Ten days ago I wrote six paragraphs about David Fincher‘s The Killer, and it came out just right because (this is important) I hadn’t really explored what I was feeling deep down…I just said “this movie made me feel so damn engaged and electrified, escapism-wise”, and I did so without asking why or trying to protect myself from the usual HE slings and arrows. Because that is what this site is partly about….dicks firing beebee pellets.

If I had a magic wand I would wave it like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia and transform The Killer into one of the locked-and-loaded, no-escape-clause 2023 Best Picture nominees…I would have no hesitation about this whatsoever. Because the Movie Godz are sold on the value of this film and so am I….and when you’re right, you’re right. And I don’t want to even think about what the Perri Nemiroffs of this world feel about The Killer. It’s not worth fooling with.

I knew deep down that I’d said the right and necessary thing when I wrote that Fincher’s revenge film (and that’s what it is — a sleek and efficient survival and revenge thing that will only warm the hearts of earth-orbiting, X-factor, don’t-fence-me-in fellows like myself)..I said that it “feels like a kind of new-age opiate…it’s about the joys of living a cold and barren life….it mainlines the hollow.”

Strange as this may sound, typing these words felt like a breakthrough of sorts. Without planning it out or thinking it through I had randomly but decisively admitted that there’s something to be said for living a life of smart solitude and fleet escapism…a life defined or punctuated by apartness, alert alienation, fake IDs and chilly satisfactions. And at the same time I live for rare meltdown moments in exceptional grade-A films…I’ve been watching the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol every holiday season since I was nine or ten years old…at the same time I love staying a step or two ahead of pursuers and living for the chase and the game of it all.

The instant that I acknowledged that a cold and barren life could radiate joy and satisfaction…well! I don’t think I’ve ever read something like this from any movie critic anywhere, and to compound matters I’m not even sure why I’m making this distinction as we speak.

It’s 4:45 pm and I have some stuff to do, I’m afraid, so I have to shut this down, but I can’t leave without asking what’s up with Elvis Mitchell‘s baggy-ass, dark-blue, fresh-off-the-rack jeans with the cuffs folded up, not to mention those plastic, lace-up space shoes with the three-inch soles? The photos are from last night’s post-screening q & a at the David Geffen Theatre at the Academy Museum.

Posted on 10.15.23:

I loved David Fincher’s The Killer (Netflix 10.27)…a great escape film if I’ve ever seen and felt one. It took me out of myself and dropped me into a higher realm, or at least my idea of one. It redefines the meaning of the word “chill” in a way that will either knock you out or, if you’re an ideologue or a shoulder-shrugger or a constipated, closed-off type, leave you with shards.

It’s first and foremost about the supreme comfort of living in a super-clean, perfectly crafted Fincher film, and about the joy of being a ghost and travelling alone like a nowhere man, and about the blissful solitude and curious joy of disassociative technique…about the existential solace and solitude of having a wonderfully endless supply of fake IDs, fake passports and fake license plates, and maneuvering through flush and fragrant realms and the zen of nothingness…about the almost religious high of not giving a single, solitary fuck.

Despite sitting in a too-small Paris theatre seat (I could barely move my legs) and despite Fincher’s film starting almost a half-hour late, I was in heaven start to finish. It’s all about eluding fate and slipping the grasp, about playing a fleet phantom game and, much to my surprise and delight, about chasing down several unlucky functionaries and nefarious upper-caste types and sending them to God.

It’s about a side of me (and of Fincher, of course) that loves being on the move and managing to slip-slide away like Paul Simon but in a GOOD way or at least an extremely cool one…about being blissfully free of conventional entanglements and concerned only with slick stealth and ducking out of sight and, despite suffering a bruise or two, gaining the upper hand.

The Killer is about the joys of living a cold and barren life…it mainlines the hollow but feels like a kind of new-age opiate…it turned me on like Joni Mitchell’s radio, and I’m still feeling the buzz and humming the melody the morning after. I can’t wait to see it another two or three times, bare minimum.

Thank you, Mr. Fincher, for slipping me a great nickle bag of smack and what felt last night like the best meaningless-but-at-the-sane-time meaningful movie high I’ve had in a dog’s age.