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Fincher Mank Bio Accuracy

David Fincher: “I was never interested in Herman Mankiewicz’s conflict with Welles or anything about credit arbitration. I don’t know why it has to be said, but apparently it’s getting lost in all this: Citizen Kane is a fucking towering achievement. Forget that Welles was twenty-five. It’s a towering achievement. He continued to have peaks and valleys, but he was masterful. He was a showman in ways that most of us in the DGA can only hope to scratch at. I always considered Welles’ legacy to be granite. With titanium inserts. I don’t think it’s possible to chip away at that. What was interesting about Herman Mankiewicz was not that he was in conflict with anyone. It’s that he was in conflict with everyone. Including himself. He doesn’t kiss babies. He doesn’t save puppies from burning buildings. He’s difficult. He’s contradictory. He was a mad, careening wit who, if there was a great rejoinder, just couldn’t help himself. It was like, shave-and-a-haircut, two bits. He was like Roger Rabbit. He had to fucking do it. He had to say it for the same reason everyone around him wrote down everything he said. Because it’s pleasurable. It’s a kind of truth to power that is pleasurable for the little guy. Look how exquisitely placed those explosive devices are. “The white wine came up with the fish.” “How to get people into theaters? Show movies in the streets.” “Perfect equilibrium: I won’t work at half the studios and the other half won’t hire me.” And yet, he never did so much damage that people didn’t adore him. Somehow the force of his true human failings and confusion and all that stuff seemed to temper the vitriol. I thought maybe we could make a movie about him like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. About somebody whose job it is to be in the wings.”

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