terminological inexactitude

national geographic
issue 2017.06
why we lie

finger ing


recently, i found myself rewatching david fincher’s 1995 neo-noir near-masterpiece se7en (not his only one, by the way). it’s a fully deserving genre classic. dark, literally, in lighting, and story. death, blurred morals, paranoia, revenge. nihilism. all that good shit.

it’s a grim, gloom-ridden triumph, right up my own dark alley, and there’s so much about it that works so well. for example, the title sequence designed by kyle cooper, a jagged montage of psycho-killer john doe removing his fingertips with a razorblade and making a sort of evil-villain scrapbook collage, spliced with single frames of scrawled etchings and scratched ramblings.

it’s a fucking cool title sequence, and it’s a fucking cool movie. no surprise, because it’s fincher, who has never made a bad film as far as i know (even alien3 didn’t completely suck) with a great story and script plus twin leads in the form of a peak-era brad pitt and morgan freeman, who has never had a bad era.

and all i’m thinking is… damn, that collage looks sick as fuck.

later, when hothead detective mills inadvisably busts the door of john doe’s apartment i find i’m weirdly turned on by the interior design (not sexually, just designedly). jesus-freak chic. look at all those woodworking tools! check out that neon crucifix over the bed! such tasteful mood lighting. so many lamps. warm light too – not a fucking cool-white led in sight. and artful decoration. ornate glass-fronted cupboards stacked with warhol-y cans of spaghetti sauce. taxidermy human hand. bookshelves. books.

i’m thinking… i could move in tomorrow. if i could afford the fucking rent.

There are two thousand notebooks on these shelves, and each notebook contains about two hundred and fifty pages… no dates. Placed on the shelves in no discernable order. Just his mind poured out on paper.

Detective Somerset – Se7en (1995)