It’s not surprising that David Fincher‘s Mank (Netflix, award season) was shot in silvery monochrome, but it is a bit curious — certainly noteworthy — for a film set in old-time Hollywood (1940 to ’41) to use an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. In a period realm, widescreen a.r.’s summon associations with the ’50s and ’60s. Then again I personally adore black-and-white Scope — it’s among my absolute favorite formats (along with 1.37:1 Technicolor and 1.66:1 VistaVision).
It’s also unusual that Mank was the first theatrical feature to be shot by Erik Messerschmidt in a senior dp capacity. Fincher is using him because he served as dp on a few episodes of Mindhunter. Messerschmidt also did additional photography on The Empty Man and second-unit photography on Sicario: Day of the Soldado. He served as gaffer on Fincher’s Gone Girl (’14).