Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Director David Fincher weighs in on the embargo debate

Are you up on the producer vs critic debate surrounding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I posted previously that Scott Rudin was seriously miffed that David Denby, with the New Yorker magazine, was going to print his review early even though he had promised to wait until December 13th. The idea of course, from the studio's point of view, is to have all the reviews come out the week prior to the film's release date of December 21. It's free publicity after all. An early review, they way they see it, dilutes their marketing. Plus it's really uncool to all the other reviewers who stuck to the rules.
Even though Rudin is considered to be a crazy control freak, it does seem below the belt for Denby to break his word. It is after all Rudin and Sony's property to control. A mountain out of a molehill perhaps; it is after all just another movie. Especially when you actually read the review in question which when all is said and done doesn't really say much. If you don't mind a couple of spoilers, check it out at The New Yorker here.
Maybe that's why Rudin was so upset because it's one of those reviews that is neither a rave or a pan, but more of a recitation of plot points. Hmmm. 

In any case, the Miami Herald asked the director, David Fincher, what he thought about it all. Here's what he said.
“Embargoes … look, 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.
That’s where [Rudin] and I get into some of our biggest fights. My whole thing is ‘If people want to come, they’ll come.’ But they should be completely virgin. I’m not of the mind to tell anybody anything about the movie they are going to see. And that kind of thought is ridiculous in this day and age. 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.”
To read the whole piece by Rene Rodriguez click here

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