What a gorgeous looking film. It’s like walking into a Hollywood dreamed up by Robert Osborne.
Netflix “Mank” Viewing Thread
|by Anonymous||reply 84||Last Tuesday at 6:23 AM|
When I see someone playing LB Mayer all I can think of is - "Hollywood Royalty!"
|by Anonymous||reply 1||12/04/2020|
Just started it.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||12/04/2020|
I'm going to be doing imitations of Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies for weeks now.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||12/04/2020|
I read that the script used Pauline Kael's now-discredited book "Raising Kane" as the basis for the film. I revere Pauline Kael's work and consider her America's greatest film critic, but even I knew when reading it that she had an axe to grind.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||12/04/2020|
Is it any good? The NY Times review today was so non-committal, like a book report.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||12/04/2020|
I watched it earlier tonight. Tomorrow I’ll watch Citizen Kane and then Mank again...
Overall, it was very good, but I fear it will garner unwarranted Oscar nominations like Best Picture and Best Actress.
The highlights were Amanda Seyfried, the overall direction, and Charles Dance.
Gary Oldman was good because he can never be bad, but his monologues were tiresome after a while.
Supposedly, Fincher originally wanted to make this with Kevin Spacey and Jodie Foster. I think pre-scandal Kevin would’ve been better, truth be told.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||12/04/2020|
Oops, one correction: I meant to say Best Actor for unwarranted Oscar nomination. Gary Oldman was just too much.
Meanwhile, Amanda Seyfried deserves at least a Best Supporting Actress nomination (if not a win)
|by Anonymous||reply 7||12/04/2020|
Crap, one last thing: Ferdinand “son of Ben” Kingsley (Irving Thalberg) is so hot. I had to take an IMDB break after his first few scenes.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||12/04/2020|
I agree Ferdinand Kingsley is incredibly hot.
It's too talky (which is probably appropriate given that it's a film about a screenwriter). But Amanda Seyfried is first-rate as a complex and intensely likable Marion Davies, and will certainly get a nomination.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||12/04/2020|
Really R6? That's so dedicated. I could barely get through it once, it was so boring. Not sure how a screening of Citizen Kane would enhance this film, unless you've never seen it before.
I did not understand the application of style here. Though Fincher has seldom been more than a shallow stylist. Does he not know the difference between period and a film that emerged during that period? Why is he aping the style of...what? Period filmmaking, I guess, in 1940? Even though most of the action takes place in the mid-'30s? What's the point? This is like when Mendes was like "oh yeah, we did all of 1917 in one shot [even though we didn't]," in a desperate attempt to give his otherwise middling war film some relevance. (It didn't.) Mank looks like muck. People who think this is beautiful have obviously never seen The White Ribbon or Nebraska or Bogdanovich's Last Picture Show or, even more appropriately to this, Paper Moon. Or even Manhattan. Or Broadway Danny Rose. Or Stardust Memories. Mank is certainly not in the same league as any of those films in terms of cinematography or screenplay.
Take away the style and what's left? Fincher has never been a great storyteller and he doesn't even try to locate the drama here. (Where is it?) The most interesting thing about Mank is the son directing his late father's screenplay but that's never quite weaved into this story so it's more of a footnote. Unfortunately, we're left with the film.
I liked some of the performances (Tom Burke as Welles was great) but the whole thing wore thin very fast. Fincher (neither of them) never quite lands what the script is about or why this is meaningful - they don't even let Welles into the ring. Is it about Hollywood? Politics? Unrealised ambitions? Legacy? The film barely points at these things and certainly never explores them in this 2-D setup.
I can't say it's a disappointment because my expectations were low. There's a generation of filmgoers who have coalesced around Fincher (and Nolan) in praise - I guess every generation wants to have their thing. But it's a shame they think this is great filmmaking because undoubtedly, for them, it eclipses so much else, so many better films and filmmakers.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||12/06/2020|
[quote]Fincher originally wanted to make this with Kevin Spacey and Jodie Foster.
Who was Jodie Foster supposed to play? Orson Welles?
|by Anonymous||reply 11||12/06/2020|
Mank was kind of an ass for what he did to Davies given how she was his friend. He destroyed her image.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||12/06/2020|
But he also immortalised her.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||12/06/2020|
I read an article where the journalist and David Fincher watched movies together - Fincher was autistically hung up on the most molecular of details related to lighting and frame composition. The story, performances, etc were wholly superfluous to him.
Not sure I’m going to watch this. I’ve liked movies of his - but shit like Zodiac which, while beautifully done, was like watching paint peel. Mank sounds like it’s in that category.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||12/06/2020|
[quote]Mank looks like muck.
Thank you, R10! I shut it off after 15 minutes or so because I couldn't believe how muddy the film looked. It really bothered me! How much do you want to bet the black and white was simply a filter after the film was shot? When b&w was standard, they knew there were specific ways to shoot, certain lighting, certain colors to use and not use. Apparently that knowledge is now lost.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||12/06/2020|
It's essentially a vanity project to keep Fincher content at Netflix for future projects. "RKO 281" already stole its thunder.
Not every screenplay should be made, even if it's your dad's.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||12/06/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 17||12/06/2020|
Versus the beautifully shot Citizen Kane.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||12/06/2020|
[quote] When b&w was standard, they knew there were specific ways to shoot, certain lighting, certain colors to use and not use. Apparently that knowledge is now lost.
So true, R15.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||12/06/2020|
Was it actually shot in black and white or converted after the fact? Is there the technology to even film that way anymore?
|by Anonymous||reply 20||12/06/2020|
I was anticipating this for a while, ready to see something intellectual after the last couple months of popcorn TV (The Mandalorian, etc). so I settled down last night and flipped to Netflix ready to be entertained by Fincher. I started getting antsy after the first 20 minutes, mainly because of the "snappy" convos between Mank and Marion Davies, Mank and Houseman, Mank and that team of screenwriters, etc. I really started to fade when they got to Mank meeting Louis B. Mayer and listening to his grandiose speech as they walked through the studio, which came of as pretension director schlock. I then got weary of the obvious showy camera work. I shut it off right after the scene where Mank gets drugged after drinking what he thought was booze. I may come back to this later.... if I can't find something else interesting.
I did learn one thing - I had always thought that Mankewicz was a studio head (like LB Mayer) , not just a screenwriter.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||12/06/2020|
I would give Fincher a vicious face slapping because he chose to work on this and dropped "Mindhunter". What a gyp.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||12/06/2020|
Black and white cinematography used to get its own category at the Oscars. It really is a separate art form from color.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||12/06/2020|
Can someone explain the part where Mank is apparently drugged by something disguised as liquor? They showed the box full of bottles and I got that Mank was essentially a lush and his friend snuck him a supply to be used in an "emergency". He drank one bottle, and in the next scene it was revealed that it was not liquor but liquid laced with Seconal (wasn't it?). Who gave him the phony booze laced with drugs and why? I don't remember getting an answer for that.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||12/06/2020|
Citizen Kane was dreadfully dull but this MANK managed to outdull Citizen Kane twenty times more. Overhyped and overrated. ZzzzZzzzzzz.....
PS. Mr. Fincher, sir, please go back to make some more of Mindhunter, I beg you.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||12/06/2020|
This is interesting information regarding the black and white filming and Fichner’s obsession with framing, composition and lighting. I too was looking forward to this, but greatly disappointed. There were magical moments, the walk through the zoo at San Simeon was fascinating and I’m interested in how much was real or CGI. Apparently the dialogue was redone in post production. But ultimately it seems like much of this was technical masterbation and a labor of love in producing daddy’s screenplay more than anything else.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||12/06/2020|
His younger brother, Joe Mankewicz, was the big producer, R21. He was portrayed in the film as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||12/06/2020|
Fun fact: abut 70% of CITIZEN KANE is "optical" effects: miniatures; matte work (some of it not very good); rear projection; etc. It only looks completely seamless in 16mm prints.
Recent iterations of it on DVD even expose the raw canvas "ceilings" that Toland's camera points up at so frequently.
MANK must use a lot of green screen. So, plus ca change . . .
|by Anonymous||reply 28||12/06/2020|
I liked it- going to rewatch Citizen Kane right now.
I'm happy because I'm certain Oldman will get Best Actor, and I don't want bitch tits Sadfleck getting it for Drunk Basketball Sadgasm movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||12/06/2020|
I hate when modern day filmmakers make black and white films, it's like regressing on technology. This particular film looks interesting as it is trying to pay tribute to old Hollywood, but I think movies like Roma would've been beautiful in color specially since it was covering the 1970s.
I'll never understand this stylish choice.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||12/06/2020|
[quote] Was it actually shot in black and white or converted after the fact? Is there the technology to even film that way anymore?
Most professional digital cameras can shoot in black and white, called monochromic mode. The rest is the work of a good dp.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||12/06/2020|
[quote] Ferdinand “son of Ben” Kingsley
But he will be going bald soon, won't he?
Why is everyone praising this person who's impersonating Marion Davies?
The real Marion Davies was as dumb as rocks and would've been a nobody except for her fornicating with millionaire Hearst. Davies would have been as forgotten as that brassy B-girl Virginia Mayo.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||12/06/2020|
male baldness is passed on through the matriarchial line, so not necessarily
|by Anonymous||reply 33||12/06/2020|
R32 is obviously Mrs. Hearst.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||12/06/2020|
I tried watching this last night. The music and black and white soothed me to sleep. I woke up, tried watching from where I slept off, got frustrated and put on “Citizen Kane”, which I also fell asleep to but intentionally and more satisfyingly so.
I do plan on finishing this but if this wins Best Picture...
|by Anonymous||reply 35||12/06/2020|
What's Fincher's story? He seems so dark and brooding.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||12/07/2020|
What a fucking boring movie! I tried to watch the whole thing but couldn't make it through 45 minutes.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||12/07/2020|
Grew up in California (son of a journalist/writer and nurse)
Gained credibility in the industry by directing commercials (Revlon, Nike)
Graduated to directing music videos (Freedom, Express Yourself)
Eventually started making movies and hasn't looked back. One thing I think is hilarious: He hates Ben Affleck and went out of his way to bully him while filming Gone Girl (and Ben just took it!)
|by Anonymous||reply 38||12/07/2020|
R29, I think the late Chadwick Boseman is the undeniable front runner for his performance in Ma Rainey. Could double-nom for his supporting performance in Da 5 Bloods.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||12/07/2020|
This has some nice streamlined discussion points to consider.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||12/07/2020|
Somebody called Sayles in that link says:
[quote] This is a minor quibble, but: It was a small travesty to shoot this movie digitally, and the movie’s frequent use of cue marks (what an earlier Fincher character once referred to as “cigarette burns”) only calls more attention to that.
What is that? Are they visible on screen?
|by Anonymous||reply 41||12/07/2020|
Hey, R32, Virginia Mayo is great as James Cagney's evil whore wife in "White Heat"!
But, seriously, if the best thing you can say about a film is that it's "gorgeous looking," then no thank you.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||12/07/2020|
[quote] … Mayo is great as [a] whore…
That woman was typecast and I wish to know no more about her.
I'm not convinced that Marion Davis was anything different. After all, she allowed that Ogre to put his penis in her repeatedly. And what did she get out of it? Herpes? An Oscar? Nothing?
|by Anonymous||reply 43||12/07/2020|
[quote] What is that? Are they visible on screen?
Marks, usually circles (hence “cigarette burns”), drawn on to the print as an indication to the projectionist to change the reel. You’d know it when you see it. And yes Fincher put them in as cutesy cues that this is an old timey movie.
For the poster upthread who grouped Fincher with Nolan— at least Nolan would’ve shot this on film, not digital.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||12/07/2020|
[quote]After all, she allowed that Ogre to put his penis in her repeatedly. And what did she get out of it? Herpes? An Oscar? Nothing?
Despite their well-known jealous attachment to one another, both Davies and Hearst had many sexual liaisons with other persons while living together in San Simeon and elsewhere. Davies had sexual relationships with fellow actors Charlie Chaplin, Dick Powell, and others, while Hearst had a sexual relationship with blonde chorus girl Maybelle Swor.
After a long period of illness, Hearst died on August 14, 1951, at the age of 88. In his will, Hearst provided handsomely for Davies, leaving her 170,000 shares of Hearst Corporation stock, in addition to 30,000 he had established for her in a trust fund in 1950. This gave her a controlling interest in the company for a short time, until she chose to relinquish the stock voluntarily to the corporation on October 30, 1951. She retained her original 30,000 shares and an advisory role with the corporation. She soon invested in property and owned The Desert Inn in Palm Springs and several properties in New York City, including the Squibb Building at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, the Davies Building at E. 57th Street and the Douras Building at E. 55th Street.
i look for role model in her
|by Anonymous||reply 45||12/07/2020|
With all his money why did Hearst never finish the NYC offices?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||12/07/2020|
I thought the cigarette burns were twee and annoying. Again, what was the point?
Apparently on the big screen it doesn’t look properly graded either because it was shot on a RED camera and all the shots look “creamy” in the middle. I thought the echoing sound design was annoying AF as well. What are we supposed to be applauding here? The pointless simulation?
|by Anonymous||reply 47||12/07/2020|
Forgive my ignorance but does a 'digital film' nowdays look as good as a 'real celluloid film'?
|by Anonymous||reply 48||12/07/2020|
[quote] The pointless simulation
Scorsese was supposed to be doing that in 'The Aviator' with all that weird coloring to simulate early Technicolor.
I found it to be pointless, distracting and Brechtian.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||12/07/2020|
Regarding the cigarette burns: it bugged me because they were only used as the film transitioned to another scene. The rest of the movie was crisp, with no distortions, so the cigarette burns jumped out as being a "look at me!" special effect, rather than setting a mood.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||12/08/2020|
Agree Mank's lines were too snappy.
I don't believe everything he said was 'witty' just because he was a screenwriter.
Add in Oldman's bouncy delivery made Mank come across as cartoonish.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||12/08/2020|
There is a one-hour (or more) doco on Marion Davies that is definitely worth seeing. The trailer is on YouTube but not the rest of it, sadly.
There really was a point when Hearst had cash-flow problems. Without mentioning it beforehand, Davies really did sell all the jewelry he had given her and handed him the money. In that regard the movie portrays her accurately - she was by no means only involved with him for the money, and she was a person of some principle, certainly compared with those surrounding her.
She was also, based on the considerable number of movie clips shown in the doco, a delightful comedienne. There are a lot of clips on YouTube - she doesn't shine in the serious stuff that Hearst thought would advance her career, but in comedy she's delicious.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||12/08/2020|
I lasted 20 mins. No one under the age of 50 is gonna watch this.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||12/08/2020|
[quote] at least Nolan would’ve shot this on film, not digital.
One of the articles linked here says they were going to shoot it digitally but decided they needed to shoot it on B&W film to get the authentic look.
That said, there were many scenes where the sky had a lavender hue to it.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||12/08/2020|
What a pretentious shit Ben Kingsley is, naming his son Ferdinand
|by Anonymous||reply 55||12/08/2020|
Why didn't they have a role for Glenn?
|by Anonymous||reply 56||12/08/2020|
R55 Does he have a daughter Isabella?
|by Anonymous||reply 57||12/08/2020|
Does Mandy S show her baps?
|by Anonymous||reply 58||12/08/2020|
There are so few films that use language as a weapon and this is one of them.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||12/08/2020|
[quote]Mank looks like muck. People who think this is beautiful have obviously never seen The White Ribbon or Nebraska or Bogdanovich's Last Picture Show or, even more appropriately to this, Paper Moon. Or even Manhattan. Or Broadway Danny Rose. Or Stardust Memories. Mank is certainly not in the same league as any of those films in terms of cinematography or screenplay.
THANK YOU. I clicked off on MANK after about 15 minutes. The black and white cinematography is awful. In shot after shot, the result is muddy. As soon as I found myself thinking about Haskell Wexler and his expert photography of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," I knew it was time to abandon MANK. And I did.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||12/08/2020|
Oops. I meant to include this above.
Why shoot the film in black and white if it was also going to be in wide screen? It might have been interesting to shoot this in black and white and also in the standard Academy ratio.
Half an experiment. Why?
|by Anonymous||reply 61||12/08/2020|
[quote] One of the articles linked here says they were going to shoot it digitally but decided they needed to shoot it on B&W film to get the authentic look.
That article was incorrect. The film was shot on digital.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||12/08/2020|
I got bored. Stopped paying attention. Amanda was terrific.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||12/12/2020|
My friend raved about Mank but now I think I'll save my money.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||12/12/2020|
I enjoyed it. You’re all Philistines.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||12/12/2020|
I’d let Charles Dance put his penis in me all he wanted, r43.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||12/12/2020|
Does this movie have a plot?
Does it end at the premiere screening of 'Citizen Kane'?
|by Anonymous||reply 67||12/12/2020|
The basic plot is:
An alcoholic screenwriter who's basically burnt every bridge in Hollywood is contacted by an actor/director to help write a screenplay. Due to an injury, the screenwriter has nothing to do but write while he convalesces, and in the process he lays the groundwork for one of the greatest films ever made. Unfortunately, in the process he gets on the wrong side of a powerful man and betrays a longtime friend.
It ends with the titular character winning an Oscar for his screenplay.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||12/13/2020|
Now I [italic]know[/italic] I am going to get called a philistine for this and I should (and will) save it for the next Unpopular Opinions thread, but I do not understand why Citizen Kane is often referred to as [italic]the[/italic] greatest film ever made or ranked first on the list of all time classics. It's good, I enjoyed it, there were ceilings... but it was kind of a soapy thing with comparative restraint... Rosebud was a contrived vehicle... I dunno.. for sure it's good and an all time classic but I don't agree it was best ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||12/13/2020|
Also I thought Seyfried and Dance were terrific. Oldman played Mank effortlessly but good competition could deny him the Oscar. Though the Academy loves a movie about movies so maybe it's a sweep.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||12/13/2020|
The sound design annoyed me. Were they trying to reproduce the sound of a movie theater in the 1940s? Whenever characters were outside, they sounded like they were talking in a vast warehouse with echo.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||12/19/2020|
Next on my list to watch.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||12/19/2020|
I'd like to know how they did the scenes where they're walking at night through San Simeon. How much of that was CGI?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||12/19/2020|
The negativity on this thread is giving me doubts.
I saw 'Trumbo' about a scriptwriter for whom I have no interest and found the movie uninteresting.
I saw 'Hitch' about a director whom I revere and found the movie only mildly interesting.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||12/19/2020|
I'm surprised that so many of you were bored and didn't like it. I thought it was very good; better than Ma Rainey... The story was good and the acting was universally good, especially Amanda Seyfried (who I've never been impressed with before) and the guy playing Orson Welles.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||12/23/2020|
Does this movie reveal any interesting secrets about rosebuds as symbols of the anus— or the vagina?
|by Anonymous||reply 76||12/26/2020|
What if all these 'Viewing Threads' are just shills trying to increase streaming revenue for their digital overlords?
How stupid are DLers?
|by Anonymous||reply 77||12/26/2020|
... and what if they're not
|by Anonymous||reply 78||12/27/2020|
I enjoy coming here to read what others think about movies I have just seen. Sometimes I have comments or questions. I often learn things about historical context or technical aspects that I didn’t know and I find the critiques interesting.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||01/27/2021|
|by Anonymous||reply 80||02/13/2021|
[quote]Supposedly, Fincher originally wanted to make this with Kevin Spacey and Jodie Foster.
Jodie Foster as what? She's been way too old for Marion Davies for years. The last time she was right, age-wise, for Davies would have been the 1980s. And Jodie's hardly right in any other way for Davies. Seyfried was perfect for that part. It was a boring movie, but she brightened it up every time she appeared.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||02/13/2021|
[quote]I'd like to know how they did the scenes where they're walking at night through San Simeon. How much of that was CGI?
All of the San Simeon scenes were shot at the Huntington Library in Pasadena. There was no location work at the real San Simeon.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||02/13/2021|
[quote]All of the San Simeon scenes were shot at the Huntington Library in Pasadena.
The Huntington Library is in San Marino, not Pasadena.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||Last Tuesday at 6:13 AM|
Has Ben Mankiewicz commented yet?
|by Anonymous||reply 84||Last Tuesday at 6:23 AM|