11 Things You Didn't Know About 'Fight Club' | HuffPost
Fight Club () on IMDb: Movies, TV, Celebs, and more. Why are there four single frame flashes of Tyler Durden prior to the Narrator actually meeting him?. Fight Club is a film based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It was directed by David Fight Club failed to meet the studio's expectations at the box office and received polarized reviews, becoming one of the most controversial and In the parking lot, he asks the Narrator to hit him, and they begin a fistfight. 1 Fight Club: A philosophical Analysis; 2 Fight Club and Consumption; 3 Fight The film takes a critical look at advertising that conveys many messages, in addition to Before his first real appearance, when the narrator meets on a treadmill at the files to debtors that everyone start from scratch, which will produce chaos.
What happens at the end of the film? Due to the graphic nature of the gunshot at the end of the film, many viewers believe that the Narrator actually kills himself and therefore only "imagines" the last few moments of the film as he dies. Director David Fincher does acknowledge on his DVD commentary that the gunshot causes confusion because it is so outrageous, appearing to actually go through the Narrator's jaw.
However, the Narrator is depicted as supposedly having suffered no serious injury, and importantly, if you look at the scene closely, you can see the bullet ricochet off his jaw and bounce back out of his mouth, thus explaining why the apparently fatal injury was not in fact fatal.
In the novel, the Narrator's face is much more grotesque than in the movie as he already has a hole in his face due to the fight with Tyler. The gunshot then hits the other side of his face, causing another hole, which connects with the original hole, creating a huge, Joker-like grin.
To examine the scene further, there are all sorts of theories as to the symbolism of the gunshot and its effect, primarily in relation to the death of Tyler. Some argue that the gunshot was the Narrator's final way of "hitting bottom" as Tyler wanted, so therefore Tyler ceased to exist, as he was no longer needed.
By attempting suicide, the Narrator is obviously no longer afraid of death or pain which is what Tyler is trying to teach him during the scene where he pours lye on his hand. For this reason, Tyler's role becomes obsolete, because the Narrator had only created Tyler initially so as to express the more reckless nature which he had tried to repress.
Others argue that the gunshot represents the Narrator's absolute rejection of Tyler, thus killing him. This is based on the concept that the bullet did in fact pass through the Narrator's head, but since he was two people, it was Tyler who was killed and not the Narrator hence the exit wound in the back of Tyler's head.
In this sense, it is significant to note that the affliction from which the Narrator seems to be suffering, dissociative identity disorder DIDhas been known to be "cured", or otherwise eradicated, if the patient experiences a traumatic event; receiving a gunshot to the face undoubtedly counts as a traumatic event. Another possibility is that the bullet went through a portion of the Narrator's brain, causing a pseudo-lobotomy and removing the "Tyler" part of his consciousness.
Yet another argument is that rather than Tyler dying and the Narrator surviving, the two characters merge. After the gunshot, the Narrator has clearly become a different person, evidenced primarily by the fact that he stops denying his feelings for Marla. Additionally, the flash of the penis just before the credits would seem to support the idea that Tyler is still alive "somewhere", hence the merging theory.
I've heard that Brad Pitt's penis is seen in the film. Upon the release of the movie, a rumor began to circulate that the penis at the end of the film was in fact that of actor Brad Pitt. However, this was nothing more than a rumor. As Chuck Palahniuk and Jim Uhls mention on their DVD commentary, the penis belongs to someone else entirely although they have no idea who.
Regarding the casting process for the single frame, Edward Norton humorously states in his commentary track that "David Fincher appears in all his own films. This brief section touches on only three possible ways to interpret the character of Tyler; there are a myriad of others. On the most basic level, Tyler Durden is a figment of the Narrator's imagination. The Narrator seems to be suffering from dissociative identity disorder DID. At least two of these personalities repeatedly assert themselves to control the affected person's behavior.
Each personality state has a distinct name, past, identity, and self-image. At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior. Each may exhibit its own distinct history, self-image, behaviors, and, physical characteristics, as well as possess a separate name. Particular identities may emerge in specific circumstances. Alternative identities are experienced as taking control in sequence, one at the expense of the other, and may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.
Tyler Durden is an alternative identity of the Narrator. A common argument regarding the aspect of the Narrator's personality represented by Tyler is to equate him with the id.
This is what Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and David Fincher do on their DVD commentary, arguing that Tyler is essentially a manifestation of the Narrator's id, insofar as he partakes of all the things of which the Narrator is afraid to partake and acts in ways the Narrator wishes he could act. He quite literally is the Narrator's suppressed desires and yearnings. However, for many fans of the film, for numerous critics and scholars, and for many of the filmmakers themselves, it isn't quite that simple.
Whilst they acknowledge that Tyler is a figment of the Narrator's imagination, they are also keen to explore what exactly he represents in and of himself, beyond the Narrator; taking Tyler as a standalone character, what exactly does he signify?
Interview with Edward Norton", Interview Magazine, The tension in the film comes from my character asking, "What are the limitations of a nihilistic attitude?
But at what point do the practical applications of it start to become exactly the things they're critiquing, and at what point do Tyler's initiatives start to dehumanize people just as much? In this sense then, Tyler's manifestation, and ultimate corruption, of the Nietzschean concept of nihilism is rejected by the Narrator, but the point is that Tyler represents a sort of corrupted nihilistic ideology; "It's a critique of how Nietzsche becomes Hitler" "Edward Norton Yale Interview", October 3rd, ; available here, and on all 2-Disc DVD versions of the movie.
In this sense, Tyler represents the excesses to which flawed ideology can fall victim. Looking at Tyler as a symbol for a political manifesto is only one interpretation of the character, albeit the most common.
A compelling alternative is provided by Adrian Gargett in his article "doppelganger: In this article, Gargett takes a basic psychoanalytical approach to interpreting Tyler, ignoring the political imperative of the role, and arguing instead that he functions primarily as the Narrator's double: The Double explores the spiritual dimension—the representation of a desire for immortality.
Tyler is not simply a physical replicant of the protagonist, but a complementary addition to his own identity. Via doubling, an alter-ego is created that embodies a demonic subjectivity.
Tyler is a manifestation of the narrator's sense of incompleteness and parental abandonment. In the end, however, the character remains indefinable and unquantifiable, with each viewer investing him with meaning based on his or her own subjective reaction to the movie. So, if the film is not about fighting, what does the fighting represent? The fight scenes are a means to an end, a metaphor for something beyond themselves. The film is not literally about men beating each other up; the fighting serves a purpose beyond its superficial connotations.
Fight Club is concerned with the why behind the fighting, and the fight scenes are invested with symbolic meaning that obviates the superficial "violence for the sake of violence" interpretation. As Edward Norton points out, The violence of the fight clubs serves as a metaphor for feeling, rather than to promote or glorify physical combat.
The fights are tangible representations of resisting the impulse to be cocooned in society. Fighting between the men strips away the fear of pain and the reliance on material signifiers of their self-worth, leaving them to really experience something valuable. Hobson, "Get ready to rumble," Calgary Sun, October 10th, ; available here] Norton also argues that The idea of the fighting is not about the suggestion that violence directed outward toward other people is a solution to your frustrations.
It's very much a metaphor for self-transforming radicalism, the idea of directing violence inward at your own presumptions. Tyler doesn't walk out of the bar and say, "Can I hit you," he says "Will you hit me? The fighting is a metaphor for stripping yourself of received notions and value systems that have been applied to you that aren't your own. And freeing yourself to discover who you actually are [Edward Norton, Round Table Interview, September 28th, ; available here] The fighting serves as a metaphor for the shaking off of the shackles imposed by contemporary society, a means of discovering aspects of one's self which one would not be exposed to were one to toe the line.
Fight Club suggests that society has become so oppressive that to find out anything about themselves, men must do something extreme, like engaging in violent physical combat.
In Norton's argument, the extremity of the fighting is in fact a commentary on the oppressiveness of society: As such, the fighting serves simply as a metaphor for how downtrodden and subjugated men have become in this corporate culture of advertising. Numerous critics, however, disagree with the metaphoric connotations of the fighting, arguing instead that the film was only about physical violence, there was nothing beneath the surface or between the lines, and as such, the film was reprehensible, insofar as it encouraged such actions amongst its apparently infantile and unintelligent intended audience.
Film scholar Gary Crowdus summates the views of such critics when he points out that A Ritual Cure For The Spiritual Ailment Of American Masculinity", The Film Journal February ; available here] Numerous critics fit Crowdus' description, but none better than Roger Ebertwho called the film, A celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves a license to drink, smoke, screw and beat one another up.
Sometimes, for variety, they beat up themselves. It's macho porn—the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights [Fight Club Review, Chicago Sun Times, October 15th, ; available here] Ebert also said the film included "some of the most brutal, unremitting, nonstop violence ever filmed"—a bizarre claim which prompted some to ask if he'd even seen the film.
Another excellent example is Kenneth Turanwho called the film, a witless mishmash of whiny, infantile philosophizing and bone-crunching violence. So it's no surprise that Fight Club's level of visceral violence, its stomach-turning string of bloody and protracted bare-knuckles brawls, make it more than worthy of an NC if the MPAA could ever work up the nerve to give that rating to a major studio film The fighting in the film carries metaphorical significance which far outweighs its literal violent connotations.
How are we to interpret the film?
The most common argument as to what the film is primarily about is that it deals with the conflict between young people and the corporate value system of advertising which has become an integral part of the society in which they find themselves.
In this sense, the film is very much anti-materialist, and deals with the schism created when someone can no longer tolerate the value system with which they are simply expected to comply. This system of advertising has become so ingrained into all aspects of contemporary society that when one tries to reject it, one is quite literally engaging in a personal revolution.
Furthermore, the film probes the problems caused by the system and a corporate dominated society insofar as it examines what that society has done to the men who inhabit it.
Fight Club () - Frequently Asked Questions - IMDb
Instead of a need for survival and a desire for moral and spiritual well-being, man is instead driven by a desire for material "things," a desire instilled by a society of advertising which defines a person based upon their possession of what Jim Slotek calls "external signifiers of happiness" "Cruisin' for a bruisin,'" Toronto Sun, October 10th, ; available here.
This in turn creates a pointless and ultimately empty obsession with possessing items which ultimately come to possess the owner, and causing an abandonment of the search for spiritual happiness. It is this very society which the film critiques.
However, this is but one interpretation of a film which is open to a virtually any reading. A good way to engage with the various possibilities as to meaning is to look at what some of the filmmakers themselves have said about their own interpretations of the work.
This selection of quotations offers a broad cross section of their opinions: We are a nation of physical animals who have forgotten how much we enjoy being that.
We are cushioned by this kind of make-believe, unreal world, and we have no idea what we can survive because we are never challenged or tested. To me it's very much a story about a person who feels at odds with everything he's expected to engage in.
Who hits a juncture in his life and chooses to move toward the seduction of negativity and nihilism. There's this presentation of a guy who's kind of hilariously desperately out of sync with all the things he's supposed to participate in, who kind of has this Elaine Robinson, or in Marla's case, he has this women who's kind of like his female doppelganger.
Fight Club: 19 things you didn't know about the film - Telegraph
And he recoils from it. It's like he recoils from the image of himself and moves toward what turns out to be this idealized vision of himself, as opposed to himself the way he is. There's this moment that I really like in the phone booth where he attempts to call her. There is this moment where he could call her and go after the simple human connection that ultimately by the end he kind of realizes he should have gone after all along.
And he almost calls her, and he hears her voice and it sounds too much like him and he hangs up and he goes the other way. He goes toward this idea of a new version of himself. And explores that negativity and all its excess. That's what interested me. This idea of the seduction of the negative. Like, you know, sort of Tyler as Mrs. This exploration that has consequence, terrible, terrible consequence and that you have to wake up from it and ultimately reject it to get to a sort of new middle ground.
Tyler gets him to give up on God, but ultimately he has to give up on Tyler and give up on the excesses of what Tyler is suggesting that men ought to be.
He's found what his own boundaries are, he's not his old self, but he's not willing to go all the way in this new self. Fight Club rages against the hypocrisy of a society that continually promises us the impossible: It's a relentless, dizzying take on the male fear of losing power. The underlying theme is that you have to break yourself apart to build something new.
It is only when you realize that you're not your lousy hair, or your bad debts, or your fears that you're not good enough, that you can actually create a new life for yourself. It shocks you into looking at who really controls your life: Once you make that distinction, you then have the choice to take control or not. It's better to have options than to be eternally bemoaning your lot.
It spoke to the heart of a disenfranchised generation, my generation. Like The Graduate two decades before, it spoke to the frustrations of ordinary guys trying to make sense of the sorry world previous generations were so smugly handing over to us like so much skid-marked underwear. The first way in which a new generation takes control of society is through the culture: People who feel safe and secure in the existing society are frightened by ideas that threaten their power.
People who hold the power in society want nice complacent forms of entertainment, films that comfort people and support the status quo. I think there's a self defense mechanism that keeps my generation from having any real honest connection or commitment with our true feelings. We're rooting for ball teams, but we're not getting in there to play. We're so concerned with failure and success like these two things are all that's going to sum you up at the end.
I felt like it named a lot of things that I saw or felt in the energy of my generation. I've looked for things as an actor and director that I thought were specifically kind of generational nerve pieces or pieces that I thought were about my generation and its particular dysfunctions and relationships with the culture.
And I haven't run into very many. And I never felt like the films that were getting made that were targeted at us, sort of the Reality Bites version of us as a generation, were very on-target for me. I always thought it was very baby boomer, kind of concocted, somewhat over-simplistic. And I thought a somewhat disdainful reduction of us to this kind of Gen-X, slacker, aimless, low energy, angst-ridden kind of banal realism and I just didn't buy it, and I certainly didn't respond to it.
It didn't seem to me to speak to some of the deeper things that I was feeling. And this was the first thing I'd read where I just laughed all the way through it. I laughed because there were passages in it that were just instantaneously impressed in my brain. The idea of a generation that's had its value system largely informed by the advertising culture is really provocative to me. On a certain level, in the absence of collective spirituality, there is a notion that the external signifiers of your material life will make you happy.
That you'll find spiritual peace through home furnishing. And it just made me laugh, it made me laugh because I was in the process of furnishing my house. And it was making me feel calm, for a while. And I felt like so much of what peeves me about the culture that I can't necessarily put a finger on, was named in this book.
Fight Club: 19 things you didn't know about the film
It was very focused on this idea of men and their sense of being displaced, their role in the culture being displaced. Of absentee fathers and the effect of that. There's stuff about it that are classically Nietzschean almost. I thought this is a piece about the challenge of individual self overcoming. Of making yourself evolve and of shattering old value systems and received value systems and institutional kind of hierarchies to free yourself individually.
And about what happens, what are the practical limits of applying that as a philosophy in the real world. And at what point does that start to become the thing that it was seeking to free people from? The solution becomes negative and destructive and dehumanizing in the sense that all of these guys give up their names to become part of the movement that's supposed to be freeing them?
I was thinking, "Jesus, you know, this is a critique of fascism. It has a generational energy to it, a protest energy. So much of what's been represented about my generation has been done by the baby boomers. It isn't just aimlessness we feel; it's deep skepticism.
He hired Jeff Cronenweth as cinematographer; Cronenweth's father Jordan Cronenweth had been cinematographer for Fincher's film Alien 3but left midway through production due to Parkinson's disease. Fincher explored visual styles in his previous films Seven and The Game, and he and Cronenweth drew elements from these styles for Fight Club.
The scenes with Tyler were described by Fincher as "more hyper-real in a torn-down, deconstructed sense—a visual metaphor of what [the Narrator is] heading into". The filmmakers used heavily desaturated colors in the costuming, makeup, and art direction. Fincher and Cronenweth drew influences from the film American Graffitiwhich applied a mundane look to nighttime exteriors while simultaneously including a variety of colors.
Fincher sought various approaches to the lighting setups; for example, he chose several urban locations for the city lights' effects on the shots' backgrounds.
The crew also embraced fluorescent lighting at other practical locations to maintain an element of reality and to light the prostheses depicting the characters' injuries. The crew equipped the bar's basement with inexpensive work lamps to create a background glow. Fincher avoided stylish camerawork when filming early fight scenes in the basement and instead placed the camera in a fixed position. In later fight scenes, Fincher moved the camera from the viewpoint of a distant observer to that of the fighter.
Tyler was not filmed in two shots with a group of people, nor was he shown in any over-the-shoulder shots in scenes where Tyler gives the Narrator specific ideas to manipulate him.
In scenes before the Narrator meets Tyler, the filmmakers inserted Tyler's presence in single frames for subliminal effect. Flashing was implemented on much of the exterior night photography, the contrast was stretched to be purposely ugly, the print was adjusted to be underexposedTechnicolor 's ENR silver retention was used on a select number of prints to increase the density of the blacks, and high-contrast print stocks were chosen to create a "stepped-on" look on the print with a dirty patina.
Haug assigned the visual effects artists and experts to different facilities that each addressed different types of visual effects: CG modeling, animation, compositing, and scanning. Haug explained, "We selected the best people for each aspect of the effects work, then coordinated their efforts.
In this way, we never had to play to a facility's weakness. Fincher also used previsualized footage of challenging main-unit and visual effects shots as a problem-solving tool to avoid making mistakes during the actual filming.
The network was mapped using an L-system and drawn out by a medical illustrator. The film's title sequence is a second visual effects composition that depicts the inside of the Narrator's brain at a microscopic level; the camera pulls back to the outside, starting at his fear center and following the thought processes initiated by his fear impulse. The company mapped the computer-generated brain using an L-system and the design was detailed using renderings by medical illustrator Katherine Jones.
The pullback sequence from within the brain to the outside of the skull included neuronsaction potentialsand a hair follicle. Haug explained the artistic license that Fincher took with the shot, "While he wanted to keep the brain passage looking like electron microscope photographythat look had to be coupled with the feel of a night dive—wet, scary, and with a low depth of field.
The scene represents a turning point that foreshadows the coming rupture and inversion of the "fairly subjective reality" that existed earlier in the film. He pursued Radiohead but singer Thom Yorke declined as he was recovering from the stress of promoting their album OK Computer.
Dust Brothers performer Michael Simpson explained the setup: They did not receive the film positively and were concerned that there would not be an audience for the film.
The studio further delayed the film's release, this time to autumn, citing a crowded summer schedule and a hurried post-production process. They considered that the film was primarily geared toward male audiences because of its violence and believed that not even Pitt would attract female filmgoers. Research testing showed that the film appealed to teenagers.
The firm proposed a bar of pink soap with the title "Fight Club" embossed on it as the film's main marketing image; the proposal was considered "a bad joke" by Fox executives. Fincher also released two early trailers in the form of fake public service announcements presented by Pitt and Norton; the studio did not think the trailers marketed the film appropriately.
The studio advertised Fight Club on cable during World Wrestling Entertainment broadcasts, which Fincher protested, believing that the placement created the wrong context for the film. Despite the film's top placement, its opening gross fell short of the studio's expectations. The board assigned the film an 18 certificate, limiting the release to adult-only audiences in the UK. The BBFC did not censor any further, considering and dismissing claims that Fight Club contained "dangerously instructive information" and could "encourage anti-social behavior ".
The board decided, "The film as a whole is—quite clearly—critical and sharply parodic of the amateur fascism which in part it portrays. Its central theme of male machismo and the anti-social behaviour that flows from it is emphatically rejected by the central character in the concluding reels.
The film was released in two DVD editions. The package, by extension, tries to reflect an experience that you must experience for yourself. The more you look at it, the more you'll get out of it.
The title "Fight Club" was labeled diagonally across the front, and packaging appeared tied with twine. Markell said, "We wanted the package to be simple on the outside, so that there would be a dichotomy between the simplicity of brown paper wrapping and the intensity and chaos of what's inside. It includes a featurette after the film, "Behind the Brawl". Fincher got permission from Barrymore to include the fake menu screen. A newspaper reported, "Many loved and hated it in equal measures.
Writing for the Australian newspaper, Christopher Goodwin stated: She wrote that Fight Club carried a message of "contemporary manhood", and that, if not watched closely, the film could be misconstrued as an endorsement of violence and nihilism. Water, even when it's polluted, is the source of life; blood, even when it's carelessly spilled, is the symbol of life being fully lived.
To put his point simply: They felt such scenes served only as a mindless glamorization of brutality, a morally irresponsible portrayal, which they feared might encourage impressionable young male viewers to set up their own real-life fight clubs in order to beat each other senseless.
The site's consensus reads, "Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club a wild ride. A "Gentleman's Fight Club" was started in Menlo Park, California in and had members mostly from the tech industry. Inan unwilling participant from a local high school was injured at a fight club in Arlington, Texasand the DVD sales of the fight led to the arrest of six teenagers.
Helder's goal was to create a smiley pattern on the map of the United States, similar to the scene in Fight Club in which a building is vandalized to have a smiley on its exterior.
The game was a critical and commercial failure, and was panned by such publications and websites as GameSpotGame Informerand IGN.