I spent the entirety of this 90-second advertisement expecting something terrible to happen.

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Genius pervert auteur David Fincher directed brewing company Anheuser-Busch’s first-ever Super Bowl commercial, which meant I spent the entire 90 seconds of this beer advertisement expecting something horrific to happen to these people. Instead, it’s kind of just a delightful little jaunt through the small joys of buying a friend a brewskie that’s more impeccably lit than any beer commercial I can remember seeing. Also, the campaign briefly reunited Fincher with his Social Network co-composer Atticus Ross, so who could possibly be mad?

Of course, Fincher has a long history with commercial-directing—brilliantly chronicled right here!—first making his name with award-winning ads and music videos before shooting his film breakthrough, Alien 3, in 1992. (And then his actual film breakthrough, Seven, in 1995) With not much in the way of new blockbusters to advertise during the big game this year, it’s kind of fun that this year’s Super Bowl ads are just filmmakers like Fincher and Damien Chazelle getting some work in.

It’s been an interesting year for Fincher, debuting his first feature film in six years, Oscar hopeful Mank, on Netflix, also signing a massive five-year exclusive deal with the streaming service. It’s obviously been a weird year for everyone, but Fincher has kept himself in the headlines, recently offering up his thoughts on the state of filmmaking and the theatrical experience in this, the weirdest, worst year.

“Look, I believe that the tragedy of cinema today is that we’re only 100 years in and we think we know exactly what it is,” he said. “We really don’t. What we’ve done is merely refined is an experience to a story, which is The Hero with a Thousand Faces over and over again.”

Check out the Anheuser-Busch commercial below. For more on what Fincher’s up to, here are the director’s full thoughts on the state of the theatrical experience.

 

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