This is Jacob from the wisecrack channel and welcome to Film Legends We break down all the smart stuff in the most renowned films of our age We’ll be analysing and awarding points for every single thing a movie does right films will get scored in the categories of style depth Context and technique all to determine which movies really are film legends. Today’s Challenger, Fight Club, which will be scored against the film legends rules here. Got it? Let’s go in the opening seconds. We hear classical music shoved aside by the dust brothers pounding score. This movie ain’t concerned with being polite. Kickass title sequences are a David Fincher trademark. This roller coaster ride through the narrator’s brain hints at the significance of his imagination in the events to come. With a gun barrel between your teeth you speak only in vowels. The gritty voice-over is indicative of the neo noir style as are the films dark color palette seedy locations and themes of criminality all of which add to its edgy mood. One of the film’s major themes is society’s shift away from traditional masculine ideals such as strength and power which the film suggests is partly due to the values imposed by consumer culture. Guys like you and I know what it today is this essential to our survival and the hunter-gatherer sense of the word No What are we? consumers Fight Club explores the effects of this change on the modern man Bob’s physical condition embodies the narrator’s feelings of emasculation while the aggressive uber male Tyler represents his psyche lashing out against the new norms of manliness. Is that what a man looks like? Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy… Hey, wait a second run that back? Sneaky Fincher before we ever meet Tyler Durden He’s appeared several times in almost subliminal flashes teasing that there’s something unusual about the character The films full of hints about Tyler’s imaginary nature such as when he calls a narrator on a pay phone that doesn’t accept incoming calls and when he randomly appears on a TV commercial. We get subtle clues from the dialogue as well. So I come in last night phone’s off the hook, guess who’s on the other end? I already knew the story before he told it to me. These details are just a few of the reasons why this film is so rewarding. The scenes take on new meaning once you know about the twist. Fincher littered the movie with Starbucks cups to illustrate the ubiquity of corporate culture. The narrator reads a catalogue as if he’s drooling over a centerfold. Suggesting that his male urges have transferred from sex to shopping. The film criticizes mindless consumption of goods. In the beginning, the narrator defines himself through his possessions and lacks any true Personal Identity. I’d slipped through catalogs and wonder what kind of dining set defines me as a person. This reflects German philosopher Herbert Merc oozes observation that in a consumerist society the people recognize themselves in their commodities. The narrator’s sense of self is so buried by his materialism that he literally has no name. His identity is constantly hidden either by deliberate camerawork or the characters own obfuscation. At its heart the film is a coming-of-age story that tracks the narrator’s journey of self-discovery. Following in the footsteps of films such as The Graduate and Rebel Without a Cause which Fincher Norton both cited as influences. I missed you too, sir.
I have it all… (sobs) …n’…missed her all…oh, [inaudible] for christ’s sakes… Me Love’s ability to mix pathos with humor was crucial for the role of Bob. The narrator’s power animal is a flightless bird a perfect match for a man grounded in an existential crisis. This was my vacation and she ruined everything. This is cancer right? Marla singer denies the narrator the ability to find peace through inauthentic means and reminds him of his inadequacy as a man. Forcing him to create a new way to work out his issues. Enter Tyler Durden who represents all the qualities the narrator wishes. He had, he’s handsome, confident, strong, and he’s a sexual dynamo. He also does whatever the hell he wants! Through the lens of Sigmund Freud, Tyler represents the narrator’s hid a wild force focused solely on the pleasure principle. But in making Tyler so damn cool the film tends to de-emphasize his negative qualities, the effect is that he can be mistaken for a hero which clouds the film’s intent. I make and I sell soap.
The yardstick civilization.
. Just to hammer home the Freudian overtones in this film, Tyler quotes him here Freud thought that one might measure a society’s degree of civilization by its appreciation of cleanliness. Not a priority for Tyler. In Chinese philosophy the yin yang symbolizes an equilibrium between two opposing forces. Such as femininity represented by Yin and masculinity by Yang. Its appearance here suggests that the destruction of the narrator’s possessions is the first step towards balancing himself. How embarrassing, a house with condiments and no food. A metaphor for the narrator’s life all ornamentation and no substance. The narrator’s attempt to call Marla is juxtaposed with the depiction of his apartment Exploded a clever way to illustrate his conflicted feelings of desire and hostility towards Marla. He had one part-time job as a projectionist. Clever wordplay as Tyler himself is a projection. So someone has to be there to switch the projectors at the exact moment that one real ends and the next one begins. You look for it, you can see these little dots come in to the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Breaking the fourth wall is often played for laughs. Contractor no, I will not bow to any sponsor. But here the technique is dramatically significant, as it challenges reality in a manner consistent with the conceit of the film. Ouch that wasn’t just choreography Brad Pitt took a real punch there now that’s commitment. A paper street is a road that appears on a map but doesn’t exist in real life reflecting Tyler’s non-existent. The first rule in Fight Club is… You do not talk about Fight Club. Classic line that can be read both as a club rule and the admonishment to the audience not to blow the surprise for others. The men of Fight Club used violence to access the primal side of masculinity that is repressed in modern society. And Oh, man, the fight scenes are intense. You feel every punch. Thanks in large part to sound editors rent Weiss and Richard hymns the pair earned an Oscar nomination for their innovative work which included using chicken carcasses stuffed with walnuts to add extra crunch to the usual punching sound effects. But far from being a glorification of violence The Fight Club progression from therapeutic amateur boxing league to denialists criminal organization points out the folly of working out ones issues through unchecked aggression. The list behind the Haiku contains the names of people who worked on the film. Nice gesture Finchy! This comedic sequence perfectly captures the film’s irreverent sense of humor, and it’s made even funnier when the priest shows up later at Fight Club. Bashing the new Beetle is on message per Edward Norton the car is the perfect example of the baby boomer generation. Marketing its youth culture to us. Fight Club can be misunderstood as an outright condemnation of consumer society but in fact the movie satirizes this extreme position by portraying Project Mayhem as lemming like zombies eager to follow leaders without thinking for themselves. The narrator’s revelation is so jarring that his entire reality which is to say the world of the film threatens to shake apart. This twist was so effective it earned the film a special bonus the token of blown minds. Because what I’ve come to realize, is that I really like you Marla. You do? I really do. The narrator’s ability to confess his feelings to Marla demonstrates the characters maturation from man child to adult. A shout-out to Brad Pitt’s film seven years in Tibet! Look really close and you can see Marquees for Helena Bonham Carter’s wings of the Dove and Ed Norton’s People vs. Larry Flynt Two! Come on the idea about blowing up credit-card company offices would erase the debt record is a little naive never heard of Backup storage? The three detectives are named Andrew, Kevin, and Walker attributes writer Andrew Kevin Walker who helped polish the script. The penalty for interfering with Project Mayhem is Castration which underscores the group’s misguided belief that a real man would express himself through violence and destruction. But this is too much. I don’t want this. What do you want? The narrator’s rejection of this philosophy further demonstrates his emotional maturity. The final stage in the narrator’s journey to self enlightenment is to move past Tyler and choose his own path. Tthis reflects the philosophy of Lin Xie Chuan a Chinese Buddhist teacher whose methods included shouting at and striking his students Lin Chi urged his pupils to free themselves from masters and their doctrines which the narrator does here by killing Tyler. The Pixies, where is my mind provides the perfect musical cue for this iconic image. Hale, Fincher uses Tyler’s trick of splicing single frames of pornography into the film to remind us that despite its message about consumerism Fight Club itself is still a capitalist endeavor just like any other movie. Alright Fight Club, let’s see how you did depth and technique looking strong and when we factor in those multipliers and streaks Whoa, Nellie a knockout punch David Fincher really is a true heavyweight and that mind-blowing twist whan you a special bonus the token of blown minds? But that Fight Club pack enough of a punch to win the title? Let’s head over the leaderboard to find out. Fight Club rising rising settling in at number… Two! Edging out Deadpool by the thinnest margin! Battles like these are the reason I got into this whole film legend in business. But be sure to come back next time as another contender enters the ring. I wonder who it could be? Hey theorists to watch the other episodes of film legends click here or here to check them out and I’ll catch you next time toodles!