Naked Lunch Radio #81 – The Curious Case of David Fincher

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Episode 81 will focus on the magical, heart-warming film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With its life-spanning story, moving back and forth, it has brought up some comparisons to the sentimental Oscar favorite Forrest Gump. Is the usually edgy director pandering to the Academy and a mainstream audience? We will discuss if we think these accusations are in any way valid. In the second half of the show we rewind the clock back a year and focus our attention on David Fincher`s mesmerizing account of the infamous, never-solved Bay Area serial killings as seen in his hit thriller Zodiac.

  1. […] Listen to our review from podcast #81 […]

  2. Simon Howell says

    I feel like I should weigh in here, though I wasn’t on this particular podcast (though I’m on virtually every other one) and have no particular opinion on Benjamin Button, having not had a chance to see it yet. That aside, you brought up presumption. You presume that our guest Derek is a) young and b) a film student, or ex-film student. Neither is true. Some of the people who work on the show have attended film school, some have not – we like to have a balance of the two. You also presume that none of us has made a film – also incorrect, though ‘d be lying, of course, if I said any of us was in David Fincher’s league just yet. (Your argument about accomplishment levels, of course, would invalidate all other film critics in history, not just us, so I don’t take it too personally.)

    That being said, I am wondering what kind of criticism of Mr. Fincher are you actually prepared to accept? “Benjamin Button,” much like the rest of Mr. Fincher’s films, is publically available to dissect and enjoy. He has released it to the grinning hordes to do what we like with it. Any film that engages in allegory (again, I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t get specific) invites a wide variety of interpretation, and I’m willing to bet that any film that shares a screenwriter with “Forrest Gump” earns a bit of scrutiny in the realm of social commentary. What else can be said? Hopefully you might find some of our other episodes more hospitable, but if enjoyment on your part requires sharing your precise opinion / interpretation of each film, you likely won’t – especially since we usually disagree within the show itself.


  3. Ricky D says

    Hi Nick,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I would just like to first say that I
    have never been to film school nor have I ever taken a film class. I
    cannot speak for my guest host Derek on the show that you heard but I
    started our college radio show to not only help me improve my English but
    use it as a tool to better understand film making.
    I am far from arrogant and anyone who knows me well can back me up on
    that. I do understand that Derek was a tad bit harsh on his review.
    However I feel when people love a film so much and they listen to a
    review, they only hear or see what they want. It is clear that you like
    the film and I think that is great but it seems you also missed the points
    I made when I commented on the brilliant cinematographer, score and acting
    on the part of Cate Blanchett. I also went on to rave about David Fincher
    and said that Zodiac was one of the ten best films of 2007.
    To say that I should not express my views and opinions on David Fincher
    just because I am not a film maker of his level is absorb and ignorant. I
    apologize if I was not lucky enough to have had his resources, schooling
    and Hollywood connections to go out and make a 100 million dollar
    production. Film makers especially in Hollywood should listen to people’s
    opinions more often especially if they are straight out of film school.
    After all they are the future of film making. Truth be told if they would,
    we would have better films coming out of Hollywood. Instead these artists
    turn a blind eye, take in their heavy paychecks and do what the studio
    heads tell them to do. It is unfortunate.
    As for your last comment, well it seems like a low blow and I won’t waste
    my time commenting on it. To be fair it was childish.
    If you feel ranting on our show is a waste of time than so be it. However
    I am always happy to read feedback be it good or bad.
    Perhaps you may take an interest in listening to another one of our shows
    before you pass judgement. I will admit this was not out best show, in fact I
    felt it was our worse show because my regular co host was not present.
    If you would be interested to give us another chance I would recommend
    episode 76.

    Thank you again and happy holidays!


  4. Koko B Ware says

    Not your best show and I do not agree with your views on The Curious Life of Benjamin Button, but I will give you points on your views on Zodiac. By far one of the best films of the past decade.

  5. Nick says

    I’ve got to agree with Brian V on this one. Not just haughty and glib but “film school” haughty and glib. So you got into film school. So what? So you have a film critique site that perhaps appeals to others of a similar bent. It’s one thing to talk about film. It’s something altogether different to make one. To me the critique came across as presumptuous and precocious–the arrogant overreach of young people trying to say something important. Don’t presume to counsel David Fincher unless you can claim to be a filmmaker of his level of accomplishment. To say, for instance, that the Benjamin Button material he had to work with is irredeemable is, in reality, an indictment of his judgment because he chose to work with it instead of walking away and calling it irredeemable as you have.

    I could continue ranting about Sound on Sight but I suppose it would be a waste of time.

    One final thought, though. If you saw a thread of pedophilia running through Benjamin Button, I’ll just have to assume that you have some serious issues with it. Sorry to hear that.

  6. Ricky says

    I will admit that our production value was not at its best. Simon was out of town and it was hard for me to host the show, work the mix board, prepare adds, station ID`s and music and check the levels all at once. We are a two man show usually and in this case I was left to myself. However I will defend Derek in saying that he was dead on with his comments on the film. I respect his honesty and admire his I don’t give a F&C% attitude.

  7. Jonathan says

    Well Brian you are so wrong. This is the best show out there these days! Production is amazing and I like the fact that Ricky, Ali and Simon speaks their mind and are not afraid to say what they think about the movies they are reviewing.

    Guys please keep up this amazing work. I listen to your show every week!!!!!

  8. Brian V says

    this is a really bad, bad look at this film. you guys are haughty and glib. terrible production.

  9. nthatguyb says

    The inclusion of Hurricane Katrina is supposed to mirror the theme of of the film, death. Much like a Michael Mann movie (where the city is a character in itself), the city of New Orleans is a character in the film.
    As the film progresses, we watch New Orleans age, just like all the other characters. And as Daisy lies in the hospital dying, we are seeing the city die along with her and everyone else in the film. We’re reminded that EVERYTHING dies in the end, even the city.

    I wasn’t the only one who saw this, was I?

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