David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Film

I stumbled upon the trailer to David Fincher’s upcoming version of Steig Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and have been somewhat distracted by it. More than a little, really. Go watch the trailer if you haven’t seen it. I’ll wait.

  • Much like the boat racing scene in The Social Network, the pacing of the images is tied to the music. In this case, it’s a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” with vocals by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Each image changes with the beat of the music. Motion in the trailer is either up or to the right, directions consistent with what I’ve heard about the subliminal aspects of movement in media (moving to the right is considered forward motion–looking to the future).
  • You’re in constant motion, and the climax of the trailer is an approach to the house as the tagline starts to flash. Do you find yourself dreading ever reaching the house? I do. It’s a fairly unassuming house, but it is bound with snow and the image has that creepy sort of white light (which isn’t in many of the other scenes, mind you, even though much of the book takes place during winter). If you’ve read the book, you might fear that house, but even if you haven’t, you’re thinking, “Creepy fucking house.” You might even be flashing to the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. But the music–which we all know as love, even though it’s a new version of “Immigrant Song,”–is starting break down. It’s the sort of aberrant noise that I don’t mind, but I know that it interrupts rhythm and forces us to either engage more fully or to switch off.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve read the Millennium Trilogy, but I seem to remember The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo being somewhat of the least action-oriented of the three (courtroom drama of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest notwithstanding), and yet, at first pass, you think the film is going to leave you breathless. Watching it again, it becomes more clear that it is a series of shots of people being very British (Eddie Izzard style) with each other, but all of the expressions are filled with fear, angst, or sadness, leaving you with no idea why everyone is so overwrought, but OMG! you want to find out.
  • I’ve already tried to find the song. It’s not available, as far as I can tell. Which means if I want to talk about the song or share it with friends, I have to tell them to go watch the trailer. That’s a bit of brilliant marketing right there.

Anyway, I know it is just a teaser trailer, and I’m sure we’ll be bludgeoned by lots and lots of variants that spoil a great deal of the story, but I do like the teasers. They have to be visceral. They have to grab you. They have to do their job without words, and as my job is all about using words, I like figuring out how to do more with less.