Much was made of David Denby's embargo-breaking review of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' in this week's edition of The New Yorker. (Denby and the magazine published a review of the highly anticipated release a full eight days before the agreed-upon embargo allowed.) 'Dragon Tattoo' producer Scott Rudin even got involved in the brouhaha, sending a scathing email to Denby that "badly damaged" 'Dragon Tattoo' by writing early, and that the critic would no longer be allowed to see another Rudin production. (Sorry, David; you'll have to pay to see 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' with the rest of us!) Now, 'Dragon Tattoo' director David Fincher has entered into the fray, with a bit of real talk that will probably make some iconoclastic film critics wilt.
"I think Scott [Rudin]'s response was totally correct," Fincher told Rene Rodriguez from the Miami Herald. "It's a hard thing for people outside our business to understand. It is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. But as silly as this may all look from the outside -- privileged people bickering -- I think it's important. Film critics are part of the business of getting movies made. You swim in the same water we swim in. And there is a business to letting people know your movie is coming out. It is not a charity business. It is a business-business." Translation? Critics are part of the movie publicity machine, even if they don't actually feel that way.
Continued Fincher: "This is not about controlling the media. If people realized how much thought goes into deciding at what point can we allow our movie to be seen, they would understand. There are so many other things constantly screaming for people's attention. I started shooting this movie 25 days after I turned in 'The Social Network.' We have been working really hard to make this release date. And when you're trying to orchestrate a build-up of anticipation, it is extremely frustrating to have someone agree to something and then upturn the apple cart and change the rules -- for everybody."
Not that the director enjoy embargoes or pre-release press. Per Fincher, if it were up to him, his movies would never screen and no marketing would be done beyond a trailer and three TV spots.
Still, if there's a silver lining to all this for Team 'Dragon Tattoo,' it's that the conversation has been squarely focused on their film this week; not even 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' and 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' are receiving this kind of coverage, and they both come out next week.
You can read the full Fincher interview over at Miami.com. 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' opens on Dec. 23.
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