“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”–Zen koan
DIRECTED BY: David Fincher
PLOT: A yuppie actuary with chronic insomnia becomes obsessed with going to self-help groups for ailments he doesn’t have. At one, he meets a woman who shares his obsession, but resents her for infringing on what he thought was his unique form of self-therapy. Later, he meets and is befriended by a soap-maker named Tyler Durden; together, they form a “fight club” where men reassert their masculinity with bare-knuckle fighting, but the group’s activities grow into a cult.
- The movie was based on Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 debut novel of the same name. The genesis of the novel came when Palahniuk got into a fight over the weekend. When he returned to work with two black eyes, he was surprised that no one asked what had happened; instead, everyone avoided looking him in the face. He theorized that if you looked bad enough, no one would ask what you were doing in your free time, because they’d be scared to find out the answer.
- Pepsi provided product placements for this anti-consumerist movie. Fincher also claims to have hidden a Starbucks cup in every scene.
- Budgeted at $63 million, Fight Club lost money in its theatrical release, but quickly became a cult film and recouped its cost on video.
- Fight Club placed #5 in Rolling Stone‘s poll of readers’ favorite movies of the 1990s, #17 on Empire‘s readers’ poll of the best movies of all time, while American Movie Classics named it the 20th best “guy movie,” among other lists the film made.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: It has to be one (any) of the many scenes of brutal bare-knuckle boxing, overseen by a shirtless, cigarette-smoking Brad Pitt, oozing sweat, blood, and raw liquid testosterone.
THREE WEIRD THINGS: D-cup dude; penguin spirit animal; subliminal Durden wang
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Yes, it’s possible to be popular and weird. Often misunderstood as a simple adolescent anti-consumerist message movie aimed at impressionable young men, Fight Club is actually a movie-length hallucination about the painful process of becoming a man.
Original trailer for Fight Club
COMMENTS: How do you talk about Fight Club? I first saw it in a Continue reading 348. FIGHT CLUB (1999)