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25 Things We Learned from David Fincher’s ‘Se7en’ Commentary

Remember a time before 1995 when movies were loaded with rainbows and puppies? Strawberry ice cream poured out of every frame. Then Se7en came along. Then things got really interesting.
By  · Published on April 12th, 2012

Remember a time before 1995 when movies were loaded with rainbows and puppies? Strawberry ice cream poured out of every frame. Then Se7en came along. Then things got really interesting.

David Fincher’s second effort at feature filmmaking caught a storm, and it was one filled with melancholic grime and depressing endings. Also there was something about a box and what was in it. The state of thrillers changed forever, and, while many copycats tried to pick up the scraps Se7en left in its wake, none would recapture that initial sense of dread when John Doe screamed at Detective David Mills, the killers hands covered in blood.

Paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it? Well, with this week’s Commentary Commentary, we’re hoping the track we’ve selected paints a couple of dozen more. David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman lend their voices and insight into this commentary track for Se7en.

If for no other reason, this track should already be looked into for including Freeman, who has one of the greatest voices this side of a certain Sith. So, without any further ado, here are all 25 items we learned from listening to the Se7en commentary. Now to find out what’s in that box.

Se7en (1995)

Commentators: David Fincher (director), Brad Pitt (actor), Morgan Freeman (actor/voice God)

Best in Commentary

“The underlying truth of all of these characters is they are in the violent business.” – Morgan Freeman

“If the ultimate journey is truth, or quest defined in a scene, then don’t fight it. At least, at its worst, you’ll have something that’s truthful.” – Brad Pitt

“To me, this is the closest I’ve been to a perfect film. Can we end on that?” – Brad Pitt

“What about Fight Club?” – David Fincher

Final Thoughts

This Se7en commentary is a perfect example of a solid track that doesn’t offer much in the way of items for this column. Fincher and Pitt, recorded together, and Freeman all have much to say in the way of film theory, working with or as actors, and general philosophies when it comes to making movies, but there are very long stretches of this commentary where they aren’t talking specifically about Se7en. Freeman makes long-winded declamation about acting and the differences between the theater and film. It’s worth listening to for Freeman’s voice alone even if he isn’t saying anything we haven’t heard before. We’ve never heard it like this, though.

A few anecdotes from the set make their way into the commentary. It’s interesting listening to Fincher talk about working with an actor who was around his same age, and it’s no surprise he and Brad Pitt have worked together a few times since. He liked having someone on set who understood Monty Python jokes while filming Se7en. Still, there isn’t an abundance of anecdotes or stories from the set, and everyone on this track offers the insight into their general beliefs about the art form.

The 25 items above are very interesting, but this is a commentary track you should listen to for yourself, as well.

Check out more commentary commentary in the Commentary Commentary archives

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