I've mentioned David Fincher a few times before, but have never outright talked about him and his films as a whole.
Put simply, the man's a genius behind the camera, and easily my favourite director.
He's made films better than entire careers of lesser directors, he's made thousands and thousands of people demand better crafted films because of his control over a project, and most importantly: he's never won an Oscar.
Calling Fincher "One of the greatest living directors right now" is a huge cliche for sure, but that doesn't make it untrue in the slightest.
To talk about Fincher and his work is to talk about the very best cinema has to offer: he can manipulate the camera to show as much visual information as he likes, directing and misdirecting a viewer's attention to key threads in a web full of deceivers and meticulously planning and plotting a scene even down to the subtlest movements and expressions of a character.
These elements (just to name a few) make up Fincher's body of work, spanning a relatively short time, considering other director's and how long it can take for them to find their own flavour of film (Spielberg, Nolan, Villeneuve).
This speedy understanding of the medium, that is quite specific, can only be found in only a few other filmmakers, such as Stanley Kubrick or even Edgar Wright, I've found.
There are some names that come to my mind that may reach this point at some time in their future, but these last few are the ones universally recognised as being the forefathers of their respected genres and themes today (Wright- Visual Comedy, Fincher- Tense Thriller and Kubrick- Dueling Forces) which prove how well they know (and knew) the medium.
But back to just Fincher, I think it's important to expand on what I said in my micro review of Alien^3.
David wasn't instantly a genius director with a full know-how on film with his first film, far from it, but we can see even from his first feature- length film that we had something special, and from then on we saw a change and a growth; culminating in important and convention- destroying films using social commentary and dark humour to get across a new view point to a shaken audience.
All this from an overly long movie about an acid- bleeding, four legged alien killing off boring characters.
I believe it's very noticeable how much better Fincher becomes with each new project he works on. He can adapt to so many styles, themes and genres while keeping that potential of information fully tapped, and can keep expanding on or evolving his own themes and conventions. By making each new production different and familiar, the audience can be wowed and comforted, and this is the best state for being shocked in.
David now has the scene of 'two people in a room talking' down to as clever and subtle as you possibly could by this point.
Mindhunter's four Fincher flourishes are excellent examples of how perfectly he can convey invisible exposition on any character by simply letting the camera follow their movements, mimicking how they move and ultimately telling us how this person acts in this specific setting through body language.
The slow panning camera as someone walks, the veering of focus as we learn some new info and the tightly choreographed pace are all hallmarks of this refined style, coordinating an experience uniquely belonging to Fincher.