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Born in 1962, David Fincher began his directing career in the 1980s with music videos and commercials, before graduating to feature-length narratives with Alien 3 in 1992. The spec commercial that first brought him attention was his 1984 “Smoking Fetus” spot for the American Cancer Society. Some of his music videos included the following: “An Englishman in New York,” for Sting; “Straight Up,” for Paula Abdul; and “Vogue,” for Madonna. As James Swallow recounts in his 2003 book Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher, the director’s transition to feature-length filmmaking was not an easy one, as the Alien 3 production was a deeply troubled one. Still, Fincher (and the movie, despite less-than-stellar reviews) survived, and in 1995 he released the masterfully chilling thriller Se7en, made with a supreme panache that forever banished the ghosts of aliens past. Since then, Fincher has made 8 more features: The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and – opening this Friday, October 3, 2014 – Gone Girl. He has also continued to direct music videos – such as Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (featuring Jay-Z) – commercials (some of which he has produced, rather than directed, such as BMW’s “The Hire” series) – as well as direct (the first two episodes) and produce Netflix’s series “House of Cards.” Though only 52 years old, Fincher has left an indelible mark on the world of the moving image as a master stylist and storyteller, both.
Join us on Midday with Dan Rodricks (WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore’s NPR News Station) during the second hour, 1-2pm, on Friday, October 3, as Linda DeLibero – Director, Film and Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University – and Christopher Llewellyn Reed – Chair of Film/Video at Stevenson University – celebrate the life and work of this great filmmaker on the day his newest film is released.
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