Visual Review - Visual Hollywood

Visual Review - Visual Hollywood

Visual Review

Everything you need to

know about


…and how it relates to you

and the world around you.

Includes info on the

actors, director, with news,

reviews, and photos.

visual review by

david bruce


Movies Contain the

Essence of Being Human

It is the ultimate

cold case.

The rampage of a madman who has never been caught; the elusive cipher

slayer who gripped the nation in fear, America’s very own Jack the Ripper. He

publicly claimed 13 victims, then more, two dozen more. Police pinned him

with seven, five dead. The true body count may never be known. One thing is

certain: That count includes the living.


The Cinematic Arts Have

the Power to Transform

Robert Graysmith


Paul Avery


Dave Toschi



Our Artists Are

Our Liberators



made his feature film

debut in 1992 with

“Alien 3.” In 1995, he

directed “Se7en,” also

about tracking down

a serial killer.



winner of an Academy

Award, a Grammy,

multiple Emmy and Tony

nominations, is one of

the most prolific and

honored composers of

film, television, theater

and recordings.


(Screenwriter/ Producer)

optioned the rights to

Robert Graysmith’s

Zodiac and wrote the

screenplay adaptation

on spec – a gamble that

paid off with only three

produced scripts to his





Known in the mid to late nineties for her status

as a fashion impresario and "it girl," with over a

dozen art house films to her credit, Chloe

Sevigny also stands out as one of the most

prominent queens of contemporary

independent cinema. Originally hailing from

Darien, Connecticut, Sevigny attributes

weekend trips into nearby New York City in her

teens as an important early saving grace from

her super rich and stuffy hometown. It was on

one such trip at the age of eighteen, that

Sevigny was spotted on the street by a fashion

editor for Sassy magazine. And so began her


Actors are Liberators

in Masquerade


Gyllenhaal's first notable film

appearances was in 2001's cult hit

Donnie Darko, in which he played a

troubled teenager. In the 2004

blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow,

he portrayed a student caught in a

cataclysmic global cooling event. He

played against type as an angry Marine

in Jarhead (2005) and, that same year,

he won critical acclaim as a "gay

cowboy" in the controversial, but highly

lauded, film Brokeback Mountain.

Gyllenhaal has taken an activist role in

supporting political and social causes,

promoting environmental causes and

the American Civil Liberties Union.


(Robert Graysmith)

Actors help us: laugh, be happy,

cry, get angry, and even think.

Can there be any better gifts




Filmmakers are



Inspired by the film, Butch Cassidy and the

Sundance Kid, he began making movies at

the age of eight with an 8 mm camera.

Filmmaking seemed the perfect outlet for a

kid who could spend all day drawing and

loved to make sculptures, take pictures and

tape-record. Fincher eschewed the film

school route, getting a job loading cameras

and doing other hands-on work for John

Korty's Korty Films. He next got a job at

Industrial Light and Magic in 1980 with his

first screen credit being for Return of the

Jedi, and stayed until 1984.

Fincher directed big-budget music videos

for artists such as Madonna, Jody Watley,

Rick Springfield, Steve Winwood, George

Michael, Aerosmith, Paula Abdul, the

Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, etc. Like a

number of other music video directors, he

then moved into film.


Stories are


Based on the true story of a serial killer who terrified the San Francisco

Bay Area and taunted authorities in four jurisdictions with his ciphers and

letters for decades. Hunting down the hunter would become an

obsession for four men, an obsession that would turn them into ghosts of

their former selves, their lives built and destroyed by the killer’s endless

trail of clues.


All Kids are Born Artistic

What is Natural is Essential

Inspector Dave Toschi (Ruffalo) meets

with newspaper cartoonist Robert

Graysmith (Gyllenhaal)

Paul Avery

(Robert Downey Jr.)

Of the four, Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) was the wild card.

A shy editorial cartoonist, Graysmith didn’t have the cache and expertise

of his seasoned and cynical colleague Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.),

the San Francisco Chronicle’s star crime reporter. He didn’t have Avery’s

connections with San Francisco Police Department’s celebrated and

ambitious Homicide Inspector Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and his low-

key, meticulous partner Inspector William Armstrong (Anthony Edwards).

What he did have was a crucial insight no one anticipated. It first

appeared Aug. 1, 1969.


Stories Embody the

Essence of Being Human

A crudely written Letter to the Editor arrived in the day’s pile of mail. One of

three penned to the Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner and the Vallejo

Times-Herald, its contents brought the newsrooms to a standstill. “Dear

Editor, This is the murderer…” of David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen, and

of Darlene Ferrin and the attempted murder of Mike Mageau. He didn’t call

them by name, but he gave a laundry list of details only the police could



Cinematic Story Telling is a

Profoundly Humanizing endeavor.

Zodiac inadvertently had turned detectives Toschi and Armstrong and

reporter Avery into overnight celebrities. Characters based on Toschi would

prove pivotal roles launching three movie stars’ careers. Graysmith

remained committed to his armchair sleuthing from the sidelines, injecting

his input when Avery would allow. Zodiac was always one step ahead,

covering his tracks, peppering his lettered taunts with more threats. And

then they became personal.


Film making is a

Community Event.

Infamy would eclipse fame as Toschi fell from grace; Armstrong,

frustrated moved on; Avery left the paper, crippled by his addictions.

Zodiac would no longer reveal his targets. Copycats sprang up coast to

coast. The key suspect was still out there. Graysmith’s moment had

come. That moment would change their lives forever.


Like many children who grew up in

the Bay area in the early `70s,

director David Fincher, then 7, was

spellbound by the invisible

monster known only as the Zodiac.

He was the ultimate bogey man.

“If you grew up there, at that time, you

had this childhood fear that you kind

of insinuated yourself into it. What if it

was our bus What if he showed up in

our neighborhood You create even

more drama about it when you’re a kid

because that is what kids do. I grew up

in Marin and now I know the

geography of where the crimes took

place, but when you’re in grade

school, children don’t think about that.

They think, `He’s going to show up at

our school.’”

- Director David Fincher


“Fear is a question:

What are you afraid of, and why

Just as the seed of health is in

illness, because illness contains

information, your fears are a

treasure house of self-knowledge if

you explore them.”

--Marilyn Ferguson

Art is a

Liberating Force


The movie holds you in its grip from

start to finish.

--David Ansen


A+ Zodiac never veers from its

stoically gripping, police-blotter tone,

yet it begins to take on the quality of a


--Owen Gleiberman

Entertainment Weekly


--Nathan Lee

Village Voice

Discerning auds worldwide will find

deep satisfaction

--Todd McCarthy


FILM REVIEW by david bruce

Art is the Language of


Jake Gyllenhaal observes, “I think what is most

interesting about this story is that when something

like this happens there’s mass hysteria. And then it’s

given to the experts. And sometimes the experts

don’t have the same heart that just a kind of a

regular guy like Robert Graysmith would have. They

also have so much red tape to go through, all the

jurisdiction. Robert, a sort of regular person off the

street, doesn’t have to get a warrant for this, or

permission for that.”

Even though I can appreciate experts, professionals

and, yes, huge organization. The truth is, however,

that it is the outsider –the regular person, like Robert

Graysmith - who gives us our best innovations. Too

often we give our so-called “experts” more than we

should. Organized business is never as innovative

as the independent entrepreneur. The system did

not trust Graysmith as it should and everyone lost.

Bottom line: Give place to the innovator, to the

regular person, to yourself, and never give your soul



“Remember that fear always lurks behind

perfectionism. Confronting your fears

and allowing yourself the right to be

human can, paradoxically, make you a far

happier and more productive person.”

--Dr. David M. Burns


has nothing to do with how

many R&D dollars you have. When Apple

came up with the Mac, IBM was spending

at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not

about money. It's about the people you

have, how you're led, and how much you

get it.” --Steve Jobs

“Human salvation lies in the hands of the

creatively maladjusted.” --Martin Luther

King Jr.

Society is only as free as its arts.

Art is the voice of human freedom.


Zodiac is the first major Hollywood movie

that was created without the use of either

film or video tape.

David Fincher decided to use the digital

Thomson Viper to shoot the film. This will

be the first time the camera has been

used to shoot an entire film.

Michael Mann's Miami Vice, as well as his

previous effort, Collateral (a co-

production of Paramount and its current

sister studio DreamWorks, and which also

starred Mark Ruffalo), were also shot with

the camera but mixed in other formats.

Once shot on Viper cam the files were

converted to DVCPro HD 1080i and edited

in Final Cut Pro.

Other digital productions like Superman

Returns or Apocalypto recorded to the

mildly compressing HDCAM tape format.


"The meaning of life is the most urgent of

questions" --Albert Camus (Existentialist thinker).

To Restrict Creativity is

to Restrict the very

Nature of the Creator

In “Movies and the Meaning of Life” author Kimberly

Blessing points out that movies can help us reflect

on five of life’s most important questions:

1) What is reality and how can I know it

2) How can I find my true identity

3) What the significance of my interactions with


4) What’s the point of my life

5) How ought I to live my life

The idea behind Visual Hollywood is that Movies can

and must play an essential role helping us explore

the meaning of our existence and our life together.

No other quest is more necessary or important.

Movies are powerful. Movies bring personal

meaning, and can contribute to a peaceful world.

Cinematic story telling can be a transforming event.

Visual Hollywood takes

an existential approach

to life. We celebrate

with human freedom.

We use movies and the

arts as a means of

understanding the

human condition and

our collective relation to

the world around us.

Our basic quest is:

1. To know what it

means to be human in

the world.

2. The pursuit of human


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This review is © 2006 David Bruce. All rights reserved. "Visual Hollywood " is a trademark

owned by David Bruce.

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