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There are two basic modes in which every animal (including human) lives
its life. The first mode is characterized by security, safety, comfort,
patience, defensiveness, caution, consolidation, inhibition, staidness,
mildness, meekness, suppression, submission and conformity, whereas as
a complete contrast the other mode is characterized by aggression,
assertion, excitement, risk, initiative, boldness, spontaneity,
impulsiveness, recklessness, violence and domination. Often the shift
from the normal staid mode to the aggressive mode takes place very
rapidly, even as small as a fraction of a second.
Modern man has been forced by the need to attain social control of the masses to suppress the aggressive mode which was a necessary mode for the hunter-gatherer and warring man to survive and thrive. Today, most people have been programmed to live the staid life of a 9 to 5 routine, neatly dressed up, working to build a comfortable life, accumulating possessions that fortify this life style of maximizing luxury. But there is a downside to this: there is no sense of adventure left, it is a lifestyle of ultimate boredom because it is totally predictable, it leaves no room for a creative, innovative choice driven life style, and the mass aggressive outlet is in the contrived wars that dominating nations unleash upon the hapless smaller nations that dare to defy them even in the most trivial of issues. The only positive mass channeling of this aggression is in competitive sport or games, but come to think of it, that too is a contraption which is a distraction from the genuine aggressive response whose real value is in creativity.
The other result of this suppression is in the development of a neurosis that leads to mental disorders, drug addiction, life of crime and ultimately an irresistible urge to destroy it all without even being consciously aware of it.
Fight club is a story that vividly encapsulates this plight of modern, civilized man, the developing neurosis, the urges of aggression that are a response to boredom, the need for genuine excitement and adventure that are now a near impossibility, all build up to the inevitable destruction that is the only default genuine excitement that is left for man, an urge to destroy, that modern man is not even conscious of and will not be conscious of until the last moments of 'recorded time', and by that time it will be too late to stop it.
"Perhaps only poetry had the strength to rival the attractions of narcotics, the magnetism of TV, the excitements of sex, or the ecstasies of destruction."(Saul Bellow)
Who would have thought it? Marla Singer is the sanest, most honest
person in the entire piece. Even through all her hypochondria and
emotional rollercoasterism, she puts the cracked combination of Tyler
Durden and "Cornelius/Rupert/Everyman" in its place. Revisiting David
Fincher's fascinating post-modern masterwork Fight Club on Blu-ray for
its 10th anniversary reveals a wealth of these kinds of previously
undiscovered gems. What about Chloe, the dying woman so desperate for a
last act roll in the hay that she advertises her various pleasure
devices during her support group? There's Raymond K. Hessel, the
freaked out liquor store clerk who becomes Tyler's first (of supposedly
many) "human sacrifices" and, Lou, the faux Mafioso who gets a
'mouthful' of Fight Club's foul purpose. And of course, there's Robert
Paulson, the big softy with "bitch tits" who ends up representing the
most powerful of Project Mayhem's many ubiquitous symbols.
Far beyond Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, who play the rebel yell yin yang of a split personality with revolutionary leanings better than any single actor ever could, and a director so in tune with the material that it seems to be flowing directly out of his own Id, it's great to see this adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's perturbing novel get the afterthought critical respect it so richly deserved (and yet missed) the first time. Yes, Messageboard Nation loves to rewrite the history books on all their favorite films, and to read their various rants on the subject, you'd swear this was 1999's most heavily praised and commercially successful film. In truth, the controversial nature of Fight Club's material - which many saw as a celebration of mindless violence and individual brutality - saw it as one of the decade's most divisive efforts. Only in hindsight did it become the black-eyed Mona Lisa.
Ahh here it is. My review of David Fincher's classic adaption of Chuck Palahniuk's transgressional fiction master work. "Fight Club" tells the story of a corporate drone (Norton) who (like many) is displeased with his life. He, in turn, forms a 'fight club' with Tyler Durden (Pitt) a soap maker to escape from this sedative lifestyle. Now right off the bat, if this movie were shown to the original pioneers of film (i.e. Porter, Chaplin, Capra) I can safely say that upon completion of the film they would promptly scream, yell, cry, and then explode. . . .maybe. They would definitely be appalled by what they would see. However, this does not make "Fight Club" a bad film. For, film, like literature, can take on many forms and eventually evolve over time. Though the themes displayed throughout the film are definitely strange and at times shocking, they are also peculiarly thought-provoking and at times pragmatic. The movie's messages on defiance and nihilism are deeply rooted within it's very intelligently written script. The dialogue is hilarious and at times disturbingly provocative. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are two intensely talented actors, and seeing them work together on screen is really entertaining. Though anyone who watches this movie will walk out of the film talking about Brad Pitt's unforgettable portrayal of Tyler Durden. Pitt's obvious dedication to the role, paired with the near-perfectly written script he was given, makes for a character that I will quote many a time to come. Another aspect that I found particularly unique was the cinematography. I found that Photographic Director Jeff Cronenweth did a noteworthy job with the visuals of this movie. He really succeeded in using lighting to accentuate just how dismally somnolent the narrator's life is. I also felt that the use of lighting towards the end of the film was also very aesthetic. As for direction, David Fincher is . . . .well he's David Fincher. The guy really knows how to put a film together. In the end, "Fight Club" is a dark, dreary, appalling, hilarious film that I am glad to call a classic piece of American culture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Fight Club, viewers are introduced to the nameless narrator played
by Edward Norton, a man who has become numb for the knowledge of his
being trapped within a structured, white-collar life. Things take an
unexpected turn for the up when he chances to meet Tyler Durden, a
mysterious, charismatic, and volatile individual who, with the
narrator's help, creates an underground group to which many men begin
to congregate like Christians to Sunday mass so to fight against one
another in intense, free-form brawls; in short, a "Fight Club."
However, the premise of this group is deceptively simple, and what
begins as a means of connection and freedom between individuals soon
spirals out of control into something much more sinister than the main
character could have predicted.
The movie places a heavy emphasis on consumerism, and does not cast the practice in a forgiving light: one scene has the main character detailing the list of items he orders from catalogs, and as he goes about enumerating his purchases the camera pans from left to right, filling out the nooks and crannies of his apartment with items that look as though they belong to the pages of a home decorating magazine. In another scene, the camera slowly retreats from inside a wastebasket, showing along the way discarded wrappers, cans, and various utensils manufactured by large, brand-name companies. In effect, the main character, as well as those men drawn to fight club, have been raised , as Tyler says, to "work jobs we hate so we can buy s*** we don't need."
It is Tyler Durden who points this out to E.N.'s character, telling him: "the things you own end up owning you," and from there on out the narrator is at Tyler's mercy, becoming but one of the many people swayed by his charming antagonism toward larger society.
The cinematography and screen angling help to support his status as icon. All of the men in the film excluding Tyler Durden himself are average looking individuals who appear no different than from someone you might pass on the street. Tyler, in contrast, possesses rugged good looks and an Olympian body, and the film's shots make no attempt to hide this. In one scene, the narrator walks past Tyler having sexual intercourse with Marla (a woman who begins as much of a social vagrant as Edward Norton's character in the beginning before falling for Tyler's charm), and when Tyler pulls open the door to ask him what he is doing we are shown everything from just above his genitals and up; his narrow hips, his rock-like abdominals, his lean and granite-sculpted arms, his broad shoulders and chest.
The lighting of the film is such that at any moment when Tyler's frame is seen, it is done so where the shadows work to the favor of his body's contours; whereas all the other men appear plain and average, everything of Tyler Durden, from his muscle tone, to his face, to his ostentatious clothing, is given room to shine; as such, he appears less like a human and more like a God, and at times, such as in one scene where he flurries his blood-streaked head back and forth like a feral dog, so that great globs of putrid scarlet are flying off his scalp, like a demon.
The music of the film is almost scant; aside from the opening and ending credits, there are few moments in the film where music is a prime factor. The gritty nature of the film almost demands its absence, for many of the scenes are presented in so stark a setting that to pepper the mood with musical notes would only cheapen the effect. However there are some instances where music does indeed make its appearance, such as the scenes wherein the narrator explains to the audience the rapidity with which fight clubs begin to emerge throughout the country. The music at such times is simple yet catchy, and lends itself to the philosophy of the film well: Just because something is not complex does not mean it cannot take hold of you and, whether you realize it or not, drag you along for the rideeven if that ride involves you holding on for dear life, kicking and screaming.
Fight Club shows that everyday life can be quite monotonous, but it is
possible to exert your energy elsewhere when you are outside of the
work place. The main actors and actress in Fight Club are Brad Pitt
(Tyler Durden), Edward Norton (The Narrator) and Helena Bonham Carter
(Marla Singer). Each of these individuals did an excellent job when it
comes to reeling in their viewers. Throughout the movie a viewer's
suspense level will increase due to the fact that they are unsure as to
what Tyler will do next.
The title of the movie represents the exact meaning of the film because Tyler creates a club of men that can fight against each other in order to exert their aggressions, which were brought on from a long day in the office. The club quickly catches on and explodes into every major city throughout the United States. This film shows how quickly anger can build up in a human being when they are stuck doing the same thing every single day of their lives.
Another movie that most of you may be familiar with is Office Space, which is about a group of men that make a pact to change their everyday routine at work. The group of men scheme up a plan to plant a virus on their employer's computer system. While Fight Club is more violent than Office Space, they are both revolved around men that want some excitement in their lives.
The lighting in Fight Club is mostly dark due to the fact that fight clubs are done behind closed doors for fear that they will be shut down if they are caught by the police. The lighting also helps in understanding how depressed an individual can become if there is no excitement or suspense in their lives. The variety of characters help to piece this film together for each of them complements each other quite well because they are completely different, but at the same time they have very similar characteristics.
There are times when I feel as if my days run together because they are so repetitive. Finding new ways to change the repetitiveness can be difficult, but it is important to figure out what can be done in order to make everyday different. With this said, things can be changed by starting out with the opposite foot in which you take off walking with, carrying things in the other arm and driving a different way to and from work every day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As one of the first theatrical immersions into schizophrenia, Director David Fincher captures the true essence of Palahniuk's depiction of post modern masculinity. What amazed me the most was the following that Fight Club brought on, sparking aggressive groups of men around the world to grit their teeth and smile at the brutality of violence as a cure for the numbing characteristic of modern society. Juxtaposed to what people could consider elevator music, this film makes you wonder what's coming next as we rise through a cool and sexy portrayal of anarchy. Whenever I think of rebelling I always source my memory of the late 1990's and think, "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."
Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil the ending but I will say it will
shock you. When I saw this movie in theaters I had to watch over and
over again to catch everything. Trust me, it was worth the money. Brad
Pitt is my favorite part of this movie and the supporting cast is good
too. I guess you can say that my least favorite actor was the female or
some would call it the love interest. I thought that the movie could do
better with either another actress playing that role or just
eliminating it all together.
I saw it at the movies and now I have the DVD. This movie is funny, full of actions and suspense. You gotta see it.
While universally praised by all types of people, teenage and young
adult audience members in specific tend to gravitate towards Fight
Club, hailing it as one of the greatest films of all time and currently
placing it at #10. on IMDb's Top 250 films. However, there are plenty
of people that deem this film overrated, and while I can't quite agree
with that, I would say, much like Pulp Fiction, people tend to
consciously praise this film for the wrong reasons and through
superficial means. For the fairly shallow reasons people claim to like
this film, I would say in that sense, it is overrated. I would argue
that this film is quite misinterpreted by common audience members and
even by well-known film critics. Edward Norton's narrator character is
not named, to serve as a vehicle for the audience to adopt themselves
upon. He is a regular American white collar Caucasian male in his
thirties. He is a regular person. He is a loser to many as his life is
empty. In essence, he is the audience. Tyler Durden represents the
other extreme, while being a different side of the same coin. Audiences
generally love Tyler Durden, and it makes sense that they do in a way,
as he embodies everything they wish to be or wish to have. Tyler Durden
is the ideal masculine role, but the Narrator is given the task to
redefine that role.
Tyler Durden influences the Narrator to give up his dependent and materialistic lifestyle and embrace life for what it is; in essence all that matters is up to the individual. I think the film is also about finding a balance and not going too far in a way. The film is about how people should strive to improve, accept their worth, or lack of, but not give in so far that they lose sense of their individuality.
There's an over growing sense that one should not give in too much. The fight clubs and Project Mayhem begin to form a cult with set rules and priorities, embracing a mindless sheep like organized role, which is what they are set out to go against. They ultimately and ironically are fighting against what they are, which gives more insight and meaning to the film's twist. The twist is what audiences tend to focus on, while thinking the film is actually endorsing what the fight clubs and Project Mayhem stand for. The answer is neither 'no' nor 'yes' but rather 'sort of'. As mentioned before, the film argues for balance. The narrator, while ultimately agreeing with Tyler in some ways, feels things are getting out of hand, especially after a man is killed. Once he kills off Tyler, he is then ridding himself of the extremist side of him in a way, though not fully as he is still adopting some of that side. Tyler taught him not to need consumerist products and lifestyle, but he went too far and the narrator realizes he does not need Tyler. The film is about gaining a little bit of both sides. Tyler is not the hero. He is going too far and the audience needs to catch onto the fact that he is not the ideal one should strive for, but rather strive for that of the protagonist at the end. One should be their own individual but strive to improve and not give in and embrace extremes. The film is first about ridding one's self of the materialistic means and ideals society sets forth, including hyper-masculine extremist role models that Tyler embodies. The film is being more like the narrator than Tyler. Despite this, audience members lose sight of this and still view the film of being film as being for Tyler's philosophy and character ideal.
For a child of the 80s, this was perfect...the antidote to feeling hemmed in and impotent. i'd imagine this movie is less appealing to today's college-aged boys, but maybe i'm wrong... i hope that masculine-ideal-related anxiety is becoming less pervasive... although the internet may prove otherwise. this film features a stellar soundtrack by the Dust Brothers, high replay-ability (thanks to lots of little Easter eggs) and a pretty dynamic cast... Helena Bonham Carter has disappointed me with every other feature I've seen her in. Go see it if only to learn the rules... and of course, for Brad Pitt as the biggest bad-ass since his role as Jeffrey Goines in 12 monkeys
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In terms of uniqueness, Fight Club stands alone in its own perfectly crafted category. The cinematography of rapid and slowed down scenes of large and small scale gives this film a distinguishable edge over all other films. Finchers use of slow-motion fits into each and every sequence and the distribution of the blood adds a certain realistic feature. Of course, since this film is highly acclaimed and frequently talked about, its hard not to hear rumors and gossip about the plot. However, I deliberately stayed away from this film until I was able to sit down and see it and my motives didn't disappoint. The plot twist hit me hard and had me skimming earlier parts of the film to test its consistency. It is one of the best plot twists of all time, other than the 6th sense, and will continue to keep this movie amongst the greats.
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