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David Fincher’s Extreme Close-Ups

By Jacob T. Swinney


The extreme close-up may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of David Fincher’s unique visual aesthetic. That’s because Fincher’s extreme close-ups don’t call attention to themselves. The filmmaker stitches the shots into his pictures in a way that is subtle and fluid, yet impactful and abrasive. They often go unnoticed, sitting just under the surface and scratching at our eyes. If Tarantino andPaul Thomas Anderson use the ECU as explanation points, Fincher’s are used as hyphens, semicolons, and parentheses. Here is a look at some of Fincher’s best usages of the extreme close-up.

MUSIC: “Closer (Precursor) by Nine Inch Nails and “Where is My Mind?” by The Pixies

Films Used:
Alien 3 (1992)
Se7en (1995)
The Game (1997)
Fight Club (1999)
Panic Room (2002)
Zodiac (2007)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Social Network (2010)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Gone Girl (2014)