Often overlooked in the busy modern landscape of cinema, David Fincher is an iconic director responsible for some of America’s finest ever films including Seven, Fight Club, Gone Girl, The Social Network and many more. Nominated for three Academy Awards, Fincher is highly unfortunate never to have been recognised for his achievements in directing, having been highly influential to the world of cinema.
By working his way through different aspects of cinema rather than taking a conventional approach to the studying of his craft, Fincher has gained an invaluable level of the film industry from the ground up. “Directing ain’t about drawing a neat little picture and showing it to the cameraman,” Fincher once said. “I didn’t want to go to film school. I didn’t know what the point was. The fact is, you don’t know what directing is until the sun is setting and you’ve got to get five shots and you’re only going to get two.”
He added: “Filmmaking isn’t if you can just strap on a camera onto an actor, and Steadicam, and point it at their face, and follow them through the movie, that is not what moviemaking is, that is not what it’s about. It’s not just about getting a performance. It’s also about the psychology of the cinematic moment, and the psychology of the presentation of that, of that window.”
As well as a fantastic filmmaker, Fincher is also a purveyor of fine taste, frequently outlining his favourite films, directors and moments of cinema. Paying homage to some of cinema’s most iconic moments that have helped shape his vision, Fincher put together a handwritten selection of his favourite films, establishing his personal choice for Stanley Kubrick’s greatest project, 1964s Dr. Strangelove.
Take a look at David Fincher’s full list of favourite films below, including Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese, The Exorcist by William Friedkin and Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock.
Originally intending for the film to be a serious drama, Stanley Kubrick began to see the hilarity in Peter George’s thriller novel Red Alert, on which the film is based, particularly in the inherent idea of ‘mutually assured destruction’.
As the director stated: “My idea of doing it as a nightmare comedy came in the early weeks of working on the screenplay,” Kubrick explained. Elaborating on this comedy angle, he added: “I found that in trying to put meat on the bones and to imagine the scenes fully, one had to keep leaving out of it things which were either absurd or paradoxical, in order to keep it from being funny; and these things seemed to be close to the heart of the scenes in question”.
Imbuing his own films with sharp, intelligent humour, it is likely for this reason that David Fincher likes Dr. Strangelove so much, using the same satirical whispers in such films as The Social Network, Gone Girl and Mank.