“Sorry to Bother You” writer-director Boots Riley is among those taking issue with director David Fincher’s comments on the ongoing strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, delivered in a Venice Film Festival press conference for Fincher’s new Netflix thriller, “The Killer.”
On the platform formerly known as Twitter, Riley quoted a line from Fincher’s press conference, speaking about “The Killer”: “My hope is someone will see this film and get very nervous about the person in line behind them at Home Depot.”
Riley wrote that this is a “distorted worldview,” but that it’s “propagated in many of [Fincher’s] films & his confused take on the strike.”
Fincher’s filmography includes “Seven,” “The Social Network,” “Fight Club” and more commercial and critical successes, along with TV shows “Mindhunter” and “House of Cards.” A sense of paranoia and awareness of the threat of crime hangs over much of his work.
Riley also quoted Fincher’s words specifically about the strikes: “I can understand both sides. All we can do is encourage people to talk.”
But Riley didn’t buy that view, writing, “Makes no sense in the context of where we’re at.” He added that the Writers Guild has countered the AMPTP’s latest offer, but that the AMPTP is refusing to come back with another counter.
He also took a schoolhouse shot at the AMPTP, joking that it’s “pronounced ‘Armpit.'”
Riley comes from a staunchly political background, including his family being social justice organizers. He identifies as a communist. By contrast, Fincher has not been outspoken about his politics, though he has donated to Democratic presidential candidates over the years.
Despite his criticisms of where Fincher’s coming from, Riley made a point to still praise Fincher as an artist.
“Yes, Fincher has made some great films. I can disagree with someone, and even disagree with a common theme in their art, and still recognize and appreciate things that are great about their [art],” Riley wrote. “I shouldn’t need to say this, but apparently I need to make this clear.”
Fincher’s other recent work includes the show “Love, Death & Robots” and the film “Mank,” both for Netflix. He’s also an executive producer for an upcoming prequel to the 1974 classic “Chinatown.”
Riley’s surrealist Amazon Prime Video series “I’m a Virgo” came out at the beginning of this summer.
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