David Fincher is, let’s say, a somewhat special director. There’s no doubt he’s one of the best filmmakers of recent times, and his command of the camera is endlessly imitated by hundreds of contemporary filmmakers. However, his opinions aren’t always as spot-on as his movies, and he doesn’t hold back when diving into controversies, much like Ridley Scott.
But what many didn’t expect is for David Fincher to attack something that seems sacred to all directors worldwide: movie theaters. Despite many filmmakers directing for platforms or television, most have always agreed that going to the movies is like a ritual that should never be broken. But this isn’t Fincher’s stance, and he’s made it clear in a recent interview.
Netflix versus Cinema
In the midst of promoting “The Killer,” the Netflix original film starring Michael Fassbender, Fincher was asked about his opinion on going to the cinema. His response caught the interviewer by surprise:
“We won’t save cinema as a culture by restricting home distribution systems. For that, cinema would have to become a cutting-edge place, not this damp, stinky, greasy place that it still is, with very few exceptions, skimping on all necessary expenses. I loved some cinemas, like Grauman’s Chinese Theater or the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles, but the technical conditions were deplorable. We must leave behind all this nostalgia to finally ask the right question: Who today offers an optimal representation?”
Furthermore, Fincher has made it very clear that he sees Netflix not only as the future of cinema but also as a place that respects its filmmakers and gives them enough freedom to work as they please:
“Let’s be honest. I’ve worked for most of the major film studios. When you tell them, ‘I have to do these special effects in 4K,’ their first response is, ‘Wow, why make it so expensive?’ They resist any additional expense. Netflix has never objected to this kind of choice. They adopted an industry standard that made sense for filmmakers. Netflix has by far the best quality control in all of Hollywood.”