That’s OK. You’re not a 20 something, single guy anymore. You don’t have to keep those secrets any longer.
Looking at Fight Club through my 40 year old married guy eyes today, it looks like a movie about crazy people. It must have scared the shit out of older folks back in the day.
I’ve also gone from loving it to having issues with every single part of it. Brad Pitt is still cool as fuck though.
I saw the movie when it came out and I have the DVD. I read the book for the first time last year and my initial thought was that this was angry young man writing, and a lot of it was about shock tactics. I reckon that I read it about 15 years too late.
I saw the film when it came out and read the book a little bit later. I really enjoyed both at the time. It all started to seem like it was just from the view of an angry young man when I tried to read the first issue of the comic sequel. It seemed like midlife from the view of an angry young man.
I pretty much love midlife.
That’s what I thought it was when I saw it in my twenties.
I recently rewatched it and liked it pretty much as much as ever.
It also opens a wider question as to writers, artists and musicians are generally making art for people much younger than them. How do you keep that identification factor?
Fight Club–the movie, at least (haven’t read the book in ages)–was always about tearing open the toxic side of masculinity. All of Durden’s macho talk is just stuff Norton wants to be true about himself, but taken to the extreme. He wants to be a rugged man who impresses women; well, Durden wants to return us all to a hunter-gatherer society!
It’s very different for music but authors are generally far from young. The average age of a first time novelist is 36.2 years old. So on average what you are hearing is a middle aged voice.
I see that being reflected more in comics too. The ‘new breed’ of writers now seem to be in their mid 30s to early 40s rather than Shooter, Millar and Ennis getting pro gigs as teenagers.
We all have memories and imaginations though. All the hit YA fiction nowadays is written by people 10-20 years older than their characters and audience. It would be more of a challenge to write older characters You haven’t done that yet.
I love that I started a discussion about Fight Club! It is very much of it’s time, but it summed up my generation in the late ‘90s so well (at least the male side anyway). Of course much of it was washed away by 9/11. Our generation did get a "great war’ and, on a milder scale, a “great depression” after all. Should have knocked on wood, Tyler Durden.
I haven’t read the comic sequel yet, but keep meaning to, but only for nostalgia purposes. I just don’t find it as interesting as I did in my 20s.
However, I love the anti-consumerism message of the film, although since it was a major Hollywood movie has always felt a bit hypocritical.
It was something I very much enjoyed at the time and attributed a lot more depth than was really present, I think.
I thought I would enjoy and bought the first issue cheap to try it out. I barely got past that and didn’t pick up any further.
In its anti-consumerism, it was still selling unquestioning devotion to a nihilist despot though.
Yeah, Fight Club looks really ugly these days. The movie has no children and only one woman who the lead uses for sex which has her begging after him. She’s a terrible person who leeches off society. None of the guys seem to have families or lives or relationships, so they’re quite happy to abandon anyone who ever loved them or raised them to be in their ‘Fight Club’. They rage against consumerism and instead squat in someone else’s house. They destroy art they don’t like. They punch and thump each other for no good reason. They want to blow up the banks, pretending they’ll make everyone equal but never consider the devastation they’re going to cause normal society. They’re angry that they’ve been told they’d be movie stars and rock gods, but they weren’t actually told that. It’s just their reason to be angry, frustrated with their regular jobs. Like blue collar work is beneath contempt. Norton hates his boss and blackmails him and we should cheer. Even though his boss seemed like an ok guy. They paint corporations as evil because his job is to calculate risk and measure lives against safety in cars. Which doesn’t really happen.
It’s shot amazingly, but it’s got a really terrible message. And maybe some viewers got that ‘hey, this is a fucked up way to think’ is the message at the end, but I don’t think many people got that message. And I think it had a huge cultural impact, and would point to the rise of MMA, Operation Wall Street and the Tea Party as manifestations of the mindset that came from the movie (not a direct line but there’s something there).
All of that is the point of the movie, though. Durden’s movement was always a tantrum. It’s framed on the surface as if the characters are taking part in some heroic revolution but the movie makes it very clear that that is not what’s happening. The Durden reveal cements it. He is literally pure id.
Exactly. It’s subversive for exactly that reason - not for the obviously ‘subversive’ elements that it first appears, but for the way it subverts that subversion.
Fight Club is a movie concerned with representing clinical depression, everything from using consumerism as a salve, self sabotage, wishing for death, insomnia, feeling like you’re someone else, the desire to feel something physical and intense, the nihilistic fantasies.
I think that’s basically all it is, and it’s unsurprising that it’s resonated the way it has.
Hmm. That’s interesting. It came out about a year before I hit my lowest point with depression. That may say something about my identification as well.
I think the point was lost of much of the audience. Too many people saw it as inspiration.
I’m not so sure that was the point as the second volume returns to the same rut. Also, a lot of Palahniuk’s work has a similar nihilist bent.
I think that’s true, and Fincher would agree with you.
Here’s a quote from 2014 Comic-Con:
David Fincher: "My daughter had a friend named Max. She told me Fight Club is his fav movie. I told her never to talk to Max again."
I really like the movie but damn that made me laugh.
Definitely, I think it’s a movie that was widely misinterpreted. Certainly I know friends who have taken the anti-establishment messages espoused by the characters at face value.
Really, I’ve always thought of Fight Club as a very dark comedy - but I think a lot of the irony is easily missed.
I know nothing about any such organizations as you lot have been theorizing.
Nor do I wish to know.
It’s better that way!