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Official Direct Thread: Gone Girl
Consider this your official thread for David Fincher's
What are your favorite moments, fan theories, characters, camera moves and themes? What's your take on Fincher's take? Join us!
I think "Gone Girl" is fascinating, especially in the way it recontextualizes the characters so many times, constantly shifting your opinion of them. It's super cynical about everything (the media and social media, men, women, government agencies, etc.) It's like a culmination of so many different themes the Fincher has explored in the past, but it's all in one film here.
I know this podcast is about Fincher, but this is one film, where I think Gillian Flynn, the author deserves to be as much apart of the conversation as Fincher since she not only wrote the novel that it is based on, but the screenplay as well. Apologies for turning this into an epic post, but since Amy as a character will most likely be a big topic of discussion, I found a couple of really great (long) quotes from Gillian Flynn that may add some context to the character.
The first quote is a response to people asking if the character is anti-feminist:
"To me, that puts a very, very small window on what feminism is," she responds. "Is it really only girl power, and you-go-girl, and empower yourself, and be the best you can be? For me, it's also the ability to have women who are bad characters … the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing. In literature, they can be dismissably bad – trampy, vampy, bitchy types – but there's still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad and selfish ... I don't write psycho bitches. The psycho bitch is just crazy – she has no motive, and so she's a dismissible person because of her psycho-bitchiness."
The next quote is about lacking violent female models while she was growing up:
"My point is not that I was an odd kid (although looking at this on paper now, I worry). Or that I was a bad kid (here’s where I tell you — for the sake of my loving parents — that I had enjoyed happy wonder years back in good old Kansas City). But these childhood rites of passage — the rough-housing, the precocious sexuality, the first bloom of power plays — really don’t make it into the oral history of most women. Men speak fondly of those strange bursts of childhood aggression, their disastrous immature sexuality. They have a vocabulary for sex and violence that women just don’t. Even as adults. I don’t recall any women talking with real pleasure about masturbating or orgasms until Sex and the City offered its clever, cutie-pie spin, presenting the phrases to us in a pre-approved package with a polka-dot bow. And we still don’t discuss our own violence. We devour the news about Susan Smith or Andrea Yates — women who drowned their children — but we demand these stories be rendered palatable. We want somber asides on postpartum depression or a story about the Man Who Made Her Do It. But there’s an ignored resonance. I think women like to read about murderous mothers and lost little girls because it’s our only mainstream outlet to even begin discussing female violence on a personal level. Female violence is a specific brand of ferocity. It’s invasive. A girlfight is all teeth and hair, spit and nails — a much more fearsome thing to watch than two dudes clobbering each other. And the mental violence is positively gory. Women entwine. Some of the most disturbing, sick relationships I’ve witnessed are between long-time friends, and especially mothers and daughters. Innuendo, backspin, false encouragement, punishing withdrawal, sexual jealousy, garden-variety jealousy — watching women go to work on each other is a horrific bit of pageantry that can stretch on for years.
Libraries are filled with stories on generations of brutal men, trapped in a cycle of aggression. I wanted to write about the violence of women."
I pulled these quotes from a much larger essay about "Gone Girl". It's by Film Crit Hulk over at Birth.Movies.Death and it's written in all-caps, so it may be tough to read at first. It's also super long, but I think it's a really interesting read.
Also, there were a couple of little details that I found interesting that I just wanted to highlight. One being that when we first hear Amy's voice, we see her writing a journal using a pink-feathered pen, really playing into stereotypes and expectations of what kind of woman she is. And then the first time the film really shifts our perspective of her we see her throwing that pen out of a moving car, completely shedding that image we had of her. I thought that was a cool visual touch.
I also love the book-ending with the same shots and voice over, again with a completely new context.
Lastly, this was my first time watching this since seeing "The Leftovers" and was surprised to see Carrie Coon show up. I also love Kim Dickens as the lead police officer. She is always great in everything she does.