Fight Club

Year: 1999
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: David Fincher
Producer: Art Linson
Cast: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf
Here's a classic example of a movie that a generation has warmly adapted as its swansong. It also happens to be one of the earliest beneficiaries of the burgeoning technology of DVD. Without the young male early adopters of DVD, Fight Club wouldn't have found such a devoted or belated audience, and despite more or less bombing at the box office, it's now regarded as a classic alongside other cinematic flops like Office Space.

The reason it strikes such a chord is because it's one of the most honest comments on the state of the male gender in the media/technology age that we have in film.

As Pitt's character Durden articulates in just some of his pearls of wisdom, his and The Narrator (Norton) 's generation is one raised by women, without role models and weaned on false promises of being 'rock stars and movie gods' but destined for the scrap heap of modern history where there's no room for the anxieties or energies of young urban white males.

The twist ending is fanciful and a great payoff, but the arc of the story is almost overshadowed by the whole zeitgeist of the movie.

An unnamed young man (Norton, whose in-character name we never learn) lives a comfortable material life with a steady job in a safe, prosperous world. So disconnected is he from his natural aggression it manifests as chronic insomnia which he can only overcome by hanging around support groups for people with various ailments and diseases, an obsession he shares with fellow misfit Marla (Carter).

Meeting charismatic soap maker Tyler (Pitt), the two strike up a friendship and Tyler becomes a sort of Jiminy Cricket of masculine nature, able to explain where The Narrator and everyone like him has gone wrong.

Together they start up the titular underground group, giving men all over the area and eventually the country free reign to unleash their natural addiction to thrills, danger and violence, and The Narrator becomes truly free.

But there's more to Tyler Durden than meets the eye, and he slowly starts to take over, causing The Narrator's life and the monster he's created to spin out of control.

Luckily for director Fincher and the producers the climax happened long enough before September 11, 2001 to not blight the film, and it cemented his reputation as a favourite among fans and critic/fans.

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