THE 100 GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME – 34: FIGHT CLUB

by Brek the David

Fight Club (1999) –  Director: David Fincher    Adapted Screenplay: Jim Uhls   Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter,  OSCAR COUNT (0)

David Fincher mixes visceral style with disrupted substance in 1999’s Fight Club.  A dystopic look at consumerism, commercialism, capitalism, and how it’s fucked a generation raised without fathers, Fight Club takes us on a journey of a world on the brink, balancing of the precipice of the Abyss.  While the world at large drones on, one man acts the part of Howard Beale in Network.  He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take this anymore.  This man, however, does more than stick his out the window and yell.

Part of what makes Fight Club so compelling is the dichotomy of the main characters, The Narrator and Tyler Durden.  They start off as the protagonists against the very world in which they live.  The Narrator (Ed Norton) had been a drone just like everyone else until he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).  They become friends, despite being very different men, and what follows is a spree of mayhem and chaos stemming from their foundation of an underground men’s only fight club whose ultimate goal is to devolve the world back to its primal state so mankind can have a second chance.

It’s interesting to note that this is really what The Narrator wants for himself more than actually changing the world.  As it turns out Tyler is just a part of The Narrator’s psyche, the primal, instinctual, impulsive being he so desires to be.  Bringing the world to its knees is exactly what The Narrator also wants to do to himself.  He needs a new start so badly; he literally becomes a different person at times (and embodies both personas simultaneously as well).  Of course this rebirth of his primal self leads to being consumed by it and he loses his compassion and altruistic side.  Coming to the realization of what is going on inside his head, Tyler now becomes the antagonist as The Narrator knows now he must stop Tyler/himself for good.

Few times in their careers would Norton and Pitt be as great as they are in Fight Club.  Now this isn’t to say that these performances are some of the best of all time, but together they create a convincing and sometimes disturbing look into a mind that has broken under the pressures it perceives to weigh upon it.  Fincher keeps the film tight yet frenetic, bringing to vibrant life some of the most iconic scenes of the last twenty years or so.  Fight Club is the paramount film for the lost Generation X of over a decade ago, a swan song for these misguided slackers that have now most likely been fully assimilated into the very machine they tried to deny.

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4 responses to “THE 100 GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME – 34: FIGHT CLUB

  1. Hey Laurent if you want to rearrange some of my films to go up the list I’m fine with this. This is just the order I’ve written them in and isn’t indicative of where they really should be on the list. For instance most of the films you and Daniel have put forth are better than the ones I have. So feel free to move them if you see fit.

  2. I remember enjoying Fight Club when I first watched it but I didn’t fall in love with it like 100 percent of the people I’ve ever heard talk about the movie. So that means there’s obviously something wrong with me. hehe

  3. Cheers Brek, I don’t want to be pompous about your selections though especially with something as arbitrary as film tastes. If you have an order in your head and you want men to adhere to it though that’s fine as swapping the films round takes no time at all. Otherwise I don’t think the order is important as at the end of the day all these great films are being honoured.

  4. I definitely have no specific order in mind. I just choose films and write about them in no particular order…save the ones that will be in the top 10.

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