We sort of can’t stress enough how great a film David Fincher’s “Zodiac” is. Fincher’s near 3-hour epic of investigation, based on a true story and rich in enthralling and frustrating dead ends and missed chances, is one of the most perfect films ever made about the actual and often futile process of finding out whodunit (and, for most of the movie, whostilldoingit). As this nice little supercut points out, one of the ways Fincher gets that across is through the art of the insert.
Much of “Zodiac” revolves around documents: the taunting letters and cyphers that the killer sends to San Francisco newspapers, fixated cartoonist-turned-investigator Robert Graysmith’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) drawings, and miniscule details of handwriting that could hold the key piece of information. Josh Forrest’s supercut shows how Fincher’s frequent use of the insert—the quick cut within a frame to some specific object, to show it to the audience in close-up without shifting perspective too much—runs throughout the movie, letting the audience get a look at the various documents vital to the plot, but also stoking the atmosphere of fixation and paranoia that runs throughout the movie, cropping tighter and tighter onto page after page of unexplained, deranged scrawlings.
This excellent supercut is another brick in the edifice of “Zodiac” and its growing reputation as a modern masterwork. [No Film School]