How did Fight Club first come about? How did the project find its way onto your desk? I mean, the novel wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves before people heard it was going to be your next picture.
David Fincher: Josh Donen, who is one of my agents now, was a producer at the time and he told me, “I’ve got this book and you’ve got to read it.” I’ve got no time to read books, so I told him I couldn’t. And he just says, “Yeah, it’s really thin. I’ll send it over. You’ve got to read it.” So I tell him I can’t read it, and he reads me the Raymond K. Hessel scene, where Tyler puts the gun to the guy’s head and tells him, “I know who you are. I know where you live. I’m keeping your license, and I’m going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then in six months, and then in a year, and if you aren’t in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead.” [Fight Club, chapter 20] I just said, “All right, you’ve got to send it over. I have to read this.” So I read it that night and I flipped out. I was laughing so hard that I just said to myself, “I’ve got to be involved in this. If anyone should make this movie, I should at least give it my best shot.” So, I called and found out that Twentieth Century Fox had bought the rights. I didn’t have a very good time with Fox the first time [Alien 3, anyone], so I was basically going thinking, “Oh, no that’s over with.” But Josh called and told me to just go in and talk with Laura Ziskin, and tell her that I wanted to make it. So I do - I go in and talk with Laura Ziskin and I told her, “Here’s the movie I’m interested in making and I’m not interested in watering any of this shit down. I’m not interested in explaining, but I think I can make a movie that you don’t need to have read the book in order to understand what’s going on. I have no interest in making this anything other than what this book is, which is kind of a sharp stick in the eye.” She was very cool with it. We could have made it a three million dollar or five million dollar Trainspotting version, or we could do the balls-out version where planes explode and it’s just a dream and buildings explode and it’s for real - which is the version I preferred to do - and she backed it.The agreement I made with her was that I didn’t want to have to see a committee about this, because I just didn’t think a committee would be able to understand this. I said, “Laura, I’m looking you in the eye and Bill [Mechanic] I’m looking you in the eye and I’m telling you this is going to be a singular thing and it’s going to be something you’re going to be proud of, but I can’t, we can’t market test it. There’s no way we’re going to be able to ask a focus group if they like it.” They were totally cool with that. So I said, “Let’s get a writer that we both agree on and let me go away. And when I come back to you, I’m coming back with a script and it’s going to be the script I want to shoot. Instead of coming back and saying, “What do you think? Oh, yeah, I can change that.” I’m coming back with a script I’m willing to kill for. But I’m also coming back with a budget and I’m coming back with a schedule and a cast.”So I went away for about a year, and we came back. Poor Jim [Uhls] had to write something like five drafts, most of them for free. We went back to them [the studio] and we dropped this huge pile of stuff. Actually, we took them out to dinner, Art Linson and I, and we took them into a back room at a restaurant in L.A. called Chianti. They came in and we gave them something like three bibles worth of stuff - a huge package. I said, “This is the movie. 67 million dollars, here’s the cast, we have this many days of shooting, this is why, these are the stages we want at Fox. We don’t know who’s going to play Marla, but we think it’s going to be this person - give us your answer tomorrow.” They called back and said, “Okay.”
complete interview here: http://www.musicolog.com/fincher_interview2.asp#.VD9d5vRdVy8
Kanye West + Nymphomaniac (music video) *NSFW*
Late July 1953
To Budd Schulberg
I’m not insane about Brando for this. In fact, in my opinion he is quite wrong. But he’s a fine actor and if he’s really excited about it and will work like a beginner trying to get a start, he can be fine. He’s got to be hungry and anxious. The power to be that disappears with your picture on an ad. If we don’t get Brando, I’m for Paul Newman. This boy will definitely be a film star. I have absolutely no doubt. He’s just as good looking as Brando, and his masculinity, which is strong, is also more actual. He’s not as good an actor as Brando yet, and probably will never be. But he’s a darn good actor with plenty of power, plenty of insides, plenty of sex.
While at NYU, Martin Scorsese produced this short film "The Big Shave" (1967). It is a metaphor for the bloody affairs of the Vietnam War.
PT Anderson’s second short film “Cigarettes & Coffee” (1993) which bares resemblance to his first feature "Hard Eight" (1996) and introduces his interwoven-narrative style.
PT Anderson’s first short film "The Dirk Diggler Story" (1988) which he later turned into his second feature "Boogie Nights" (1997).
Quentin Tarantino’s first short film "My Best Friend’s Birthday" (1987).