- Fight Club (film)
name = Fight Club
caption = Theatrical poster
Arnon Milchan(exec.) Art Linson
Ross Grayson Bell
Edward Norton Brad Pitt Helena Bonham Carter
editing = James Haygood
20th Century Fox
released = October 15, 1999
runtime = 139 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = US$63 million
gross = US$100,853,753 (worldwide)
website = http://www.foxmovies.com/fightclub/
amg_id = 1:180767
imdb_id = 0137523
"Fight Club" is a 1999 American feature film adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name by
Chuck Palahniuk, adapted by Jim Uhlsand directed by David Fincher. The film follows a nameless protagonist ( Edward Norton), an everymanand an unreliable narratorwho feels trapped with his white-collar position in society. The narrator gets involved in a fight club with soap salesman Tyler Durden ( Brad Pitt) and becomes tangled up in a relationship triangle with Durden and a destitute woman, Marla Singer ( Helena Bonham Carter).
Palahniuk's novel was optioned by producer
Laura Ziskin, who hired Uhls to write the script for the film. Several directors were sought to film "Fight Club"; David Fincher was hired to direct based on his interest in the project despite previous difficulties with the studio 20th Century Fox. Fincher worked with Uhls to develop the script, seeking advice from others in the film industry and his own cast members. Fincher described "Fight Club" as black comedythat applies heavy satire; he and the cast also compared the film to " The Graduate" (1967) and " Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). Thematically, the film was intended to represent the conflict between a generation of young people and the value systemof advertising. The film's use of violence in the fight clubs was intended to serve as a metaphor for feeling based on the generation's conflict. The director carried homoerotic overtones over from Palahniuk's novel to implement in the film, believing that the overtones would make audiences uncomfortable and thereby keep them from anticipating the twist ending.
Studio executives were not receptive to the film, and they altered Fincher's intended marketing campaign to try to recoup perceived losses. "Fight Club" failed to meet expectations at the box office, and the film received polarized reactions from film critics. The film was cited as one of the most controversial and talked-about films of 1999. It was perceived as crossing a milestone for visual style in cinema and introducing a new mood in American political life. The film later found commercial success with its DVD release, which established "Fight Club" as a
cult film. The film has also permeated American society, inspiring people to set up fight clubs.
The narrator (
Edward Norton) is an automobile company employee who travels to accident sites to perform product recallcost appraisals. His doctor refuses to write a prescription for his insomniaand instead suggests that he visit a support groupfor testicular cancervictims in order to appreciate real suffering. By attending the group, the narrator feels distraught at the condition of these ill fated people and breaks down. He is then able to sleep soundly and subsequently fakes more illnesses so he can attend other support groups in order to get out his pent up emotions through crying. The narrator's routine is disrupted when he begins to notice another impostor, Marla Singer ( Helena Bonham Carter), at the same meetings and his insomnia returns.
During a flight for a business trip, the narrator meets Tyler Durden (
Brad Pitt), who is a soap salesman. The narrator arrives home to find his apartment has been destroyed by an explosion. He calls Tyler and meets him at a bar. Tyler agrees to let the narrator stay at his home on the condition that the narrator hits him. The narrator complies and the two end up enjoying a fist fight outside the bar. The narrator moves into Tyler's dilapidated house and the two return to the bar, where they have another fight in the parking lot. After attracting a crowd, they establish a 'fight club' in the bar's basement.
When Marla overdoses on
Xanax, she is rescued by Tyler and the two embark upon a sexual relationship. Tyler tells the narrator never to talk about him with Marla. Under Tyler's leadership, the fight club becomes "Project Mayhem," which commits increasingly destructive acts of anti-capitalist vandalism in the city. The fight clubs become a network for Project Mayhem, and the narrator is left out of Tyler's activities with the project. After an argument, Tyler disappears from the narrator's life and when a member of Project Mayhem dies on a mission, the narrator attempts to shut down the project. Tracing Tyler's steps, he travels around the country to find that fight clubs have been started in every major city, where one of the participants identifies him as Tyler Durden. A phone call to Marla confirms his identity and he realizes that Tyler is an alter ego of his own split personality. Tyler appears before him and explains that he controls the narrator's body whenever he is asleep.
The narrator faints and awakes to find Tyler has made several phone calls during his blackout and traces his plans to the downtown headquarters of several major
credit cardcompanies, which Tyler intends to destroy in order to cripple the financial networks. Failing to find help with the police, many of whom are members of Project Mayhem, the narrator attempts to disarm the explosives in the basement of one of the buildings. He is confronted by Tyler, knocked unconscious, and taken to the upper floor of another building to witness the impending destruction. The narrator, held by Tyler at gunpoint, realizes that in sharing the same body with Tyler, he is the one who is actually holding the gun. He fires it into his mouth, shooting through the cheek without killing himself. The illusion of Tyler collapses with an exit wound to the back of his head. Shortly after, members of Project Mayhem bring a kidnapped Marla to the narrator and leave them alone. The bombs detonate and, holding hands, the two witness the destruction of the entire financial city block through the windows.
In 1996, a
20th Century Foxbook scout sent a galley proofof Chuck Palahniuk's novel " Fight Club" to creative executive Kevin McCormick. Despite a studio reader discouraging a film adaptation of the material, McCormick passed the proof on to producers Lawrence Benderand Art Linson, who in turn also rejected it. Producers Josh Donen and Ross Bell then expressed interest in the project and arranged unpaid screen readings with actors, initially lasting six hours, to determine the length of a script. After cutting out sections to reduce the running time and recording the dialogue, Bell sent the book on tape to Laura Ziskin, head of the division Fox 2000, who after listening to the tape purchased the rights to "Fight Club" for $10,000.cite book | first=Sharon | last=Waxman | title=Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System | pages=137-151 | year=2005 | month=December | publisher=HarperEntertainment | isbn=0060540176 ]
To adapt the story into a screenplay, Ziskin initially considered hiring
Buck Henry; Ziskin thought that "Fight Club" was similar to " The Graduate", which had been adapted by Henry. However, a new screenwriter, Jim Uhls, began lobbying Donen and Bell to be hired to adapt the screenplay and was subsequently chosen by the producers over Henry. For directing, Bell had four options in mind: Peter Jackson, Bryan Singer, Danny Boyle, and David Fincher. Bell considered Jackson the best choice and contacted the director, but Jackson was too busy filming " The Frighteners" (1996) in New Zealand. Singer received the book, but did not read it, while Boyle met with Bell and read the book, but ultimately pursued another project. Fincher, who had previously read the book and tried to buy the rights himself, talked with Ziskin about directing the film, but was hesitant to work with 20th Century Fox again after his bad experiences with the studio during " Alien³" (1992). A meeting with Ziskin and studio head Bill Mechanic restored his relationship with the studio, and in August 1997, 20th Century Fox announced that Fincher would helm the film adaptationof the novel. [cite journal | first=Michael | last=Fleming | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1116678264.html?categoryid=3&cs=1 | title=Thornton holds reins of 'Horses' | journal=Variety | date= 1997-08-19| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] Mechanic and Ziskin initially planned to finance the film with a $23 million budget.
Producer Ross Bell met with actor
Russell Croweto discuss portraying Tyler Durden, while at the same time producer Art Linson, who had lately joined the project, was negotiating with Brad Pittfor the same role. Due to Linson's seniority, Pitt was cast over Crowe. Pitt, who was seeking a new project after the failure of his previous film, " Meet Joe Black" (1998), was hired for $17.5 million, the studio believing that "Fight Club" would be more commercially successful with a major star. Likewise for the role of the nameless narrator, the studio desired a "sexier marquee name" like Matt Damonto increase the film's visibility ( Sean Pennwas also considered), but Fincher sought to cast Edward Nortonin that role, based on the actor's performance in " The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996).cite journal | first=Peter | last=Biskind | url= | title=Extreme Norton | work=Vanity Fair | year=1999 | month=August ] Norton had also been approached by other studios for leading roles in films like "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999) and " Man on the Moon" (1999), and he temporarily pursued " Runaway Jury" (2003) before that project fell apart. To lure him away from the other projects, Fox offered Norton a salary of $2.5 million, but Norton could not immediately accept, as he still owed Paramount Picturesa film. Norton therefore signed a new contract with Paramount for a lesser salary, eventually being contractually obligated to take a role in "The Italian Job" (2003). In January 1998, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton officially joined the project to portray Tyler Durden and the nameless narrator, respectively. [cite journal | first=Chris | last=Petrikin | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117434297.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Studio Report Card: Fox | journal=Variety | date= 1998-01-07| accessdate=2007-03-23 ]
Courtney Loveand Winona Ryderwere considered to portray Marla Singer, [cite news | author= | url=http://www.cnn.com/books/news/9910/29/fight.club.author/ | title=Palahniuk: Marketing 'Fight Club' is 'the ultimate absurd joke' | publisher= CNN| date=1999-10-29 | accessdate=2007-03-26 ] and the studio would have cast Reese Witherspoonwere it not for Fincher's objections that the actress was too young. Ultimately, Helena Bonham Carterwas cast in the role, based on her performance in "The Wings of the Dove" (1997). [cite journal | first=Richard | last=Johnson | url= | title=Boxing Helena | work=Los Angeles Magazine | month=November | year = 1999 ]
To prepare for their roles, Norton and Pitt took lessons in
boxing, taekwondo, and grappling,cite journal | first=Stephen | last=Garrett | url= | title=Freeze Frame | journal=Details | year=1999 | month=July ] in addition to soapmakingclasses from boutique company owner Auntie Godmother. [cite journal | first=Johanna | last=Schneller | url= | title=Brad Pitt and Edward Norton make 'Fight Club' | journal=Premiere | year=1999 | month=August] For the cosmetics of his role, Pitt voluntarily visited a dentist to have pieces of his front teeth chipped off, which were restored after filming concluded. [cite journal | first=Chris | last=Nashawaty | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,83604,00.html | title=Brad Pitt loses his teeth for a "Fight" | journal= Entertainment Weekly| date= 1998-07-16| accessdate=2007-03-23 ]
Screenwriter Jim Uhls began working on the adaptation from an earlier draft which lacked a
voice-overdue to the industry's perspective at the time that the technique was "hackneyed and trite". When Fincher joined the project, he disagreed with the approach, believing that the film's humor came from the narrator's voice,"Rebels on the Backlot", 175–184.] and described the film without voice-over as seemingly "sad and pathetic".cite journal | first=Gavin | last=Smith | url= | title=Gavin Smith goes one-on-one with David Fincher | journal= Film Comment| year=1999 | month=September/October] The director and Uhls developed the script for six to seven months, creating a third draft by 1997 that reordered the story and left out several major elements. When Pitt came on board, the actor expressed concern that Tyler Durden was too one-dimensional, so Fincher sought the advice of writer-director Cameron Crowe, who suggested giving the character more ambiguity. Fincher also hired screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walkerand invited Pitt and Norton to collaborate on rewriting the script, which was completed after a year of work and five drafts. The narrator was written to be nameless in the film, although he is identified in the script as Jack. The narrator's aliases in the support groups that he attends were based on characters from "Planet of the Apes" and Robert De Niroroles of the 1970s. [cite journal | title = 100 DVDs You Must Own | pages = 31 | journal = Empire | month=January | year=2003 ] Author Chuck Palahniukpraised the faithful film adaptation of his novel "Fight Club" and applauded the fact that the plot of the film was more streamlined than that of the book. Palahniuk also noted the contention over the believability for film audiences of the novel's plot twist, the inclusion of which director David Fincher supported by saying, "If they accept everything up to this point, they'll accept the plot twist. If they're still in the theater, they'll stay with it." Palahniuk was, however, annoyed by the film's change of a single ingredient in its explanation on making napalm, which rendered the recipe useless, since the author had researched the components extensively.cite web | url=http://www.dvdtalk.com/fightclub.html | title=Interview With Fight Club Author Chuck Palahniuk | work=DVD Talk | accessdate=2007-03-23 ] Palahniuk's novel also contained homoeroticovertones, which the director deliberately included in the film in order to make audiences uncomfortable and thereby accentuate the surprise of the film's twists and turns. [cite news | first=Louis B. | last=Hobson | url= | title=Fiction for real | work= Calgary Sun| date=1999-10-10 ] The scene in which Tyler Durden bathes next to the narrator is an example of such overtones, although Durden's insight in the scene, "I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need," was meant to suggest personal responsibility rather than homosexuality. Another example of the overtones was the scene at the beginning of the film in which Tyler Durden puts a gun barrel down the narrator's mouth. [cite web | first=Stephen | last=Schaefer | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20010416022913/mrshowbiz.go.com/news/Todays_Stories/991013/fightclubauthor101399.html | title=Fight Club's Controversial Cut | work=MrShowbiz.com | date= 1999-10-13| accessdate=2007-12-02 ]
At the end of the film, the narrator finds redemption in rejecting Tyler Durden's dialectic, which is a divergence from the novel's end, in which the narrator is placed in a mental institution.cite journal | first=Damon | last=Wise | url= | title=Menace II Society | journal=Empire | month=December | year=1999 ] Norton notes the film's redemptive parallel to "
The Graduate", as the protagonists of both films find a middle ground between two divisions of self.cite news | first=Barbara | last=Teasdall | url=http://www.reel.com/reel.asp?node=features/interviews/norton | title=Edward Norton Fights His Way to the Top | work=Reel.com | publisher= Movie Gallery| year=1999 | accessdate=2007-03-24 ] The director also considered the novel too infatuated with Tyler Durden and altered the ending to pull away from him, saying, "I wanted people to love Tyler, but I also wanted them to be OK with his vanquishing."
When production first began, the initial $50 million budget, of which half was paid by
New Regency, escalated to a peak of $67 million. New Regency's head and "Fight Club" executive producer Arnon Milchanpetitioned Fincher to reduce the budget by at least $5 million, but the director refused to cut costs, so Milchan contacted studio head Bill Mechanic, saying that he would back out. To bring back Milchan's support, Mechanic sent him tapes of dailies, and after three weeks of shooting, Milchan returned his support and financed half of the production budget."Rebels on the Backlot". 199–202.]
Filming lasted 138 days,cite journal | first=Christopher | last=Probst | url=http://www.theasc.com/magazine/nov99/anarchy/index.htm | title=Anarchy in the U.S.A | work=
American Cinematographer| month=November | year=1999 | accessdate=2007-03-23 ] during which Fincher shot more than 1,500 rolls of film, three times the average for a Hollywood film. Filming locations were in and around Los Angelesand on sets built at the studio's location in Century City. Production designer Alex McDowell constructed more than 70 sets. The exterior of Tyler Durden's home on Paper Street was built in San Pedro, California, while the interiors, given a decayed look to reflect the deconstructed world of the characters, were built on a sound stage at the studio's location. Marla's apartment was based on photographs of the Rosalind Apartments in downtown L.A.
Fighting in the film was heavily choreographed, and fighters were required to "go full out" during fight scenes to capture realistic effects such as having the wind knocked out of oneself.cite news | author= | url= | title='Club' fighting for a respectful place in life | work=
Post-Tribune| date=2001-03-15 ] To enhance the scenes, makeup artist Julie Pearce, who collaborated with the director on "The Game", studied mixed martial artsand pay-per-viewboxing for her work on the fighters. She also designed an extra to have a chunk missing from his ear, for which she cited Mike Tyson's bite as inspiration. [cite journal | url= | title=It Bruiser: Julie Pearce | journal= Entertainment Weekly| date= 1999-07-25] To create sweat on cue, makeup artists devised two methods: spraying water over a coat of Vaseline, and using straight water for "wet sweat". Meat Loaf, who plays a member of the fight club that has "bitch tits", wore a 90-pound fat harness that gave him large breasts for the role. He also wore eight-inch (203 mm) lifts in his scenes with Norton, being shorter than the lead actor."Fight Club" DVD commentary featuring David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Nortonand Helena Bonham Carter,  , 20th Century Fox.]
Overall production included 300 scenes, 200 locations, and complex special effects. Fincher compared "Fight Club" to his succeeding and less complex project "Panic Room" (2002), "I felt like I was spending all my time watching trucks being loaded and unloaded so I could shoot three lines of dialogue. There was far too much transportation going on." [cite news | first=Colin | last=Covert | url= | title=Fear factor is Fincher's forte | work=
Star Tribune| date=2002-03-29 ]
"Fight Club" was shot in the
Super 35format to give the director maximum flexibility in composing shots. To direct the cinematography for the film, director David Fincherhired Jeff Cronenweth, the son of the late cinematographer Jordan Cronenwethwith whom Fincher had collaborated for " Alien³" (1992). Fincher and Cronenweth drew from elements of the visual styles that Fincher had begun exploring in " Se7en" and "The Game". For the narrator's scenes without Tyler Durden, the look was purposely bland and realistic, while for scenes with Tyler, Fincher chose a look that was "more hyper-real in a torn-down, deconstructed sense—a visual metaphor of what [the narrator is] heading into". Heavily desaturated colors were used in the costuming, makeup, and art direction, and the crew took advantage of as much natural and practical light at filming locations as possible. The director also took various approaches to take advantage of lighting situations in the film's scenes, and several practical locations were chosen for the city lights' effects on the shots' backgrounds. Fluorescent lighting at practical locations was also embraced to maintain an element of reality and to light the prosthetics of the characters' injuries appropriately. On the other hand, Fincher also ensured that scenes were darkened enough to reduce the visibility of the characters' eyes, citing cinematographer Gordon Willis's technique as the influence.
The majority of "Fight Club" was filmed at night, with daytime shots taking place in purposely shadowed locations. For the first scenes of the actual indoor fight club in Lou's basement, the area was lit by inexpensive work lamps to create a background glow. The director also chose to film fight scenes in the basement from a more objective view, purposely avoiding stylish camerawork and instead placing the camera in a fixed position. As the fight scenes in the film progressed, the camera moved from the point of view of a distant observer to that of the fighter.
Scenes of Tyler Durden were staged to conceal the film's twist; the character 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 that are going to "lead him". Durden is also present in single frames of the narrator's scenes before the narrator actually meets Durden, appearing in the background and out of focus, like a "little devil on the shoulder". Regarding these subliminal frames, Fincher explained, "Our hero is creating Tyler Durden in his own mind, so at this point he exists only on the periphery of the narrator's consciousness."
visual effectssupervisor, Kevin Tod Haug, who had collaborated with director David Fincher on "The Game", divided the VFX artists and experts into different facilities, each responsible for addressing a separate aspect of the film's visual effects: CG modeling, animation, compositing, and scanning. According to Haug, "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 chose to illustrate the nameless narrator's perspective with a " mind's eye" view and to create a myopicframework for the film's audience. Fincher also utilized previsualized footage of challenging main-unit and visual effects shots as a problem-solving tool to avoid making mistakes during the actual filming.cite journal | first=Kevin H. | last=Martin | url= | title=A World of Hurt | journal= Cinefex| year = 2000 | month = January ]
The film's title sequence is a 90-second pullback scene from the fear center of the narrator's brain, representing the thought processes initiated by the narrator's fear impulse. The sequence, designed in part by Fincher, was budgeted separately from the rest of the film, but the studio later paid for the sequence based on Fincher's expert direction of the film. For the visual effects of the sequence, Fincher hired
Digital Domainand its visual effects supervisor Kevin Mack, who had won an Academy Award for Visual Effectsfor "What Dreams May Come" (1998). The computer-generated brain was mapped using an L-system, [cite journal | first=Mark | last=Frauenfelder | authorlink=Mark Frauenfelder | url= | title=Hollywood's Head Case | journal=Wired | year=1999 | month=August ] and the design was detailed using renderings by medical illustrator Kathryn Jones. The pullback sequence from within the brain to the outside of the skull included neurons, action potentials, and a hair follicle. Concerning the artistic license that Fincher took with the shot, Haug explained, "While he wanted to keep the brain passage looking like electron microscope photography, that look had to be coupled with the feel of a night dive—wet, scary, and with a low depth of field." The shallow depth of fieldwas accomplished with the process of ray tracing.
One of the earliest scenes in the film, in which the camera flashes past city streets to survey Project Mayhem's destructive equipment lying in underground parking lots, was a three-dimensional composition of nearly 100 photographs of
Los Angelesand Century Cityby photographer Michael Douglas Middleton. The final scene of demolishing the credit card office buildings was designed by Richard Baily of Image Savant, who worked on the scene for over 14 months.The director gave a lurid style to the color paletteof the film, choosing to make people "sort of shiny"; Helena Bonham Carter wore opalescent makeup to create a "smack-fiend patina" that would portray her romantic nihilistic character best. The director and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth were also influenced by " American Graffiti" (1973), which applied a mundane look to nighttime exteriors while simultaneously including a variety of colors. When "Fight Club" was processed, several techniques were applied to alter the footage. The contrast was stretched to be purposely ugly, the print was adjusted to be underexposed, resilvering (lower-scale enhancement) was used to increase density, and high-contrast print socks were stepped all over the print to create a dirty patina.
Fincher included the cue mark sequence, in which Durden points out the "cigarette burn" flash, to serve as a thematic element. The sequence represents a turning point, foreshadowing the coming rupture and inversion of the "fairly subjective reality" that characterizes the initial progression of the film. "Suddenly it's as though the projectionist missed the changeover, the viewers have to start looking at the movie in a whole new way," explained Fincher.
For the musical score, the director was concerned that bands experienced in performing film music would be unable to tie the movie's themes together, so for this reason, he sought a band which had never recorded for film before.
Radioheadwas pursued as a possible choice, but the breakbeatproducer duo Dust Brotherswas ultimately chosen to score the film. The duo created a post-modern score that included drum loops, electronic scratches, and computerized samples because, as Dust Brothers performer Michael Simpson explains, "Fincher wanted to break new ground with everything about the movie, and a nontraditional score helped achieve that." [cite news | first=Amanda | last=Schurr | url= | title=Score one for musicians turned film composers | work= Sarasota Herald-Tribune| date= 1999-11-19]
Director David Fincher described "Fight Club" as a
black comedythat applies heavy satire. To avoid a potentially sinister nature, Fincher purposefully kept the film "funny and seditious", while Norton described the film as a "dark, comic, sort of surrealist look" at young people's failures to interact with the value systemof which they are expected to be a part. "Fight Club" parallels " Rebel Without a Cause" by probing into the frustrations of the people that live in the system. The characters, having undergone societal emasculation, are reduced to "a generation of spectators",cite news | first=Louis B. | last=Hobson | url= | title=Get ready to rumble | work= Calgary Sun| date= 1999-10-10| accessdate=2007-04-28 ] while a culture of advertising defines society's "external signifiers of happiness" and causes an unnecessary chase for material objects that replaces the more essential pursuit of spiritual happiness.cite news | first=Jim | last=Slotek | url= | title=Cruisin' for a bruisin' | work= Toronto Sun| date=1999-10-10 ] Pitt explained, "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."
The violence of the fight clubs serves as a metaphor for feeling, rather than to promote or glorify physical combat. [cite web | first=Michael | last=Moses | url=http://www.drdrew.com/article.asp?id=198 | title=Fighting Words: An interview with Fight Club director David Fincher | work=DrDrew.com | publisher=Dr. Drew | year=1999 | accessdate= ] The fights are tangible representations of resisting the impulse to be cocooned in society. Norton explained that the 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. When the fights transform into revolutionary violence, the film only half-accepts this
dialecticby Tyler Durden, with the narrator pulling back and rejecting Durden's ideas. Thus "Fight Club" purposely shapes an ambiguous message, the interpretation of which is left to the film audiences. As Fincher elaborated, "I love this idea that you can have fascismwithout offering any direction or solution. Isn't the point of fascism to say, 'This is the way we should be going'? But this movie couldn't be further from offering "any" kind of solution."
In "Fight Club", the nameless narrator is an
everymanwho lacks a world of possibilities and initially cannot find a way to change his life. The narrator finds himself unable to match society's requirements for happiness and so embarks on a path to enlightenment which involves metaphorically killing his parents, his God, and his teacher. At the beginning of the film, the narrator has killed off his parents but still finds himself trapped in his false world. The narrator then meets Tyler Durden, with whom he kills his metaphorical God by going against the norms of society. Ultimately, the narrator has to kill his teacher, Tyler Durden, to complete the process of maturity.
Screenwriter Jim Uhls described the film as a "romantic comedy", explaining, "It has to do with the characters' attitudes toward a healthy relationship, which is a lot of behavior which "seems" unhealthy and harsh to each other, but in fact does work for them—because both characters are out on the edge psychologically." [cite web | first=Michael | last=Sragow | url=http://www.salon.com/ent/col/srag/1999/10/14/fincher/index1.html | title=Testosterama | work=
Salon.com| date=1999-10-14 | accessdate=2007-12-02 ] In the film, the narrator seeks intimacy, but he avoids it at first with Marla Singer, seeing too much of himself in her. Though Marla presents a seductive and negativist prospect for the narrator, he instead embraces the novelty and excitement that Tyler Durden has to offer him. The narrator finds himself comfortable having the personal connection to Tyler Durden, but he becomes jealous when Marla becomes sexually involved with Tyler. When the narrator argues with Tyler about their friendship, Tyler explains that the relationship between the two men is secondary to the active pursuit of the philosophy they had been exploring. Tyler also suggests doing something about Marla, implying that she is a risk to be removed. When Tyler says this, the narrator realizes that his desires should have been focused on Marla and begins to diverge from Tyler's path.
unreliable narratoris not immediately aware that Tyler Durden is, in fact, himself, and he also mistakenly promotes the fight clubs as a way to feel powerful.cite news | first=Robby | last=O'Connor | url= | title=Interview with Edward Norton | work= Yale Herald| date=1999-10-08 ] Contrarily, the narrator's physical condition worsens while Tyler Durden's appearance improves. Although Tyler initially embarks on a journey with the narrator in desiring the "real experiences" of actual fights,cite news | first=Stephen | last=Schaefer | url=http://web.archive.org/web/20010417125217/http://mrshowbiz.go.com/celebrities/interviews/509_1.html | title=Brad Pitt & Edward Norton | work=MrShowbiz.com | year= 1999 | month=October | accessdate=2007-03-26 ] he eventually becomes a Nietzscheanmodel that manifests the nihilistic attitude of rejecting and destroying institutions and value systems.cite journal | first=Graham | last=Fuller | url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1285/is_11_29/ai_57590231 | title=Fighting Talk | journal=Interview | month=November |year=1999 | volume=24 | issue=5 | pages=1071–7 | pmid=10509287 | doi=10.1053/jhsu.1999.1281 ] His impulsive nature, representing the id, conveys an attitude that is seductive and liberating to the narrator and the followers. However, Tyler's initiatives and methods eventually become dehumanizing, as when he orders around the members of Project Mayhem with a megaphone in similar fashion to the approach of Chinese re-education camps. At this point, the narrator pulls back from Tyler and retreats as Tyler moves forward. In the end, the narrator is able to arrive at a middle ground between his two conflicting selves.
In early 1999, after filming had concluded the previous December, David Fincher edited the footage to prepare "Fight Club" for a preliminary screening with senior executives. They did not receive the film positively, expressing concern that there would not be an audience that would watch it, and in a second screening two months later, second-tier executives also responded negatively to the film."Rebels on the Backlot". 253–273.] Nevertheless, "Fight Club" was originally slated to be released in July 1999,cite journal | first=Benjamin | last=Svetkey | url= http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,271117,00.html| title=Blood, Sweat, and Fears | journal=
Entertainment Weekly| date= 1999-10-15| accessdate= 2008-04-30 ] later changed to August 6, 1999. The studio further delayed the film's release, this time to autumn, due to a crowded summer schedule and a hurried post-production process, [cite journal | first=Leonard | last=Klady | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117503196.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=Fox holds the 'Fight' to fall | journal=Variety | date= 1999-06-17| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] although outsiders attributed the delays to the Columbine High School massacreearlier in the year. [cite news | first=Christopher | last=Goodwin | url= | title=The malaise of the American male | work= The Sunday Times| date=1999-09-19 ]
Marketing executives at Twentieth Century Fox faced difficulties in marketing "Fight Club" and at one point considered marketing it as an
art film. Because of the film's violence, they considered it primarily geared toward male audiences and believed that not even the presence of Brad Pitt would attract female filmgoers. Research testing showed that the film appealed to teenagers. Fincher refused to let the posters and trailers focus on Brad Pitt and encouraged the studio to hire the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedyto devise a marketing plan. The firm came up with a bar of pink soap as the film's main marketing image, which was considered "a bad joke" by Fox executives. Fincher also released two early trailers in the form of faux public service announcements presented by Pitt and Norton which the studio considered as inappropriate introductions to the movie. Instead, the studio financed a $20 million large-scale campaign to provide a press junket, posters, billboards, and trailers for TV that highlighted the film's fight scenes. "Fight Club" was also advertised on cable during World Wrestling Federation broadcasts, which Fincher protested, believing that the placement created the wrong context for the film.
The film held its world premiere at the 56th Venice International Film Festival on September 10, 1999. [cite web | first=A. G. | last=Basoli | url=http://www.indiewire.com/ots/fes_99Venice_990918_diary3.html | title=The Venice Diaries | work=indieWIRE.com | publisher=indieWIRE | date=
1999-09-18| accessdate=2006-11-14 ] The studio had hired the National Research Group to test screen the film, and the group had indicated that the film would gross between $13 million and $15 million for its opening weekend. [cite news | first=Bruce | last=Orwall | url= | title=L.A. Confidential: Studios Move to Put A Halt on Issuing Box-Office Estimates | work= Wall Street Journal| date=1999-10-25 ] "Fight Club" commercially opened in the United States and Canada on October 15, 1999 and earned $11,035,485 in 1,963 theaters over the opening weekend,cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=fightclub.htm | title=Fight Club (1999) | work= Box Office Mojo| publisher=Box Office Mojo, LLC | accessdate=2006-11-14 ] placing it at #1 for the weekend and ahead of "Double Jeopardy" and " The Story of Us", a fellow weekend opener. [cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=1999&wknd=42&p=.htm | title=Weekend Box Office Results for October 15-17, 1999 | work= Box Office Mojo| publisher=Box Office Mojo, LLC | accessdate=2006-11-14 ] The gender mix of audiences for "Fight Club", initially argued to be "the ultimate anti-date flick", was 61% male and 39% female, with 58% of audiences below the age of 21. Despite the top placement, its opening reception had fallen short of the studio's expectations,cite journal | first=Dade | last=Hayes | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117756713.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title='Jeopardy' just barely | journal=Variety | | date= 1999-10-18| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] and over the second weekend, "Fight Club" dropped 42.6% in revenue, earning $6,335,870. [cite web | url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=1999&wknd=43&p=.htm | title=Weekend Box Office Results for October 22-24, 1999 | work= Box Office Mojo| publisher=Box Office Mojo, LLC | accessdate=2006-11-14 ] The film, whose production budget was $63 million, went on to gross $37,030,102 during its theatrical run in the United States and Canada and earned $100,853,753 in theaters worldwide. The underwhelming North American performance of "Fight Club" soured the relationship between studio head Bill Mechanic and media executive Rupert Murdoch, eventually leading to the resignation of Mechanic in June 2000. [cite news | first=Rick | last=Lyman | url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00616FB3E540C758EDDAF0894D8404482 | title=MEDIA TALK; Changes at Fox Studio End Pax Hollywood | work= The New York Times| date=2000-06-26 | accessdate=2007-02-24 ]
For the UK release of "Fight Club" on November 12, 1999, the
British Board of Film Classificationremoved two scenes involving "an indulgence in the excitement of beating a (defenseless) man's face into a pulp" and awarded the film an 18 certificate, limiting the release to adult-only audiences in the UK. The BBFC did not censor any further, having considered and dismissed claims that "Fight Club" contained "dangerously instructive information" and could "encourage anti-social [behavior] ". As the board noted, "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." [cite journal | first=Adam | last=Dawtrey | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117757863.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title=UK to cut 'Club' | journal=Variety | date= 1999-11-09| accessdate=2007-03-23 ]
The DVD for "Fight Club" was one of the first to be supervised by the film's director and was released in two editions. [cite journal | first=Scott | last=Kirsner | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117963617.html?categoryid=20&cs=1 | title=How DVDs became a success | journal=Variety | date=
2007-04-23| accessdate=2007-04-28 ] Working on the DVD for "Fight Club" was a way for the director to finish his vision for the film. 20th Century Fox's senior vice president of creative development, Julie Markell, explained how the DVD packaging complemented the vision: "The film is meant to make you question. 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 packaging was developed for two months by the studio.cite journal | first=Marla | last=Misek | title=For "Fight Club" and "Seven", package makes perfect | journal=EMedia Magazine | month=November | year=2001 | volume=14 | issue=11 | pages=27–28 ] The single-disc edition included a commentary track, [cite web | url=http://www.foxstore.com/detail?item=105 | title=Fight Club | work=foxstore.com | publisher= 20th Century Fox| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] while the two-disc special edition included the commentary track, multiple behind-the-scenes clips, deleted scenes, trailers, public service announcements, the promotional music video "This is Your Life", Internet spots, still galleries, cast biographies, story boards, and publicity materials. [cite web | url=http://www.foxstore.com/detail?item=986 | title=Fight Club Special Edition | work = foxstore.com | publisher= 20th Century Fox| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] When the two-disc special edition DVD was first released, it was uniquely packaged to look covered in brown cardboard wrapper. Markell elaborated, "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." 20th Century Fox's vice president of marketing, Deborah Mitchell, described the design: "From a retail standpoint, [the DVD case] has incredible shelf-presence." [cite journal | first=Wendy | last=Wilson | title=Fox's "Fight Club" delivers knockout package, promo | journal= Video Business| date= 2000-06-12]
"Fight Club" won the 2000
Online Film Critics SocietyAwards for Best DVD, Best DVD Commentary, and Best DVD Special Features, [cite web | url=http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com/pages/awards/2000awards | title=The OFCS 2000 Year End Awards | work= Online Film Critics Society| publisher= Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] while " Entertainment Weekly" ranked the film's two-disc edition #1 in its 2001 list of "The 50 Essential DVDs", giving top ratings to the DVD's content and technical picture-and-audio quality. [cite journal | url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,279415,00.html | title=The 50 Essential DVDs | journal= Entertainment Weekly| date= 2001-01-19| accessdate=2007-03-23 ] In 2004, after the two-disc edition went out of print, the studio decided to re-release it due to fans' requests. [cite news | first=Ron | last=Cole | url= | title=Don't let Kurt Russell classic escape you | work=Battle Creek Enquirer | publisher= Gannett Company| date= 2004-02-14] The film grossed $55 million in video and DVD rentals. [cite journal | first=Jonathan | last=Bing | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117796888.html?categoryid=21&cs=1 | title='Fight Club' author books pair of deals | journal=Variety | date= 2001-04-11| accessdate=2007-05-01 ] In March 2007, a two-disc DVD edition was also released in the UK, featuring four audio commentaries and restoring the two scenes previously cut by the British Board of Film Classification. [cite web | first=Philip | last=French | url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/screen/story/0,,2025992,00.html | title=Fight Club | work= The Observer| date=2007-03-04 | accessdate=2007-03-30 ]
When "Fight Club" premiered at the
Venice International Film Festival, the polarizing film caused a sensation and faced a wide array of opposing opinions from prominent critics.cite news | first=James | last=Christopher | url= | title=How was it for you? | work= The Times| publisher= News International| date= 2001-09-13] Janet Maslinof " The New York Times" praised Fincher's direction and editing of the film. She also noted 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. [cite news | first=Janet | last=Maslin | authorlink=Janet Maslin | url= http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9506E1DE1030F936A25753C1A96F958260| title=Film Review; Such a Very Long Way From Duvets to Danger | work= The New York Times| date=1999-10-15|accessdate= 2008-04-30 ] Roger Ebertof the " Chicago Sun-Times" called "Fight Club" "visceral and hard-edged", as well as "a thrill ride masquerading as philosophy" that most audiences would not appreciate. [cite news | first=Roger | last=Ebert | authorlink=Roger Ebert | url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19991015/REVIEWS/910150302/1023 | title= Fight Club | work= Chicago Sun-Times| date=1999-10-15 | accessdate=2007-03-23 ] Ebert later acknowledged that the film was "beloved by most, not by me". [cite news | first=Roger | last=Ebert | authorlink=Roger Ebert | url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/REVIEWS/708230308/-1/REVIEWS01 | title=Zodiac | work= Chicago Sun-Times| date=2007-08-24 | accessdate=2008-04-30 ] Jay Carr of " The Boston Globe" thought that the film began with an "invigoratingly nervy and imaginative buzz", but that it eventually became "explosively silly". [cite news | first=Jay | last=Carr | url= | title='Fight Club' packs a punch but lacks stamina | work= Boston Globe| date= 1999-10-15] David Ansen of " Newsweek" described "Fight Club" as "an outrageous mixture of brilliant technique, puerile philosophizing, trenchant satire and sensory overload" and thought that the ending was too pretentious. [cite journal | first=David | last=Ansen | url= | title=A Fistful of Darkness | journal= Newsweek| date= 1999-10-18]
Richard Schickel of "Time" described the director's
mise en scèneas dark and damp, noting, "It enforces the contrast between the sterilities of his characters' aboveground life and their underground one. 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: it's better to be wet than dry." Schickel applauded the performances of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, but he criticized the film's "conventionally gimmicky" unfolding and the failure to make Helena Bonham Carter's character interesting.cite journal | first=Richard | last=Schickel | url= http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992235,00.html | title=Conditional Knockout | journal=Time | date= 1999-10-11| accessdate=2008-01-07]
David Edelstein of "Slate" thought that "Fight Club" was "sensationalism that mistakes itself for satire" and criticized the film's sporadic exploration of satiric ideas. Edelstein did not consider the message of "Fight Club" to be revolutionary, believing that it had already been presented in
punk culture. Edelstein considered Edward Norton's performance "marvelous" and thought that Brad Pitt played well into the embodiment of conceit. [cite web | first=David | last=Edelstein | url= | title=Boys Do Bleed | url = http://slate.msn.com/id/36643/ | work=Slate | date= 1999-10-16]
Jeff Vice of the "
Deseret Morning News" described the film as an Ernest Hemingwaynovel reinterpreted by Ken Keseyand thought that "Fight Club" was buoyed by the cast, particularly Edward Norton, who "turns in a terrific performance that veers from intense to horrifying to likably comical and back again". Vice described the first two-thirds of the film to be "exhilarating, if disturbing", though he believed that the final third petered out. [cite news | first=Jeff | last=Vice | url= | title=Fight Club | work= Deseret Morning News| date= 2001-09-24]
Susan Faludi, who wrote "", described "Fight Club" as an "incisive gender drama", comparing its message to the 1991 film " Thelma & Louise". Faludi also considered "Fight Club" a "savagely violent reprise" of the film "American Beauty" (1999) but commented that Fincher's film "delves deeper for a response". The author believed that "Fight Club" critiqued the "necessarily intramural" revolution and that the film ultimately renounced violence and adolescent fraternity. Faludi said, "For all its chaotic darkness, "Fight Club" ends up as a quasi-feminist tale, seen through masculine eyes." [cite news | first=Susan | last=Faludi | authorlink=Susan Faludi | url= | title=It's 'Thelma and Louise' for Guys | work= Newsweek| date=1999-10-25 ]
Since its theatrical run, the film has been received more favorably. "
Rotten Tomatoes" reported that 81% of critics gave the film positive write-ups, based upon a sample of 124, with an average score of 7.3/10. [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fight_club/ | title=Fight Club (1999) | work= Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2008-10-09 ] At " Metacritic", which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 66, based on 35 reviews. [cite web | url=http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/fightclub | title=Fight Club (1999): Reviews | work= Metacritic| publisher = CNET Networks | accessdate=2008-10-09 ]
Awards and nominations
"Fight Club" was nominated for the 2000
Academy Award for Sound Editingfor Best Sound Editing, but it lost to " The Matrix" (1999). [cite web | url=http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1174774613148 | work = Academy Awards Database | title=72nd Academy Awards (1999) | publisher= Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences| accessdate=2007-03-24 ] Actress Helena Bonham Carterwon the 2000 Empire Award for Best British Actress. [cite web | url=http://www.empireonline.com/awards2006/previouswinners/2000.asp | title=Sony Ericsson Empire Awards - 2000 Winners | work=Empire | accessdate=2007-03-23 ] The Online Film Critics Societyalso nominated "Fight Club" for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Edward Norton), Best Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Uhls). [cite web | url=http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com/pages/awards/99nominees | title=1999 Year-End Award Nominees | work= Online Film Critics Society| publisher = Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2007-04-28 ] Though the film won none of the awards, the society listed "Fight Club" as one of the top ten films of 1999. [cite web | url=http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com/pages/awards/99awards | title=The OFCS 1999 Year End Awards | work= Online Film Critics Society| publisher = Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2007-04-28 ] The soundtrack for "Fight Club" received a nomination for a BRIT Award, which it lost to "Notting Hill". [cite news | author= | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/entertainment/2000/brit_awards/625884.stm | title=Brits 2000: The winners | work= BBC News Online|publisher = BBC News| date= 2000-03-03| accessdate=2007-04-16 ]
In 2004 and 2006, "Fight Club" was voted by "Empire" readers as the ninth and eighth greatest film of all time, respectively, [cite journal|title=The 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time|pages=96|journal=Empire|date=
2004-01-30] [cite journal| title=The 201 Greatest Movies Of All Time|pages=98|journal=Empire|date= 2006-01-27] while the UK film magazine " Total Film" ranked "Fight Club" as "The Greatest Film of our Lifetime" in 2007 during the magazine's tenth anniversary. [cite journal | title=Ten Greatest Films of the Past Decade | pages=98 | journal= Total Film| month=April | year=2007 ] In 2007, "Premiere" selected Tyler Durden's line, "The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club," as the 27th greatest movie line of all time. [cite journal | title = The 100 Greatest Movie Lines | journal = Premiere | url = http://www.premiere.com/gallery.aspx?section_id=66&webtrends_section=best&article_id=3713§ion_prefix=best&window_id=1&gallery_id=298&page_number=1&seq=74&cnt=76 | accessdate=2007-04-26]
Quote box2|width=30%|align=right|quote=Tyler Durden's recitation of the rules of fight club is considered one of the most quoted monologues in cinema: [cite news | author= | title=Shoot to Thrill: The stunning psychological thrillers that made David Fincher one of Hollywood's hottest directors | work=
The Mail on Sunday| date= 2007-05-06] :"The first rule of fight club is... you do not talk about fight club.:"The second rule of fight club is... you "do not" talk about fight club.:"Third rule of fight club, someone yells "Stop!", goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.:"Fourth rule, only two guys to a fight.:"Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellas.:"Sixth rule, no shirt, no shoes.:"Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to.:"And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight."Fight Club" was considered one of the most controversial and talked-about films of 1999. [cite news | author= | url= | title='Fight Club' author Palahniuk to participate in academic conference at Edinboro University | work= Erie Times-News| date=2001-03-26 ] The film has been perceived as the forerunner of a new mood in American political life. Like other 1999 films "Magnolia", " Being John Malkovich", and "Three Kings", "Fight Club" has been recognized as an innovator in cinematic form and style due to its exploitation of new developments in film-making technology. [cite news | first=Andrew | last=Pulver | url=http://film.guardian.co.uk/adaptation/story/0,12830,1360434,00.html | title=Adaptation of the week No. 36 Fight Club (1999) | work= The Guardian| date=2004-11-27 | accessdate=2008-06-23] Following its initial release, "Fight Club" grew in popularity via word of mouth,cite news | first=Damon | last=Wise | url= http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,391523,00.html| title=Now you see it | work= The Guardian| date=2000-11-02 | accessdate= 2008-04-30 ] and the positive reception of the DVD established it as a cult filmthat "Newsweek" conjectured would enjoy "perennial" fame. [cite news | author=Nick Nunziata | url=http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/23/cult.films/ | title=The personality of cult | publisher = CNN| date=2004-03-23 | accessdate=2007-04-01 ] [cite journal | first=David | last=Ansen | url= | title=Is Anybody Making Movies We'll Actually Watch In 50 Years? | journal= Newsweek| date= 2005-07-11] The success of the film has also propelled the novel's author Chuck Palahniukto global renown. [cite news | first=Bob | last=Flynn | url= | title=Fighting talk | work= The Independent| date=2007-03-29 ]
The film has spawned several actual fight clubs in America since its release. A "Gentleman's Fight Club" was started in
Menlo Park, Californiain 2000 and has members mostly from the high techindustry. [cite news | author= Associated Press| url=http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-05-29-fight-club_x.htm | title=Fight club draws techies for bloody underground beatdowns | work= USA Today| date=2006-05-29 | accessdate=2007-04-28 ] Teens and preteens in Texas, New Jersey, Washingtonstate, and Alaskaalso initiated fight clubs and posted videos of their fights online, leading authorities to break up the clubs. In 2006, an unwilling participant from a local high school was injured at a fight club in Arlington, Texas, and the DVD sales of the fight led to the arrest of six teenagers. [cite news | first=Bruce | last=Rosenstein | url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-07-31-violent-fight-clubs_x.htm | title=Illegal, violent teen fight clubs face police crackdown | work= USA Today| date=2006-08-01 | accessdate=2007-04-28 ] An unsanctioned fight club was also started at Princeton University, and matches were held on campus. [cite news | author= | url= | title=At Princeton, no punches pulled | work= The Philadelphia Inquirer| date=2001-06-06 ] The film has also been suspected of influencing Luke Helder, a college student who planted pipe bombs in mailboxes in 2002. Helder's goal was to create a smileypattern 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. [cite journal | first=C. T. | last=Rossi | url= | title=Father Absence Key to Male Masculinity Crisis | publisher= News World Communications| journal=Insight on the News | date= 2002-06-10]
According to actor
Edward Norton, one of his former professors from Yale Universityhas reported being inundated with dissertations about "Fight Club". The film has also been used as an academic tool at Northern Arizona Universityto introduce students to rhetorical analysis and argumentation. [cite news | first=Julia | last=Duin | url= | title=Pop degrees | work= The Washington Times| date=2002-05-09 ] In addition, the film has been parodied in a re-cut trailerthat converted the storyline into a "quirky love story" between Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter's characters, being "dominated by a distinctly nonprofessional voiceover". [cite news | first=John | last=Jurgensen | url= | title=Downloads: Web Humor; Parody movie trailers serve as calling cards for Net design firms and comedy groups | work= Wall Street Journal| date=2006-02-11 ]
*cite journal | author=Deacy, Christopher | year=2002 |month=January | title=Integration and Rebirth through Confrontation: "Fight Club" and "American Beauty" as Contemporary Religious Parables | journal=Journal of Contemporary Religion |volume=17 |issue=1 |pages=61–73 |id=1353-7903 |url=http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/cjcr/2002/00000017/00000001/art00004 |accessdate=2007-04-28 | doi=10.1080/13537900120098165
*cite book | author=Giroux, Henry A | title=Breaking in to the Movies: Film and the Culture of Politics | format=Paperback | year=2001 | month=December | publisher=Blackwell Publishing Limited | isbn=0631226044 | pages=258–88 | chapter=Brutalized Bodies and Emasculated Politics: "Fight Club", Consumerism, and Masculine Violence
*cite book | editor=Jon Lewis | author=Giroux Henry A | coauthors=Imre Szeman | title=The End of Cinema As We Know It: American Film in the Nineties | format=Paperback | year=2001 | month=December | publisher=New York University Press | isbn=081475161X | pages=95–104 | chapter=Ikea Boy Fights Back: "Fight Club", Consumerism, and the Political Limits of Nineties Cinema
*cite book |author=Linson, Art |authorlink=Art Linson |title=What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line |format=Hardcover |year=2002 |month=May |publisher=Bloomsbury USA |isbn=1582342407 |pages=141–56 |chapter=Fight Clubbed
*cite news | author=Martin, Kevin H | title=A World of Hurt | publisher="
Cinefex" | date=January 2000
*cite news | author=Smith, Gavin| title=Gavin Smith goes one-on-one with David Fincher | publisher="
Film Comment" | date=September/October 1999
*cite book | author=Waxman, Sharon | title=Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System | year=2005 | month=December | publisher=HarperEntertainment | isbn=0060540176
*cite book | author=Windrum, Ken | editor=Steven Jay Schneider | title=New Hollywood Violence | format=Paperback | year=2004 | month=November | publisher=Manchester University Press | isbn=0719067235 | pages=304–17 | chapter="Fight Club" and the political (im)potence of consumer revolt
*cite news | author=Wise, Damon | title=Menace II Society | publisher="Empire" | date=December 1999
* [http://www.foxmovies.com/fightclub/ Official site]
* [http://www.theasc.com/magazine/nov99/anarchy/index.htm Anarchy in the USA] at "
* [http://www.thefilmjournal.com/issue8/fightclub.html "Fight Club" : A Ritual Cure For The Spiritual Ailment Of American Masculinity]
* [http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/article/id1497/pg1/index.html doppelganger: exploded states of consciousness in "fight club"] at
* [http://www.criticism.com/md/fightclub.html Masculine Identity in the Service Class: An Analysis of Fight Club]
*metacritic film|id=fightclub|title=Fight Club
*mojo title|id=fightclub|title=Fight Club
*imdb title|id=0137523|title=Fight Club
*amg title|id=1:180767|title=Fight ClubBox Office Leaders USA
The Straight Story
date = October 17
year = 1999
after = The Best Man
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