Rene Rodriguez at The Miami Herald got Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher to respond to the brouhaha over New Yorker critic David Denby’s brazen flouting of the review embargo Sony had in place for the film. (More on that here.) A few things from Fincher’s comments jump out:
If it were up to me, I wouldn’t show movies to anybody before they were released. I wouldn’t give clips to talk shows. I would do one trailer and three television spots and let the chips fall where they may. That’s how far in the other direction I am… My whole thing is “If people want to come, they’ll come.” But they should be completely virgin. I’m not of the mind to tell anybody anything about the movie they are going to see.
If Fincher truly feels this way, then why is he making a movie based on a bestselling book that’s already been turned into a hugely popular film? Huge swathes of his audience will only be seeing this film precisely because they already know almost everything about it.
And then there’s this:
Nothing against film criticism. I think film critics are really valuable. But the most valuable film critics are usually those people who come see a movie with their Blackberry and then text their friends “It sucked.” or “It’s awesome. You should see it.” You know what I mean?
I’m disappointed to hear a filmmaker say this. Fincher isn’t a hack. His movies are layered and complicated and need the kind of unpacking that critics do. And he think those sorts of critics aren’t the most valuable kind?