Mank is not Meh-nk


By: Hopster

January 13, 2021

Mank Mank [2020]

Film

This is long overdue and honestly, I'm a tinge embarrassed; I should've been here sooner. My earnest affection for Mank should not be measured against the timeliness of this write-up. What can I say? People be busy, alright? Just know I wanted to be here! I wanted to 'ship Mank publicly and wholeheartedly. So here I am, albeit a month later, with still very little to say. Here is a six-pack of Mank thoughts I've been sitting on for the past month:

  1. Let's get this out of the way: yes, Mank is a black-and-white movie about a much older black-and-white movie, Citizen Kane. Contrary to some popular belief, just because a movie is shot in black-and-white does not automatically make it boring. If you're interested in good cinema and above the age of 12, you can certainly handle the following first-world film burdens: black-and-white cinematography, non-English speaking films with English subtitles, and three-hour runtimes (when warranted). If not, please feel free to revisit Forrest Gump for the twenty-eighth time and zip your lip.

  2. My first point standing, I'd recommend sandwiching Citizen Kane between two Mank viewings if you're up for it. Fincher's stylistic choices and the screenplay parallels will begin to really stick out. That is of course if you're willing to spend 6 hours and 21 minutes doing so.

  3. Amanda Seyfried's Marion Davies performance reminds me of Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood: a supporting performance carefully calibrated to be not only era-specific and magnetic, but also nuanced and self-aware. She crushed it and gave Fincher his first layered, fully-realized female character.

  4. Who won 2020 you ask? Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Between this and Pixar's Soul, they are on one of the all-time film composer hot streaks (for those of you film score nerds who are keeping track at home). And please don't make me pick between the two scores - just let me have both.

  5. Analysis? We're not really cut out for that here. Sure, some of the scenes might have been overwritten, and some of the aesthetic flouishes may have been a tad overkill. But, if being a part-time contrarian will somehow help boost my already-questionable credibility, then I'm not willing to stand on ceremony. The bottom line: David Fincher knows a hell of a lot more about film than I ever will. Or you ever will.

  6. So, Netflix gave Fincher the financial runway to tackle this vanity project, but seriously won't pick up season 3 of Mindhunter? What gives?

TL;DR: despite being in black-and-white, Mank is great and not boring.

Froth

Ahhh yes, finally! Here is a film worthy of some high-end froth. Lucky for me, I cracked open a 16 oz. Charlatan, a pale ale with a prudent balance of bitterness and sweetness. And did I mention that citric aroma? Good stuff.

Charlatan
Maplewood Brewing Company & Distillery
Pale Ale - American | 6.1% ABV
@maplewoodbrew