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Oscar Watch: Fincher Promotes Social Network DVD/Blu-Ray

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 4, 2011 at 2:10AM

A tried-and-true tool for Oscar-promoting a film that opened earlier in the year is the DVD release. Last month, Warners threw a DVD fete for Chris Nolan's July movie Inception. And director David Fincher is out and about supporting September opener The Social Network DVD/Blu-Ray, including interviews with Hitfix and Collider as well as a planned P.A. at an L.A. DVD/Oscar party this Thursday.
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Thompson on Hollywood

A tried-and-true tool for Oscar-promoting a film that opened earlier in the year is the DVD release. Last month, Warners threw a DVD fete for Chris Nolan's July movie Inception. And director David Fincher is out and about supporting September opener The Social Network DVD/Blu-Ray, including interviews with Hitfix and Collider as well as a planned P.A. at an L.A. DVD/Oscar party this Thursday.

Assorted Fincher quotes on Zuckerberg's likability in The Social Network, the outer space movie Rendezvous with Rama and his penchant for multiple takes are below.

Thompson on Hollywood

Collider:

“I want stuff to play as wide as possible. I want to be able to see… if I could play the whole thing in a master and it could be compelling enough, that’d be great. Then it simplifies my day, it simplifies life for the actors when you could just focus on that. But by the same token I don’t want to be forced into coverage. So I want it to be as good from every angle and I need to get as many of the kind of shadings that I want from every angle. So, 40 takes is… again, there is so much hyperbole when it comes to this and I think we probably average a little over 20, 23, 24 takes, on average, per shot.”
“Rendezvous With Rama is a great story that has an amazing role for Morgan Freeman who is an amazing actor and would be amazing in this thing. The question was can we get a script that’s worthy of Morgan and can we get a script that is worthy of Arthur Clark and can we do all of that in an envelope that will allow the movie to take the kinds of chances that it wants to take. ‘Cuz we want to make a movie where kids go out of the theatre and instead of buying an action figure they buy a telescope. That was the hope. The hope is, let’s get people interested in the fucking movie. So there have been people that have been interested in this idea and we have never been able to get a script.”

Here's a slice of Drew McWeeny's interview:

I responded that "The Social Network" is a film about how things look from several angles and how elusive truth can be when you're talking about people and personality. "Besides," I said, "does showing something in a film automatically mean you’re endorsing it or in any way glamorizing it? Is it simply possible to show something? I mean it goes into that idea that all film characters have to be likeable or that your lead always has to be a guy you like."

Fincher leaned forward at this point, and you can tell when he's engaged by a question. He digs into it. In this case, I obviously poked at something that was on his mind already. "That’s the perception of people who are trying simply to separate you from the money in your wallet. Yes, if what you’re doing is trying to…if I’m just trying to get you to go into a theatre and give me your money, then I’ve got to be thinking in terms of what are you going to want to see nine times out of ten? What’s the kind of stuff you like? If you don’t look at movies that way, if you don’t look at a movie as this is just supposed to separate somebody from their ten bucks and you think of it as something other than just a diversion for people on any given night of the week, then I think you’re…then you’re doing something else. And so to address people who are criticizing something on the basis that it doesn’t fit the mold of well, 'That’s not very entertaining.' People who say, 'I actually was kind of disturbed by that.' And my problem is, I’m going to say, 'I’m so happy.' You know? That’s what it was designed to do. You know, the whole notion that Mark Zuckerberg is unlikable is…I mean I don’t even dislike him on '60 Minutes'. I question whether or not he’s the guy who should be speaking on his own behalf, but I question that with a lot of people, you know? So that isn’t making him an asshole to me. I actually think he’s fantastically compelling. In the way that I think that Rupert Pupkin is fantastically compelling and Travis Bickle is fantastically compelling and Jake LaMotta is fantastically compelling."

I laughed. "Your'e naming some of my favorite characters from my favorite movies. People that I’m endlessly interested in as I watched them."

He nodded, enjoying himself at this point. "And that was the theme. I find that when somebody gives you a script like this and you read it and they say to you, as Amy did, 'We’re making this movie. We’re making this movie. And, sure, there are some caveats. It has to be made for X,Y, and Z,' but when you counter that with, 'Well, I would make this movie but don’t come crying if it’s not Russell Crowe. And know that I can’t make this movie for $20 million. It’s going to cost double that. And you better be prepared to green-light it right now because if we’re not shooting by September, I’m not making this movie.' And when you have this moment in time where somebody says, 'We want you,' and you say, 'I want to do it but I’m going to set up some hurdles for you'. And she says, 'I can jump those hurdles.' And you go, 'Okay, great.' That's when somebody comes along and says, 'Is he likable?'"

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, DVDs, Oscars, David Fincher


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.