|Genre:||Movie About Movies|
|12.09.20||Netflix||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2020|
It's a tough thing to make a new movie about an old movie and try to make the new movie look and feel about as old as the old movie that the new movie is about. Normally I'd say that particular exercise always comes off as masturbatory on the part of the filmmaker and not of particular concern to most everyone else (except the film geeks who are eager to join the circle). However, as one of those horny film geeks I usually participate anyway because I love movies and it seems like a select few filmmakers also love movies so why not revel in what it is that both the film -maker and -geek love.
Along those lines, Mank is maybe the ultimate move about movies since it's about a movie that only film geeks love. It's not even about the making of the movie (like the HBO film RKO 281) but the writing of it, and not about the star of said movie but the writer. If anything could make this enjoyable to anyone outside the circle jerk however, it might just be that distinction. Maybe they watch it not because they love Citizen Kane or like Orson Welles but because it's David Fincher's version of Trumbo or Gary Oldman's follow-up after playing Churchill. But again, how am I to know because I'm fully in the circle.
So, How was it? I thought it was pretty good! In terms of the facade I'd say it was remarkably well done. You'd never guess it was shot on a RED, edited in Premiere, and scored by Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross. All the little touches like the title cards and key lighting and cigarette burns make it feel pretty evocative. The script also seems in that style with much witty dialogue and generally following the same narrative structure as Kane. As usual, Oldman is great. It manages homage without caring more about the period than the story (which is what I was afraid of).
I was also surprised to find something in the story that spoke to what's going on today. It seems like politics were always dirty and those with the power of a following often abuse it for their own gain, both in terms of movie studios and newspapers. It's a message that both works because of Mayer / Hearst and Fox / CNN.
All in all it was fun to watch. A perfectly fine film. Selfishly, would I rather have season 3 of Mindhunter? Absolutely. But Fincher's not a robot nor a slave to my whims and... like I proved earlier this week, Zodiac still exists and I can watch it whenever I want.
Oh, and for you imaginary reader who noticed that mid-November came and went without a DVRfest, this is it right now. I delayed it for a month because of several reasons, most notably that it's my festival and I can do what I want with it. A month ago things were pretty busy but now I'm off work for the rest of the year and several big movies have become available and I have a solid 4-day line-up that I am perhaps the most excited for of any year's schedule. So it's happening now. A month late but that's 2020 for ya.
And, as seems to be DVRfest tradition, distractions have popped up all day. It's already 9pm and I've just finished my first movie. I don't think I'm making it through all 5 films but then again, I've been staying up pretty goddamn late lately so let's see how many I can churn through before I pass out.
Next up is... a sequel. Will it be 'vrrry niice' or 'my wiiife'?