Signs of the Zodiac

Susan Gerhard February 28, 2007

As this week’s blanket coverage of David Fincher’s “Zodiac” shows, it’s axiomatic that nothing intrigues San Franciscans more than San Francisco. And why not? From The Big One to Patty Hearst, so many strange stories are waiting for their opportunity to be retold, preferably by an A-list Hollywood cast. Internet journalist Michael Guillén (“The Evening Class” and’s latest intern) researched a few bases to touch on your search for ever more Zodiac and ever more San Francisco.

The Chronicle would be the place to start, from its original coverage conveniently repurposed to PDF. Sunday’s Datebook didn’t skimp on recollections, from reporter Duffy Jennings remembrance of “unsavory Avery” to his thoughts on being portrayed by an actor who never took a minute to make a phone call. Michael Ordona on San Anselmo-raised Fincher’s re-creations, including the “startlingly plain” view of the Lake Berryessa murder scene. And Ruthe Stein talks private demons with the screen Avery, Robert Downey, Jr.

Elsewhere: “Zodiac’s” own web site, with interactive features including a timeline and Presidio Heights crime scene. The 4 Star Theatre hosts the 2007 “ Task Force Meeting,” complete with “Hunting the Zodiac” doc focusing on what they call “a new breed of Zodiac investigator — retirees, nurses, librarians, massage therapists, bakers, factory managers, pilots, interior decorators,” and featuring in-person appearances. Crime Library offers exhaustive e-reading on the case. And the movie itself? At least a few reviews are out in advance of Friday’s opening. From Emmanuel Levy, “A massive undertaking, thematically and narratively, and visually, ‘Zodiac’ continues to explore in a serious yet also darkly humorous way ideas that have prevailed in all of Fincher’s pictures, such as professional commitment and emotionally intense obsession.”