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Why it Always Rains in David Fincher Movies

Simply put, you cannot rain on Fincher’s parade.
Seven David Fincher rain movie
New Line Cinema
By  · Published on November 29th, 2021

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay about why it always rains in David Fincher movies.

While strictly speaking a literary term, pathetic fallacy describes the attribution of human emotion to inhuman things found in nature. As a Canadian, our literature is absolutely chockablock full of pathetic fallacies. I would imagine this is also true for other nations for which weather is the foremost thing on everybody’s mind. It’s a pathetic fallacy when rain arrives as if summoned by a protagonist’s tears, or when a “hopeful” beam of sunshine perseveres through the cloud cover to underscore an uplifting moment.

When weather is used as a textural and tonal tool — when it feels almost like its own character — that’s the pathetic fallacy hard at work. And David Fincher is a great example of a director keenly aware of the dramatic potential of rain, sun, and snow. Fincher’s affinity for keenly orchestrating the weather is perhaps most evident in 1995’s Se7enwhere the endless damp feels as much like a nod to the movie’s film noir roots as a distinctly oppressive psychological feeling.

Weather in David Fincher movies often serves a dual purpose: at once practical and emotional. For 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher used CGI to add snow to environments that were meant to evoke a Swedish setting. But on a more tonal level, the icy surroundings underpin the movie’s chilled visceral tone. Directing is all about choices, and questioning why great directors convey weather in certain ways is a worthwhile exercise.

Watch “Why Does It Always Rain in David Fincher’s Films?”:

Who made this?

This video essay on why it always rains in David Fincher movies is by In Depth Cine, a YouTube account dedicated to providing its audience with practical rundowns and explainers on some of the more technical aspects of movie-making. Gray Kotzé, a documentary DP based in South Africa, is the man behind the channel. You can check out Kotzé’s portfolio on their website here. And you can check out In Depth Cine on YouTube here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).