A Few Words About Zodiac

David Fincher’s Zodiac is absolutely haunted by the specter of technology and by the present-day confidence we have in its objectivity. Throughout the film, Fincher inserts strange little moments that foreground communication and investigation technologies: a cop in San Francisco is disappointed when he learns that an officer in another precinct can’t “telefax” some evidence to him, the same SF cop pulls over to the side of the road to use a Police Emergency telephone, the obsessed writer fills his apartment with boxes and boxes of mimeographed documents, a suspect is let go because a handwriting authority (whose “authority” is later questioned) claims he can’t be the killer. Aside from the requisite, grisly recreations of three Zodiac murders in the first act, this film, which is easily my favorite Hollywood production of the year, has little in common with serial killer movies. Rather, it’s a fascinating and deliberate (I assume) commentary on our current cultural obsession with techno-forensic porn.