Watch: David Fincher directed a Super Bowl commercial scored by Atticus Ross. I can’t pass this shit up
Well, it’s certainly not fucking Mindhunter. But, I’ll enjoy this Super Bowl commercial by David Fincher and Atticus Ross all the same. (Fucking hell, I fucking need more Mindhunter. Stop fucking off, Fincher.)
David Fincher got his start directing commercials, and now he’s returned to the medium for Anheuser-Busch’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial. As you might expect from Fincher, the commercial looks great. It’s also surprisingly…sweet? I mean, look, I know this is a damn beer commercial, so let’s all try not to get weepy over here. But for Fincher, this is extremely sentimental. The commercial also features music from Atticus Ross, who has co-scored several of Fincher’s movies along with Trent Reznor.
The Super Bowl is this weekend, but since we’re still in a pandemic, the hype that usually accompanies the sporting event is considerably muted. Several big companies are even sitting this year out and not buying ads. But Anheuser-Busch is! In fact, this is the first year the brewing company has shelled out the money for a Super Bowl commercial, and they decided to go big. And by “big” I mean they hired David Fincher, a filmmaker who knows a thing or two about memorable commercials.
The commercial follows several people dealing with minor or major setbacks and getting over these respective hurdles by grabbing a beer with a friend. Like I said, it’s a surprisingly sweet commercial – although the message, which is essentially about togetherness, is a little weird right now since none of us can really be together. Perhaps that’s why it works – it’s manipulating everyone into remembering the good old days, back when we could hang out with each other and not risk catching or spreading a deadly virus. To make sure the emotion is driven home, Fincher even throws in a moment set at a funeral. It’s like he’s literally trying to make you cry.
Fincher doesn’t typically do sentiment, and the one time he tried it out with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it backfired. Yes, that movie was visually gorgeous, but the emotional heft that Fincher and company were going for was utterly lost. Why? Because Fincher is kind of a misanthrope and sappiness doesn’t suit his style. At least not in long-form. Here, in a one minute and 30-second commercial, it works.
From a technical perspective, Fincher’s Super Bowl commercial keeps things moving with shifting aspect ratios, and at one point the commercial even changes to black and white, just like his recent movie Mank.