd

    then i bought the dir cut

  • Xian | June 16, 2014 2:06 PMReply

    Will someone please get a road-show re-release of this film for theaters going... It was done for "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" recently (past two years, to help establish this film as a modern masterpiece). "Zodiac" deserves the same arthouse theatrical re-release and Q&A type presentation.

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