Paper Moon
Movies That Had a Profound Impact on My Life
David Fincher
David Fincher
Director

Two-time Oscar nominee David Fincher has directed such films as The Social Network, Gone Girl and Zodiac. His latest, Mank, about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, comes to Netflix Dec. 4. When asked for the five movies that have impacted him most, he shared:

I have no “top five,” but here are five from a particularly fertile span of moviegoing (thrice a week, religiously) during the 1970s.

1
The French Connection
1971
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For all the memorable fireworks of the best car chase in cinema. The ultimate power of this film might be its grinding and relentless ability to equate waiting with character. FRIEDKIN ON ALL CYLINDERS. 

2
Paper Moon
1973
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Besides being the most perfect casting of father and daughter thespians EVER, beyond Madeline Kahn’s status as national treasure—and Alvin Sargent’s relentlessly human screenplay—or Polly Platt and László Kovács’s stunning evocation of Depression-era America (with P.J. Johnson’s uproariously un-inflected Imogene) ... This might be Peter Bogdanovich’s best film—and THAT is saying something.

3
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1977
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Might be the most wondrous and compelling dream that Steven Spielberg’s ever shared. It shouldn’t work: Watergate meets The Day the Earth Stood Still? A tremendous Richard Dreyfuss actually leaving the amazing Teri Garr ... BEHIND? But I never looked at the night sky the same way again.

4
All That Jazz
1979
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Bob Fosse never stops to debate why his doppelgänger Joe Gideon is driven to an early grave wrestling with a form of expression he is cursed to love—but he shows us everything through dance, and we cannot look away.

5
Halloween
1978
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STILL THE BEST. John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Jamie Lee Curtis’s teens were the first real ones I think that I had seen. A murky sense of culpability imbues every thrilling steadicam P.O.V. with heretofore unknown DREAD—whilst its “RELENTLESSNESS of EVIL” metaphor in Michael Myers was pure and twisted GLEE.

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