Friday, April 24, 2009

ZODIAC

by Tobias
> view trailer

An all-American existential psychological thriller of truly epic proportions. Like Scorsese's GOODFELLAS (1990), ZODIAC spans more than two decades and features a humongous ensemble cast of at least 20 speaking parts. Shooting on a brand new state-of-the-art HDV (that even fooled me, really thought it was 35mm), Fincher's visual style seems to be evolving into something quite more refined then what has been exhibited in much of his prior work. Narratively and thematically however, he continues to mix his brand of dark humor with drama and artistically explore many of the same recurring ideas featured in his cinema. The whole ensemble is awesome too. Serious top notch acting. Ruffalo and Downey Jr. really stick out. As always. Fincher has crafted an extremely thoughtful, patient and technically proficient work of new millennium film art with this pic. It captures the bleak atmosphere of a distinct time and a place in U.S. history but also feels strangely alien and modern. It sometimes recalls the more seminal procedural films of the 70's, like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and THE CONVERSATION, but gets so much darker and so much more removed, almost to the point where it even starts to feel like science fiction. I don't know whether to describe it as deconstructive or revisionist, but I do know it will most likely be a confusing bore to audiences more accustomed to a traditional compact narrative. But I think many will embrace Fincher's pitch black execution of the events. Like Robert Graysmith, He's obsessively fixated with the details of the true-life case and devotes so much screen time to them that he almost crafts something resembling...anti-film? Anyway, most of the dramatic hooks you'd expect to find in a serial killer pic like this are completely absent. Which is refreshing. It's a nice alternative to the TV show CSI and its cinematic spawn. Polar opposite of that type of narrative in almost every way. Through ZODIAC's entire whopping running time, I'm glued to the screen, like a moth drawn to a lamp. It's one of the most fascinating things I've seen in all of the 00s.

So yeah, David Fincher's best film.

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