The Close-Up Cinematography of ‘The Game’

The Game turns 20 and its details are as powerful as ever.

The Game came between two of director David Fincher’s smash hits: Fight Club and Se7en. It makes sense that the film, celebrating its 20th anniversary this week, would get a bit lost in the shuffle. Yet the film’s paranoia and convolution are just as effective (and often more slick) than either of its bookending films.

The violent, conspiracy-laden game taking place inside of banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is one shared with that taking place inside the minds of the audience. We’re never sure who’s playing the trick and who’s looking the wrong way.

Vimeo user Roman Holiday created a video that observes the tell-tale details either reassuring us that we’re following the film’s proceedings or hinting that these objects we can see all so closely are still somehow hiding something, if only we could get closer. The Game is one of Fincher’s greatest plot games and its style is one of sleight of hand. Close-up magic and cardistry want to fool and delight us by distracting us with the details. Fincher (and Roman Holiday) do the same here.

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