(May, 2020 -- Los Angeles, CA) Actor Sebastian Faure is honored to be working in Mank an upcoming American biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, and his battles with director Orson Welles over screenplay credit for Citizen Kane.
According to Roger Ebert: "The origins of Citizen Kane are well known. Orson Welles, the boy wonder of radio and stage, was given freedom by RKO Radio Pictures to make any picture he wished. Herman Mankiewicz, an experienced screenwriter, collaborated with him on a screenplay originally called The American. Its inspiration was the life of William Randolph Hearst, who had put together an empire of newspapers, radio stations, magazines and news services, and then built to himself the flamboyant monument of San Simeon, a castle furnished by rummaging the remains of nations. Hearst was Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates rolled up into an enigma."
Mank / IMDb
Mank is directed by David Fincher, based on a script written by his father Jack, with Gary Oldman in the title role. The film will be distributed by Netflix, and produced by Fincher, Ceán Chaffin, and Douglas Urbanski.
Herman Jacob Mankiewicz was an American screenwriter, who, with Orson Welles, wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane. Earlier, he was the Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the drama critic for The New York Times and The New Yorker. Alexander Woollcott, an American critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine, a member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, an occasional actor and playwright, and a prominent radio personality said that Herman Mankiewicz was the "funniest man in New York". Both Mankiewicz and Welles received Academy Awards for their screenplay.
He was often asked to fix the screenplays of other writers, with much of his work uncredited. Occasional flashes of what came to be called the "Mankiewicz humor" and satire distinguished his films, and became valued in the films of the 1930s. The style of writing included a slick, satirical, and witty humor, which depended almost totally on dialogue to carry the film. It was a style that would become associated with the "typical American film" of that period.
Among the screenplays he wrote or worked on, besides Citizen Kane, were The Wizard of Oz, Man of the World, Dinner at Eight, Pride of the Yankees, and The Pride of St. Louis.
Mankiewicz's younger brother was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, also an Oscar-winning Hollywood director, screenwriter, and producer.
Film critic Pauline Kael credits Mankiewicz with having written, alone or with others, "about forty of the films I remember best from the twenties and thirties. ... he was a key linking figure in just the kind of movies my friends and I loved best."
David Fincher's father Howard Kelly "Jack" Fincher, who wrote the Mank screenplay, was an American screenwriter and journalist who had written for various magazines and periodicals, notably serving as a chief editor of Life magazine.
David Fincher / IMDb
David Fincher was born in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was eighteen years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos in Hollywood. He went on to found Propaganda in 1987 with fellow directors Dominic Sena, Greg Gold and Nigel Dick. Fincher has directed TV commercials for clients that include Nike, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Heineken, Pepsi, Levi's, Converse, AT&T and Chanel. He has directed music videos for Madonna, Sting, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, George Michael, Iggy Pop, The Wallflowers, Billy Idol, Steve Winwood, The Motels and, most recently, A Perfect Circle.
As a film director, he has achieved huge success with Se7en, Fight Club and, Panic Room.
His movies often feature several single frames that flash on the screen in the middle of a scene, as in Fight Club, and fluid tracking camera which can access anywhere, a digital age innovation in camera movement pioneered with Kevin Tod Haug.
He frequently has characters in the shadows where you cannot make out their face: Kevin Spacey in Se7en, The Killer in Zodiac, and Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
His films often center on people with poor social skills and few friends: The Narrator in Fight Club, Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Amy Dunne in Gone Girl.
Known for his perfectionist tendencies, often shooting scenes dozens or even hundreds of times to get it exactly right.
Collider's Adam Chitwood describes how The Social Network should have won best picture.
David Fincher also directed the very well regarded The Game a 1997 American mystery thriller film, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, and produced by Propaganda Films and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. It tells the story of a wealthy investment banker who is given a mysterious gift by his brother - participation in a game that integrates in strange ways with his everyday life. As the lines between the banker's real life and the game become more uncertain, hints of a large conspiracy become apparent.
The Game was well received by critics like Roger Ebert and major periodicals like The New York Times.
Fincher has said that the film is about "loss of control. The purpose of The Game is to take your greatest fear, put it this close to your face and say 'There, you're still alive. It's all right.' "
Douglas said his moody, tormented performance was inspired in part by the divorce proceedings he was going through during the shoot. "It was a time for me to use a lot of myself in the picture," he recalled.
David Fincher is also a prolific television producer. Executive producer of seventy-three episodes of House of Cards, eighteen episodes of Love, Death, & Robots, and nineteen episodes of Mindhunter.
Sebastian Faure is honored to be cast in Mank: "Every time I pick a role, I always start by understanding the psychology behind that person and the way he perceives life, because acting is all about the thought process in studying the character’s interaction with his surroundings.
Mank is a black and white film, very dramatic, with slow camera movement, very film noir, a tribute to the past. David Fincher is very close to this story as it's a passion project, it's been five years since he directed a feature, so he is being certain about doing it the right way. Mank was also one of the last scripts written by David Fincher's father Jack Fincher.”
In Mank, Sebastian worked with Gary Oldman, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, and many others. Who is Tom Pelphrey?
Tom Pelphrey / Collider
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It is Sebastian's belief that the art of acting is a never-ending search in finding the essence of a character. A quest to understand human behavior and push away judgment. It's a search for truth in understanding social psychology in the various circumstances of life.
As Sebastian puts it: "It's not about the start or the finish line, it's about the journey... of discovery, of learning, of growing, and of interacting with others.”
In his perspective, "Acting is an exaggerated imitation of life and life’s purpose is to remain dynamic, to keep moving forward, to take chances through the process of learning and getting out of your comfort zone. The moment you start getting too comfortable with your habits, you are as good as dead as you have lost track of your purpose. We can draw this parallel with acting; a character in any story holds no presence if he has no purpose, no objective.”
He is also appearing as a married man who escapes from his ordinary world, jeopardizing everything he thought was love in The Rose Hat written and directed by Ana Karenina Arley Jiménez.
The Rose Hat is currently on the world-wide festival circuit.
Sebastian Faure intends to continue to pursue his passion for acting. "I'm consistently learning more about life and myself so that I can improve my artistic craft."
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Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb, Collider, Moviephone