The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate and other historical events unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
A nameless first person narrator (Edward Norton) attends support groups in attempt to subdue his emotional state and relieve his insomniac state. When he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), another fake attendee of support groups, his life seems to become a little more bearable. However when he associates himself with Tyler (Brad Pitt) he is dragged into an underground fight club and soap making scheme. Together the two men spiral out of control and engage in competitive rivalry for love and power. When the narrator is exposed to the hidden agenda of Tyler's fight club, he must accept the awful truth that Tyler may not be who he says he is.Written by
In conjunction with director David Fincher, first time director of photography Jeff Cronenweth decided to shoot the film using spherical lenses instead of the more common anamorphic lenses. This was primarily because many scenes were to be shot on practical locations using practical lighting, which wouldn't provide enough luminosity for an anamorphic lens to capture the image (anamorphic lenses require more light than spherical lenses for correct exposure). The disadvantage of shooting with spherical lenses is that the negative has to be blown up for the extraction process (unlike an anamorphic negative), meaning that the final print has a grainier texture than that shot using anamorphic. However, both Fincher and Cronenweth felt that this extra grain actually suited the tone of the film, and no attempts were made to clean it up or reduce it in the post-production process. See more »
When the buildings detonated at the end they fell too fast, did not generate enough dust and did not rattle the windows and tremor the floor to the adjacent building where the characters were watching. See more »
Just as the closing credits are about to start, a flash-frame-shot of a penis appears on the screen. See more »
For the UK theatrical release of the film, the BBFC removed a total of four seconds from two scenes. In the scene where Lou (Peter Iacangelo) beats up Tyler (Brad Pitt), an overhead shot as Tyler receives a punch to the face is missing, and in the scene where The Narrator (Edward Norton) beats up Angel Face (Jared Leto), the third punch in the first load of hits, as well as several hits as his face becomes bloodied during the last load of hits have been removed. The BBFC argued that these cuts were made because of "excessively sustained violence" and "an indulgence in the excitement of beating a defenseless man's face into a pulp". Interestingly however, prior to the release of the film, the BBFC was petitioned to ban the film altogether, but they refused, disputing claims that it contained "dangerously instructive information" and could "encourage anti-social behavior". In fact, they actually came to the defense of the film, pointing out that "the film as a whole is - quite clearly - critical and sharply prodigy of the amateur fascism which in part it portrays. Its central theme of male machismo (and the anti-social behavior that flows from it) is emphatically rejected by the central character in the concluding reels." For the 2007 Definitive Edition DVD re-release of the movie in the UK, all previous cuts were waved, and the film was released with the deleted four seconds reinstated. See more »
Superb, and truly one of the greatest movies of all time.
It starts with the screenplay. Adapted from, and very faithful to, an excellent book. The book by Chuck Palahniuk was perfect for a movie: vivid, powerful, challenging, original, unpredictable. Considering how perfectly formed the book already was, the screenplay would have been a doddle.
Some very interesting themes are explored - consumerism, class warfare, multiple-personality disorder, male bonding, terrorism and anarchy - without being judgemental.
Direction is spot-on. Perfect cinematography, pacing and editing. The twists and nuances of the book are captured perfectly.
Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are perfectly cast as the two lead characters, and deliver in spades. Helena Bonham Carter is a strange selection to take on the role of Marla, as she tends to act in Shakespearean dramas and other period pieces. However, despite this, her performance is very convincing.
An absolute classic.
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