David Fincher responds to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo review controversy

Posted by: Brad Sturdivant

The David Denby vs. Scott Rudin battle wages on, with critics and filmmakers across the internet taking sides, but one person that hadn’t said anything was THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO director David Fincher…until now.  And even though I wrote up my feelings on the subject yesterday (read my thoughts here), I have to admit that David Fincher has some good insight into the controversy.  He echoed my sentiments that critics and filmmakers are all in this together and we have to play nice.  In terms of embargoes, he said:

I think Scott [Rudin]’s response was totally correct. It’s a hard thing for people outside our business to understand. It is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. But as silly as this may all look from the outside – privileged people bickering – I think it’s important. Film critics are part of the business of getting movies made. You swim in the same water we swim in. And there is a business to letting people know your movie is coming out. It is not a charity business. It is a business-business.

Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and David Fincher on the set of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

He goes on to talk about the state of film criticism: But by the same token, when you agree to go see something early and you give your word – as silly as that may sound in the information age and the movie business – there is a certain expectation. It’s unfortunate that the film critic business has become driven by scoops.  I guess I have some struggles with this because “scooping” is not part of film criticism, it’s an unfortunate part of the movie news business (like any news business for that matter).  There’s really not that much advantage for anyone to post their review early.

He also stated his opinion that a movie should open on opening day…period: 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. If I had my way, the New York Film Critics Circle would not have seen this movie and then we would not be in this situation. I would be opening this movie on Wednesday Dec. 21 and I would have three screenings on Tuesday Dec. 20 and that would be it.

So there you go.  You can read the rest of the interview over at The Miami Herald.

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