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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:21 pm 

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Highway 61 wrote:
Moreover, I think the case can be made that the film is constantly at odds with itself in that Fincher's aesthetic seems to me the exact image-conscious exercise in fashion that the film claims to despise. But it's rather dangerous to attempt an such an analysis after so many years, so I'll just end by saying that I've always thought of Fight Club as a film that wants to have its cake and eat it too.


I always thought it was a bit disingenuous for one of the world's premier shillers of soap and such to make a movie that attempts to be an anti-commercial screed. Your above statement might just be another way of saying this.

(Though I like the first hour or so of the film very much, it leaps off the rails narratively trying to get the "mind-fuck" aspect to work -- i.e., that "Jack" is Tyler Durden. But it has always been my contention that this is wasted energy and screen time; since Pitt is functioning, narratively, as Norton's unleashed id, he need not actually be Norton's unleashed id to make the same point. This "geeky-cool" component of the film, which set fanboys all aflutter at the time, diminishes it in the long view. But this is also true of all movies that have some big twist at the end -- it only works, if it works at all, the first time. Having said that, I suppose you could read the movie as the story of a man-child so emotionally underdeveloped that meeting a woman and being attracted to her causes him to have a rather severe psychotic break. I suppose that works. Nevertheless, to me, all the jumping through hoops and flash-frames and such seems to get in the way of what the movie is trying to say.)


Last edited by TedW on Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am 
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TedW wrote:
Nevertheless, to me, all the jumping through hoops and flash-frames and such seems to get in the way of what the movie is trying to say.)

I hesitate to dive back into this after John Cope's articulate and intelligent response (I sold my DVD of the film, so I can't sincerely reevaluate it and respond to his comments that easily), but I must admit that what you described as "flash-frames" is exactly what I question about Fight Club. It seems to me a very fraudulent, almost juvenile technique that is so obvious that everyone is bound to notice it, and because the average viewer can see the technique at work, they will call the movie genius. I liken it to the young writer who fills his work full of angry, hateful profanity because he assumes that this makes his writing good and/or unconventional.

I'll even speculate that Fincher came to a similar conclusion, and the result was Zodiac, a film of admirable restraint that appears to deliberately deny Seven and Fight Club fans the violence and pyrotechnics they expect.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:27 am 

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I'll go with that. The nadir for me was Pitt lecturing the audience ("You are not your Coca-Cola" or whatever it was) with wisdom and insight so forceful it shook the very film itself from the gate from which it was being projected. Those guys must've thought they were the shit when they made this movie...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:42 am 
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TedW wrote:
I'll go with that. The nadir for me was Pitt lecturing the audience ("You are not your Coca-Cola" or whatever it was) with wisdom and insight so forceful it shook the very film itself from the gate from which it was being projected. Those guys must've thought they were the shit when they made this movie...

So you don't think the film is even a bit self-aware when it shows this celluloid-shaking demogogue creating a destructive, brain-washed, pseudo-religious cult?

I'm rather astounded at some of the criticisms people are making. Surely it's clear this film is about the way in which anti-social, anti-conformist rhetoric just ends up breeding a reverse conformity even more hard-lined and more dehumanizing ("in Project Mayhem we have no names") than anything in the consumer culture supposedly being railed against. Tyler Durden's message is absolutely as powerful as it seems, but don't think for a moment the film is presenting this power in a positive light. By the end of the movie said power is frightening and destructive, not illuminating and liberating. Even anti-conformism becomes a conformist trap.

I know it's tempting to want to have one over on some cult movie popular with the college crowd, who like it for the wrong reasons, but I think it does the movie a disservice.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:58 am 

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Mr_sausage wrote:
TedW wrote:
I'll go with that. The nadir for me was Pitt lecturing the audience ("You are not your Coca-Cola" or whatever it was) with wisdom and insight so forceful it shook the very film itself from the gate from which it was being projected. Those guys must've thought they were the shit when they made this movie...

So you don't think the film is even a bit self-aware when it shows this celluloid-shaking demogogue creating a destructive, brain-washed, pseudo-religious cult?



No, I don't. I don't think what you're talking about even crossed their minds w/r/t the moment I cited, which I believe is to be taken solely at face value: hear this, audience, this is Important. (And if memory serves, one of the commentaries on the DVD even bears this out.) Doesn't mean you can't read that into it, though. But for me, it's just wankery.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:06 am 

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Mr_sausage wrote:
Surely it's clear this film is about the way in which anti-social, anti-conformist rhetoric just ends up breeding a reverse conformity even more hard-lined and more dehumanizing ("in Project Mayhem we have no names") than anything in the consumer culture supposedly being railed against.


That's a good read, and a worthy idea for a film, and you're certainly welcome to it, but I'm not entirely convinced that this was the intention. I think the movie is a little more face value than you (or hardcore fans, I should say) are willing to concede. I just don't see any kind of intellectual heft or rigor in this movie or in Fincher's other movies to support this. It's not a dis: I like Fincher, he's definitely got his talents and his movies have their pleasures. But Godard he isn't.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:10 am 
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TedW wrote:
Mr_sausage wrote:
TedW wrote:
I'll go with that. The nadir for me was Pitt lecturing the audience ("You are not your Coca-Cola" or whatever it was) with wisdom and insight so forceful it shook the very film itself from the gate from which it was being projected. Those guys must've thought they were the shit when they made this movie...

So you don't think the film is even a bit self-aware when it shows this celluloid-shaking demogogue creating a destructive, brain-washed, pseudo-religious cult?

No, I don't. I don't think what you're talking about even crossed their minds w/r/t the moment I cited, which I believe is to be taken solely at face value: hear this, audience, this is Important. (And if memory serves, one of the commentaries on the DVD even bears this out.) Doesn't mean you can't read that into it, though. But for me, it's just wankery.

If you're going to tell me I'm flat out wrong and am just reading things into the movie (which I'm assuming you believe aren't there), the least you could do is have the courtesy to make an argument after I took the time to provide you with one.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your second post, which is certainly less dimissive, although it's not really an argument either.

TedW wrote:
That's a good read, and a worthy idea for a film, and you're certainly welcome to it, but I'm not entirely convinced that this was the intention. I think the movie is a little more face value than you (or hardcore fans, I should say) are willing to concede. I just don't see any kind of intellectual heft or rigor in this movie or in Fincher's other movies to support this. It's not a dis: I like Fincher, he's definitely got his talents and his movies have their pleasures. But Godard he isn't.

Who says I'm not willing to concede the film isn't "face value?" The reason I'm so stumped by your criticisms is precisely because the film's intentions concerning the cultish reverse-conformism are so blatant and unsubtle. It's all there to be seen. In order to prove the movie believes Tyler's rhetoric without reservation you must first prove the movie believes project mayhem is a serious, legitimate act of social change. And while Fincher may not be Godard, that's hardly an argument that the film contains no meaning, no message, and no significance in any amount at all. You are free to think the movie has no heft and no intellectual rigour, but honestly, the idea that anti-conformist rhetoric breeds conformism is neither intellectually rigourous nor hefty. The way the idea is worked through on film could be, but in and of itself it's a fairly basic idea.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:58 am 

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Mr_sausage wrote:
TedW wrote:
Mr_sausage wrote:
TedW wrote:
I'll go with that. The nadir for me was Pitt lecturing the audience ("You are not your Coca-Cola" or whatever it was) with wisdom and insight so forceful it shook the very film itself from the gate from which it was being projected. Those guys must've thought they were the shit when they made this movie...

So you don't think the film is even a bit self-aware when it shows this celluloid-shaking demogogue creating a destructive, brain-washed, pseudo-religious cult?

No, I don't. I don't think what you're talking about even crossed their minds w/r/t the moment I cited, which I believe is to be taken solely at face value: hear this, audience, this is Important. (And if memory serves, one of the commentaries on the DVD even bears this out.) Doesn't mean you can't read that into it, though. But for me, it's just wankery.

If you're going to tell me I'm flat out wrong and am just reading things into the movie (which I'm assuming you believe aren't there), the least you could do is have the courtesy to make an argument after I took the time to provide you with one.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your second post, which is certainly less dimissive, although it's not really an argument either.

TedW wrote:
That's a good read, and a worthy idea for a film, and you're certainly welcome to it, but I'm not entirely convinced that this was the intention. I think the movie is a little more face value than you (or hardcore fans, I should say) are willing to concede. I just don't see any kind of intellectual heft or rigor in this movie or in Fincher's other movies to support this. It's not a dis: I like Fincher, he's definitely got his talents and his movies have their pleasures. But Godard he isn't.

Who says I'm not willing to concede the film isn't "face value?" The reason I'm so stumped by your criticisms is precisely because the film's intentions concerning the cultish reverse-conformism are so blatant and unsubtle. It's all there to be seen. In order to prove the movie believes Tyler's rhetoric without reservation you must first prove the movie believes project mayhem is a serious, legitimate act of social change. And while Fincher may not be Godard, that's hardly an argument that the film contains no meaning, no message, and no significance in any amount at all. You are free to think the movie has no heft and no intellectual rigour, but honestly, the idea that anti-conformist rhetoric breeds conformism is neither intellectually rigourous nor hefty. The way the idea is worked through on film could be, but in and of itself it's a fairly basic idea.


Slow down, my man: nobody is telling you you are flat out wrong, and there is nothing "dismissive" about either post (the latter, according to you, being at least less dismissive). I deliberately acknowledged the legitimacy of your opinion to avoid precisely this kind of response. I am expressing my opinion (since, obviously, I have no actual knowledge of what really "crossed their minds," though, as I mentioned, I recall a DVD commentary that supported my claim; give my memory however much weight you like, though) and I am not obligated to argue with you at any time, nor am I obligated to even continue in this or any other thread, on this or any other forum, regardless of how much time you put into a post. I answered your question directly with my take without invalidating yours. But since we're here and I'm up typing...

Re-reading our exchange, I think a tiny point was missed: I was referring specifically to the lecture-to-the-camera moment as face-value, and your response to that is referring to the film as a whole. I never actually answered your question, I see, and you never referred to that specific part of the film which was the basis of my comment.

Backing up a bit, you say:
Mr_sausage wrote:
Surely it's clear this film is about the way in which anti-social, anti-conformist rhetoric just ends up breeding a reverse conformity even more hard-lined and more dehumanizing ("in Project Mayhem we have no names") than anything in the consumer culture supposedly being railed against.


And, again, I say that though the film may contain that, I don't believe that is the main thrust. Project Mayhem comes way too late in the movie; and though Jack comes around to rejecting it, that part of the film is so tied up with him recognizing that he is Tyler Durden and therefore he is responsible for the terrorism that I personally can't accept this is what the movie is ultimately about. If Pitt wasn't Norton's id but was merely functioning as Norton's id (as I describe above) this turnaround might have more weight, but Norton is proceeding as much out of guilt as anything else. The movie doesn't really claim your read, either (valid though it may be): it claims to be about a bunch of disaffected "girlie men" from a specifically late 90s era of relative peace and prosperity who latch onto this idea of fighting, of pain, as a rite of passage into conventional manhood. What I think the movie is really about, though, as I mentioned above, is something more specific: it's about an emotionally retarded man-boy who meets a girl he likes and can't process the implications of that in the normal way, and thus has a psychotic break, wherein he creates another personality, the ultra-id version of himself who (initially) can. Hijinks ensue. Along the way we get some anti-consumerist screeds (courtesy some of the most accomplished, highly-paid purveyors of consumer goods in the world -- which, natch, turned me right off, and perhaps that's just my glitch and not the fault of the film) and a little bit of indie-band nihilism. My memory of the film is that I was engaged in the first, black-comedy part, and less into it the further along it went. The initial interesting thread of this insomniac guy who can't cope with life in a healthy way gets obfuscated by a bunch of other ideas that don't really coalesce, for me, into a cogent statement.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 am 
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TedW wrote:
(Though I like the first hour or so of the film very much, it leaps off the rails narratively trying to get the "mind-fuck" aspect to work -- i.e., that "Jack" is Tyler Durden. But it has always been my contention that this is wasted energy and screen time; since Pitt is functioning, narratively, as Norton's unleashed id, he need not actually be Norton's unleashed id to make the same point. This "geeky-cool" component of the film, which set fanboys all aflutter at the time, diminishes it in the long view.


I don't think it does. I think that the only way Fight Club can have any real power and legitimacy is to embrace its excess unabashed. And the fact that Tyler is some kind of phantom presence functions well unleashed within the narrative because Fincher never reduces him to being only Norton's psychic projection. He exceeds that designation and becomes a free floating signifier of chaotic disruption, and yet also a representative figure of iconic or emblematic aspiration. He is who all of these people want to be and see themselves ideally as: a heroic but already commodified and therefore relatable figure (his alienating qualities emerge only over time, once his ideology has been fully absorbed). I actually love the fact that Fincher revels in the absurdity of Tyler's reveal as double or alter ego. Because this tips the whole thing into obvious psychotic terrain for us but not nearly enough apparently for Tyler's acolytes who have witnessed it in one form or another all along.

The fan boy response you speak of, triggered by what you seem to take as a gimmicky twist, is, in fact, the essential point of Fincher's project. That the desire to associate with this particular disruptive but vital personality is so great it trumps all reason. And this is why Fight Club is ultimately a greater film than something like American Beauty which deals in a similar subtext: on how the rejection of social norms can be just as reductive a move as their overt acceptance and adherence. As mentioned, it is because Fincher emphasizes the obvious derangement of the messenger that the terrible appeal of the message becomes all too clear. And it isn't overstated.

Certainly the many proclamations Tyler makes, often almost directly to the camera, and Fincher's means of heralding their presumptive grip and hold on us is only inauthentic if it does not accurately represent something which can and does captivate some people by appealing to a very real lack or loss of orientation. I suspect many who loved the film and admired Durden did not feel ashamed of associating themselves with the seemingly psychotic "Jack" (certainly tremendously ill by any known standard in this society); and this was because Fincher emphasizes rather than plays down that aspect of things. And this is not merely an attraction to a romanticized derangement but rather an attraction to a recognizably deranged reality in which the only viable response is one equally so. The ending of the film works in so many different ways for precisely the fact that there are so many different and hugely important things going on at once under Fincher's cacophony of insanity and confluence of raging sound and image (and this is especially true of Fincher's grand Romantic final image, an inspired inversion of O Pioneers style sentimentality as the goth-social reject lovers gaze out wistfully at the new dawn rising over an ironically positioned pre-9/11 utopic landscape--an implicit critique available through its excess but no less powerfully persuasive in its visionary boldness for being so).

Perhaps we are simply not asking the right question. Rather than asking whether or not Fincher means such and such a moment to be read as pure satire or genuine advocacy, the better question might be whether, as with Jose Padilha's superb but equally overwhelming Elite Squad, the director allows for the necessary space to maneuver and find ironic distance as a possibility in an otherwise suffocating presentation? Because that seems to be the necessary pre-requisite toward a genuinely estimable accomplishment.

BTW, when are we just going to go ahead and break all this off from the Button thread already?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:01 am 
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Hey mods, want to throw this Fight Club discussion into its own thread?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:52 pm 

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No need to.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:17 pm 

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John Cope wrote:
TedW wrote:
(Though I like the first hour or so of the film very much, it leaps off the rails narratively trying to get the "mind-fuck" aspect to work -- i.e., that "Jack" is Tyler Durden. But it has always been my contention that this is wasted energy and screen time; since Pitt is functioning, narratively, as Norton's unleashed id, he need not actually be Norton's unleashed id to make the same point. This "geeky-cool" component of the film, which set fanboys all aflutter at the time, diminishes it in the long view.

I don't think it does. I think that the only way Fight Club can have any real power and legitimacy is to embrace its excess unabashed. And the fact that Tyler is some kind of phantom presence functions well unleashed within the narrative because Fincher never reduces him to being only Norton's psychic projection. He exceeds that designation and becomes a free floating signifier of chaotic disruption, and yet also a representative figure of iconic or emblematic aspiration. He is who all of these people want to be and see themselves ideally as: a heroic but already commodified and therefore relatable figure (his alienating qualities emerge only over time, once his ideology has been fully absorbed). I actually love the fact that Fincher revels in the absurdity of Tyler's reveal as double or alter ego. Because this tips the whole thing into obvious psychotic terrain for us but not nearly enough apparently for Tyler's acolytes who have witnessed it in one form or another all along.

The fan boy response you speak of, triggered by what you seem to take as a gimmicky twist, is, in fact, the essential point of Fincher's project. That the desire to associate with this particular disruptive but vital personality is so great it trumps all reason. And this is why Fight Club is ultimately a greater film than something like American Beauty which deals in a similar subtext: on how the rejection of social norms can be just as reductive a move as their overt acceptance and adherence. As mentioned, it is because Fincher emphasizes the obvious derangement of the messenger that the terrible appeal of the message becomes all too clear. And it isn't overstated.

Certainly the many proclamations Tyler makes, often almost directly to the camera, and Fincher's means of heralding their presumptive grip and hold on us is only inauthentic if it does not accurately represent something which can and does captivate some people by appealing to a very real lack or loss of orientation. I suspect many who loved the film and admired Durden did not feel ashamed of associating themselves with the seemingly psychotic "Jack" (certainly tremendously ill by any known standard in this society); and this was because Fincher emphasizes rather than plays down that aspect of things. And this is not merely an attraction to a romanticized derangement but rather an attraction to a recognizably deranged reality in which the only viable response is one equally so. The ending of the film works in so many different ways for precisely the fact that there are so many different and hugely important things going on at once under Fincher's cacophony of insanity and confluence of raging sound and image (and this is especially true of Fincher's grand Romantic final image, an inspired inversion of O Pioneers style sentimentality as the goth-social reject lovers gaze out wistfully at the new dawn rising over an ironically positioned pre-9/11 utopic landscape--an implicit critique available through its excess but no less powerfully persuasive in its visionary boldness for being so).

Perhaps we are simply not asking the right question. Rather than asking whether or not Fincher means such and such a moment to be read as pure satire or genuine advocacy, the better question might be whether, as with Jose Padilha's superb but equally overwhelming Elite Squad, the director allows for the necessary space to maneuver and find ironic distance as a possibility in an otherwise suffocating presentation? Because that seems to be the necessary pre-requisite toward a genuinely estimable accomplishment.

BTW, when are we just going to go ahead and break all this off from the Button thread already?

Well said. You make a reasonable counter-argument, though I don't agree with everything in it, nor do I find the "esential point of Fincher's project" -- if that is indeed what it is -- particlarly interesting or moving in any case. The movie is so all over the place that any number of interpretations are possible, but I'm just not sufficiently invested in it to care, sorry to say. I am looking forward to Benjamin Button, however.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Sorry for the length.

TedW wrote:
Slow down, my man: nobody is telling you you are flat out wrong, and there is nothing "dismissive" about either post (the latter, according to you, being at least less dismissive). I deliberately acknowledged the legitimacy of your opinion to avoid precisely this kind of response. I am expressing my opinion (since, obviously, I have no actual knowledge of what really "crossed their minds," though, as I mentioned, I recall a DVD commentary that supported my claim; give my memory however much weight you like, though) and I am not obligated to argue with you at any time, nor am I obligated to even continue in this or any other thread, on this or any other forum, regardless of how much time you put into a post. I answered your question directly with my take without invalidating yours. But since we're here and I'm up typing...

Hmm. I think I was being hasty when I qualified your post (it was late, my apologies), but I still think you were being kind of dismissive when you said "Doesn't mean you can't read that into it, though." I take the phrase 'reading into' to mean putting one's own ideas into a film that doesn't actually have said ideas. In which case you're telling me I'm wrong without actually saying why, and I find that dismissive. I'm not angry, but I would like to actually discuss the things we're saying.

And while you're not obligated to make an argument to back up your points, it is the general way we do things on this board, and it is much nicer than saying (and I paraphrase): "I think you're wrong about what the film is doing. You can think that stuff if you like, but I think it's wankery" and leaving it there. I mean, would you appreciate that after you'd just taken the trouble to make a case for a movie?

TedW wrote:
I was referring specifically to the lecture-to-the-camera moment as face-value, and your response to that is referring to the film as a whole.

Well my response does try to place it within the context of the whole. I don't believe in removing film scenes from their context and making an argument based only on that. But, taking the moment at face value, Brad Pitt looks and sounds rather demonic in that moment so I still don't think it's meant as a glorious, unqualified wake-up call or something. It is anyway just a recapitulation of things said throughout the movie, so I don't see it as trying to be only enlightening.

TedW wrote:
Project Mayhem comes way too late in the movie;

The cultish behaviour (which ends as Project Mayhem) is not significantly delayed in the movie. I think it's just a bit over half way through before people are being asked to shave their heads, ect. But the idea I've been propounding is set up early enough in the movie in a crucial dialogue between Jack and Marla. Jack asks, thinking of their mutual relationship with Tyler: "What are you getting out of this? I mean, why does a weaker person latch on to a stronger person?" The answer, of course, is to feel strong oneself; but by the time the movie ends you realize that this promise of strength and masculinity--which began as underground fighting--has become an exploitation of the weak and the disaffected into carrying out acts of terrorism in the name of an anarchist ideology (Tyler dreams of people crawling through the rubble or Rockafeller centre). Norton spends so much time discovering that Tyler is himself because the movie needs him to understand his own weaknesses, and to do that, he needs to finally acknowledge the things about himself he's never confronted and that he's only hid from behind a strong, id-like alter ego. He needs to discover it's his own behaviour, not someone else's, that's destructive; and by the end he shoots himself in an act of self-assertion: "Tyler. Now I want you to listen to me very carefully."

TedW wrote:
it's about an emotionally retarded man-boy who meets a girl he likes and can't process the implications of that in the normal way, and thus has a psychotic break, wherein he creates another personality, the ultra-id version of himself who (initially) can.

Well, yeah. He even says at one point, "I'm a thirty-year-old boy." And Tyler takes advantage of that with promises of manhood and power and whatever else (he positions himself as a father figure. See: the moment he leaves Jack), just as he does with a whole league of other thirty-year-old boys who want to feel like men. The film is about the feeling of powerlessness, but it's also about how said feelings can be manipulated, how they are dangerous and destructive. It might not be apparent at first, or even at all for some, but beating the shit out of other people in a basement doesn't make you a man: it's childish behaviour, no? Fight club, the actual club, provided temporary relief but solved no problems. It indulged infantile behaviour. Note that Project Mayhem's favourite form of punishment is to cut off someone's testicles, essentially removing them from the company of men. It's a frightening way to keep a cult in line: if you want to be a man you have to be within the cult, for anyone outside the cult is not a man and deserves to have his testicles removed.

TedW wrote:
Along the way we get some anti-consumerist screeds (courtesy some of the most accomplished, highly-paid purveyors of consumer goods in the world -- which, natch, turned me right off, and perhaps that's just my glitch and not the fault of the film

Well, they may indeed be hypocrites, but that doesn't make what they've said about the negative effects of over-consumerism wrong.

TedW wrote:
and a little bit of indie-band nihilism

The film is not nihilistic, tho'. It does not believe that nothing matters: when Marla and Jack hold hands at the end and watch the buildings fall, it's not an empty gesture, it's what should have happened two hours earlier. A film about taking responsibility for one's destructive behaviour cannot be nihilistic.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 pm 
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Sausage and Cope: Yours is undoubtedly the most convincing defense of the film I've ever read. I'll have to give it another look. I still wish Fincher had taken a bit more of an ironic or humorous distance from the Durden character. But perhaps creating a real world Durden cult was Fincher's ultimate goal: "See! I told you this man-child attitude was insufferable."


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:33 pm 

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The revelation that Tyler is a figment of the Norton character's imagination has always seemed like an affirmation of what viewers should have been thinking all along. That this guy is a collection of anti-consumerist cliches.  As an actual character Durden would have been the worst sort of contrivance but as a cubicle dude's deeply submerged schlock-rebellion fantasies he dramatizes this particular psychomachia quite well. 


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:45 am 

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I can't imagine Fincher making Tyler Durden's clubs or projects any more cultish and dehumanizing without the film being completely over the top and dismissable. I mean, the club beats the shit out of each other and come back each week for more. They shave their heads and chant in unison. They burn themselves with lye.

The reason the film is effective is because it doesn't take sides with either extreme. Buying things can absolutely express individuality. I'm sure each cf.org poster's DVD collection says something about them.

But you are not the things you own. So when you rebel and move to the hyper-Marxist extreme, you are, in turn, rebelling against individuality. Then on the other hand, Tyler's case is convincing. Omnipresent advertising is certainly not individualist; earning money is not fulfillment.

I don't see the film as having its cake and eating it too. I see it as presenting two competing ideologies, and whenever an ideology is preserved over an individual, it's dehumanizing. I think it's something P.T. Anderson worked with in There Will Be Blood, but with much less grey areas.

If Fincher would've made Tyler any more cartoony in his authoritarianism (which is both leftist and rightist), I strongly believe it would've drained the film of any of its power. Let's not forget that in 1984, the book at least, Big Brother's arguments are actually quite logical. The problem with satire is that there will always be people who identify more with the message of the character than with the message of the work itself. Now I'm going to read A Modest Proposal and eat a baby.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Adding to GI, whom I agree with, Fincher says on one of the commentaries that he finds the Mayhem guys idiots of the first class. Considering this that he shows them as real people, and to a degree 3-d, is something he should be complimented for. I think the entire writing staff looked down at these characters as much as they could.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:26 pm
Location: Over Yonder
TedW wrote:
But this is also true of all movies that have some big twist at the end -- it only works, if it works at all, the first time.

It doesn't work past the first time in Citizen Kane?

(I was wandering through and noticed the new thread - and am finding this a really interesting discussion. I can't spend too much time right, but the above sounded a little off to me.)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:09 pm 
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lady wakasa wrote:
sounded a little off

This is true of all generalizations.


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 2:17 pm 
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Has no bearing on the discussion thus far, but I found this little oddity today that's relevant to the film.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:52 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
Some kid forgets the first rule about Fight Club.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:48 am 
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I find it very disturbing how many teens out there would leap at the chance to become a "space monkey" and have Durden dehumanize them.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:24 am 
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Antoine Doinel wrote:

Some forum members seem to have forgotten the two first rules about Fight Club completely.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:28 pm 
Not PETA approved
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Erikht wrote:
Antoine Doinel wrote:

Some forum members seem to have forgotten the two first rules about Fight Club completely.

No point following the rules of a club you're not in, I figure.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:24 pm 
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Blu-ray coming from Fox on November 17.

Quote:
Blu-ray Disc Specs:
The Fight Club Blu-ray Disc is presented in widescreen format (2.40:1) on a 50GB dual-layer disc authored in English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby Surround, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and French 5.1 DTS sound with English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Special features include:
● New A Hit In The Ear: Ren Klyce and the Sound Design of Fight Club
o Welcome To Fight Club
o Angel Faces Beating
o The Crash
o Tyler’s Goodbye
● New Flogging Fight Club
● New Insomniac Mode: I Am Jack’s Search Index, Commentary Log, Topic Search
● Behind the Scenes Vignettes: Production, Visual Effects, On Location
● Edward Norton Interview
● Commentary by David Fincher
● Commentary by David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter
● Commentary by Chuck Palahniuk and Jim Uhls
● Commentary by Alex McDowell, Jeff Cronenweth, Michael Kaplan and Kevin Haug
● Seven Deleted Scenes and Alternate Scenes
● Trailer Farm – Theatrical Teaser, Theatrical Trailer, The Eight Rules of Fight Club
● 12 TV Spots
● Public Service Announcements
● Music Video
● Five Internet Spots
● Promotional Gallery
● Art Gallery


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