Official Direct Thread: Zodiac

Consider this your official thread for David Fincher's Zodiac What are your favorite moments, fan theories, characters, camera moves and themes? What's your take on Fincher's take? Join us! 


  • edited August 2016
    Seven will always get top billing when people discuss Fincher, but Zodiac is probably his best film for my money.  It's damn near perfect in terms of technique and editing.  The date/location title cards are a little cumbersome, but that's forgivable considering the story spans 15 years.

    Like Hitchcock, I think Fincher is a master at ratcheting tension in material that otherwise borders on pulp.  Like those extended sequences where the Zodiac killer drives past slow, stops, then turns back around.  I remember watching this in high school and a car drove past my house slow the same night.  I freaked out and inexplicably thought it was the Zodiac... that's how effective those scenes were for me.

    This film also sold me on Mark Ruffalo.  He's always been a recognizable face in quirky/supporting roles, but he was really great here.  I was more interested in his journey than Graysmith and when they both figured it out at the diner, it was a cathartic moment.  Nothing was solved, but the characters knew and that resonates because of all the great character work.
  • GredalBee said:

    Like Hitchcock, I think Fincher is a master at ratcheting tension in material that otherwise borders on pulp.

    I really wish I was a Hitchcock aficionado. I'm sure there's a college course in relating his influence on Fincher. I've seen the Hitchcock standards, but not enough times to take the really deep dive it deserves here. If anyone has some killer insight into that relationship in particular, share it here so we can bring it into the conversation!
  • I don't have any particular insights myself, but I remember this Slate article from when Gone Girl came out, which finds comparisons between Fincher's work and Hitchcock's. The article doesn't talk much about this film, but it goes into more detail on the parallels between Psycho and Gone Girl; Panic Room and North By Northwest, Rear Window, and Straw Dogs(Not Hitchcock); and The Game and Vertigo. 

    I also know that Fincher was one of the filmmakers featured on the documentary, Hitchcock/Truffaut as the book the documentary is based on was hugely influential on Fincher. 

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to this re-watch myself. I've seen it twice: once on the big screen and once at home. It is a great film. I found the big daytime scene with the Zodiac killer and the random couple to be quite disturbing and terrifying and that basement scene as well. Solid performances. Great attention to detail.  

    Also, if anyone's interested there is a fantastic Korean film that is based on a similar story that really happened in Korea called Memories of Murder that I would highly recommend to go along with this film. Like Zodiac it spans many years and the killer is equally mysterious. 
  • I finished re-watching last night one (fairly obvious) thing I noticed is just how restrained Fincher is in this film compared to both Panic Room and Fight Club in terms of style. It doesn't have a lot of the showy camera work and trickery of those last two films. Yet it captures your attention immediately with that opening shot looking at the neighborhood from inside the car. Fincher is definitely a master of establishing mood and character. 

    Another thing I didn't recall was just how many familiar faces there are spread throughout this movie. Of course you've got the stars, but there's a ton of recognizable actors. Even if you don't know their names, you've seen them before. Like Marge's husband from Fargo. Or Goose from Top Gun. Or the lead character from Terriers. Though I guess I wouldn't have recognized him when I first saw Zodiac as Terriers came much later. And the list goes on. Crazy amount of talent acting in this movie.

    Lastly, the fantastic basement scene played a little differently for me this time around. The first couple of times, I always found the guy so menacing and creepy, but this time I saw him as just messing with Graysmith for the fun of it. He could see just how unsettled Graysmith and I think he just played off of that for a laugh. I could be way off but that's just how it came across to me this time.
  • Wahl-eWahl-e Seattle
    edited August 2016
    Interesting: Zodiac is slotted in at No. 12 on the BBC's 100 best films of the 21st century. 

  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    We're going to be Natter Casting Zodiac this week, but before that we scored this interview with Melanie Graysmith:

  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    Finally got our Z cast out .. six months in the making. Well, we had to read both of Robert Graysmith's books. Those...those are some detailed accounts.

  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited September 2018
    Seeing this tread active just makes me sad. R.I.P. Direct

    I mean, I get it. You guys are all caught with the luxurious post-podcaster life. What with all your country clubs, yacht clubs, exotic car clubs, night clubs, and baby seal clubbing; but for the love of God, why couldn't y'all retire after knocking out John Carpenter.
    Natter Cast
  • MoonMan13MoonMan13 Northern Kentucky
    Great conversation/dialogue scenes that build up fantastic tension. The original book is interesting in it's own ways. Fincher did a fantastic job capturing the puzzle as well as the toll taken on the city and its people.
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