‘Fight Club’: David Fincher’s Stylish Exploration of Modern-Day Man’s Estrangement and Disillusionment

Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and David Fincher on the set of Fight Club. Photographed by Merrick Morton © Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Linson Films, Atman Entertainment, Knickerbocker Films, Taurus Film

Standing proudly among the ranks of those films whose post-theater, DVD legacy far outshone and outlived the results and recognition they got while on display in cinemas across the United States during their initial theatrical run, David Fincher’s Fight Club is today seen by many as one of the best and most significant pictures of the nineties. At first considered a rather polarizing topic of discussion in the film critics’ circles, the movie garnered harsh criticism for its apparent glorification of violence and socially harmful and inconsiderate moral dubiosity, which are, indeed, unfortunate traits, but traits with which Fight Club, of course, has nothing to do. As a film that deals with contemporary alienation, estrangement and disillusionment of an individual within a certain system, Fight Club offers no answers to a problem, let alone an instruction for youngsters to solve their issues bare-knuckled. Fight Club offers no solution, but helps formulate a diagnosis, and it does it marvelously, with impeccable style, an abundance of charm and a certain impalpable and indeterminable quality of coolness that’s still imitated both in movies and in real life. This is what fired up the audience; Fight Club may have finished its cinema cycle with less than astonishing results (even though it earned more than it had cost), thanks to a hugely beneficial word-of-mouth promotional campaign, the movie entered some sort of a mythical afterlife, which it still enjoys to this day. As you all probably know, the film was based on American novelist and journalist Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 debut novel of the same name. Even before the book’s publication, the material was read by 20th Century Fox, but the book was deemed unsuitable for a film adaptation by producers Lawrence Bender and Art Linson. Luckily for Palahniuk, another pair of producers called Josh Donen and Ross Bell saw something in the story, recorded a part of the dialogue and sent it to Laura Ziskin, then head of the division Fox 2000. She loved it and immediately contacted Palahniuk to purchase the rights from him for mere ten thousand dollars. David Fincher was only one of four directors considered at that time—it seems Peter Jackson was the first choice—but landed the gig because of his enthusiasm for adapting the book. Since both Fincher and one of his acting stars, Edward Norton, noted several similarities between Fight Club and Mike Nichols’ 1967 influential hit The Graduate, Laura Ziskin initially considered hiring The Graduate screenwriter Buck Henry to deliver the script, but the job ultimately went to much younger Jim Uhls. Fincher not only liked Palahniuk’s source material, but wanted to make amends with 20th Century Fox after an unpleasant experience he had while making his filmmaking debut on Alien 3 seven years earlier. As we already stated while doing an article on Se7en, he was determined to tolerate a zero amount of studio meddling in his work, and this was almost the case on Fight Club, as the studio intervened only on a couple of instances, and probably regretted it did. There’s a famous anecdote on how the studio asked Fincher to remove the “I want your abortion” line, a sentence originating from Palahniuk’s novel. Fincher agreed under the condition that he would have to change it only once, and then put in the infamous “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school” line. So let it be a lesson for the studio. Regarding the intriguing parallel with The Graduate, Fincher stated he acknowledged the fact that both protagonists were everymen trying to find the right path, but stressed that he felt Fight Club was a “nineties inverse” of the story: the hero of Fight Club doesn’t have an open future full of possibilities in front of him and he’s utterly clueless and incapable of turning his life around. Another interesting story with regard to the production of the film is that of screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, the man who wrote Fincher’s Se7en and was asked by the director to do an uncredited re-write of Fight Club. Prohibited from naming Mr. Walker in the credits by the strict rules of the Writers Guild, Fincher decided to thank him by naming three characters in the movie after him: Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin and Detective Walker.

The film was shot by cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, the son of American cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth, who is perhaps best known for his work on Blade Runner, but also collaborated with Fincher on Alien 3. Fight Club was the first film Jeff Cronenweth worked on, but later continued to aid Fincher with The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl. The editing process was left in the hands of Fincher’s regular editor James Haygood (The Game, Panic Room), while Fincher chose California-based producers called the Dust Brothers to deliver the film’s score. The two main roles were given to Edward Norton, who caught Fincher’s eye in The People vs. Larry Flint and who was immediately in love with the script, and Brad Pitt, who was chosen instead of the initial favorite Russell Crowe. The third most important role went to Helena Bonham Carter, who played the love interest of the protagonist, and her previous performance in The Wings of the Dove got her ahead of such actresses as Janeane Garofalo, Courtney Love, Reese Witherspoon and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, all of whom had been considered at one point.

Even though Chuck Palahniuk initially got the idea for Fight Club after getting involved in an actual fight, and despite the fact there were several a la Fight Club organizations springing across the United States upon the movie’s release, worrying the authorities and testifying to the film’s cultural and social impact, Fight Club isn’t about glorifying violence or feeling and dealing pain as a means to feel alive. This is a stylish, well-acted and often very funny story of a lost, displaced individual’s transformation that has a lot of fun with staging a twist on the old coming-of-age trope, and as it sheds light on the psychological condition of discontented people within the frame of one man’s turbulent journey to maturity, it makes a strong case for the legitimacy of its fans’ claim that Fincher’s film is perhaps not only one of the most memorable movies of the decade, but that it’s also one of the few films that accurately represent the American society of the period.

A monumentally important screenplay. Dear every screenwriter/filmmaker, read Jim Uhls’ screenplay for Fight Club, adapted from the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name [PDF1, PDF2, PDF3]. (NOTE: For educational and research purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Absolutely our highest recommendation.

 
The following is an excerpt from Film Comment 35 (September/October 1999), written by Gavin Smith, ‘Inside Out.’

What did you set out to do with this film?
I read the book and thought, How do you make a movie out of this? It seemed kind of like The Graduate, a seminal coming of age for people who are coming of age in their thirties instead of in their late teens or early twenties. In our society, kids are much more sophisticated at an earlier age and much less emotionally capable at a later age. Those two things are sort of moving against each other. I don’t know if it’s Buddhism, but there’s the idea that on the path to enlightenment you have to kill your parents, your god, and your teacher. So the story begins at the moment when the Edward Norton character is twenty-nine years old. He’s tried to do everything he was taught to do, tried to fit into the world by becoming the thing that he isn’t. He’s been told, “If you do this, get an education, get a good job, be responsible, present yourself in a certain way, your furniture and your car and your clothes, you’ll find happiness.” And he hasn’t. And so the movie introduces him at the point when he’s killed off his parents and he realizes that they’re wrong. But he’s still caught up, trapped in this world he’s created for himself. And then he meets Tyler Durden, and they fly in the face of God—they do all these things that they’re not supposed to do, all the things that you do in your twenties when you’re no longer being watched over by your parents, and end up being, in hindsight, very dangerous. And then finally, he has to kill off his teacher, Tyler Durden. So the movie is really about that process of maturing.

Is the narrator a kind of everyman?
Yeah, definitely. Every young man. Again, The Graduate is a good parallel. It was talking about that moment in time when you have this world of possibilities, all these expectations, and you don’t know who it is you’re supposed to be. And you choose this one path, Mrs. Robinson, and it turns out to be bleak, but it’s part of your initiation, your trial by fire. And then, by choosing the wrong path, you find your way onto the right path, but you’ve created this mess. Fight Club is the nineties inverse of that: a guy who does not have a world a possibilities in front of him, he has no possibilities, he literally cannot imagine a way to change his life.

Like The Graduate it’s also a satire.
A stylized version of our IKEA present. It is talking about very simple concepts. We’re designed to be hunters and we’re in a society of shopping. There’s nothing to kill anymore, there’s nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman is created.

Tyler says, “Self-improvement is masturbation. Maybe self-destruction is the answer.” That’s a pretty radical statement.
I totally believe in that. I love the way it was couched. In the book, Tyler’s already been on the journey. He’s waiting impatiently for the narrator to make the same trip he has. And that was a thing we consciously got rid of. One of the things that Brad brought to it—and I think it was really smart—was, you don’t want to be pedantic. You don’t want to have a guy going, “No, don’t you understand, this is bullshit.” You have to have a guy that’s going, “Well, I can see your point, but it seems to me… You can look at losing all of your stuff both ways. Yeah, it’s all of your stuff; yeah, it took you years to collect; yes, they were all tasteful, interesting choices. But there’s another side to it, and the other side is, you don’t have any of the responsibilities to that. Or to dig deeper, you find responsibilities to that image of yourself. But it’s up to you—maybe I’m wrong.”

You have the impression that he’s making it up as he goes along.
Kind of saying, “We’re both on the same path together, there’s something in me that says it might be interesting if you just hit me. I don’t know where it’s going, it’s no big deal; if you really don’t want to do it, you don’t have to.”

Were you involved with the adaptation from the start?
Yeah, pretty much. A lot of the typical development-speak was being thrown around: “You can’t have it all in voiceover because voiceover’s a crutch.” The first draft had no voiceover, and I remember saying, “Why is there no VO?” and they were saying, “Everybody knows that you only use VO if you can’t tell the story.” And I was like, “It’s not funny if there’s no voiceover, it’s just sad and pathetic.” I remember having a conversation early on when we were discussing what the feel of the first act should be. I was saying, “It’s not a movie, it’s not even TV, it’s not even channel-changing, it’s like pull-down windows. It’s like, pffpp, take a look at it, pffpp, pull the next thing down—it’s gotta be downloaded. It’s gotta move quick as you can think. We’ve gotta come up with a way that the camera can illustrate things at the speed of thought.” And that’s one of the things that was interesting to me, how much can you jump around in time and go: Wait, let me back up a little bit more, okay, no, no, this is where this started, this is how I met this person… So there’s this jumping around in time to bring you into the present and then leaping back to go. Let me tell you about this other thing. It’s almost conversational. It’s as erratic in its presentation as the narrator is in his thinking.

 
I think maybe the possibilities of this kind of temporal and spatial freedom point to a future direction for movies.
Well, I kind of do too in a weird way—just in the amount of freedom over content, and also how those different things are apportioned. You don’t necessarily have to make everything so concisely, narratively essential. There are a lot of scenes that, although they feel narratively redundant, are part of a thematic build.

What was the thinking behind the opening shot?
We wanted a title sequence that started in the fear center of the brain. [When you hear] the sound of a gun being cocked that’s in your mouth, the part of your brain that gets everything going, that realizes that you are fucked—we see all the thought processes, we see the synapses firing, we see the chemical electrical impulses that are the call to arms. And we wanted to sort of follow that out. Because the movie is about thought, it’s about how this guy thinks. And it’s from his point of view, solely. So I liked the idea of starting a movie from thought, from the beginning of the first fear impulse that went, Oh shit, I’m fucked, how did I get here?

What was your attitude towards the use of CGI to accomplish these impossible camera moves?
To me it was a selfish means to an end. It wasn’t about, Oh it would be cool to try something like this. In the book there are these long passages of description about how nitroglycerin gets made, and what could have happened to cause the explosion at the narrator’s condo, and we were going, How do we illustrate that? “The police would later tell me the pilot light could have gone out, letting out just a little bit of gas”—but you can’t just cut to a stove, you’ve got to become the gas. I always loved the threatening nature of the telephone in Scorsese’s After Hours. Every time the phone rang, the camera rushed right at it as somebody picked it up, and you didn’t want to find out who was going to be on the other end. Well, if we were talking about how this tea smells, we’d just push in so we knew we were talking about the tea, and show you the steam coming up, and then follow the steam and see that there’s other people in the room, and end up on somebody sniffing. There’s a way to tell that story as a narrator’s telling you that stuff. That’s what makes Chuck’s writing so funny—there’s this cynical, sarcastic overview, and at the same time when he gets into detail about how things are done, it’s sort of wonderfully compulsive. Here’s something you need to know, here’s the recipe for napalm.

It’s the visual equivalent of stream of consciousness.
That’s it, that’s what the movie is, it’s a stream of consciousness. And that’s the thing that makes it so fun to follow. Because he’s just doling out information as he thinks of it. We take the first forty minutes to literally indoctrinate you in this subjective psychotic state, the way he thinks, the way he talks about what’s behind the refrigerator, and you go there. He talks about the bomb, and you zip out the window and the camera just drops thirty stories and goes through the sidewalk, into the underground garage, through the bullet-hole in the van, and out the side. We take the first forty minutes to [establish], This is what you’re gonna see, this is what he’s gonna say, those two things are inextricably tied, this one comments on that one. And then we get to a point where we go: Oh yeah—remember where we were taking you and showing you this whole thing? You only saw this much of it—the other side of it is, this is what was going on. [WARNING: If you haven’t seen Fight Club yet and want to have an optimal viewing experience, skip over the next section.]

I have to say I didn’t see the twist coming.
You can’t. I’ve had this argument with people who go, Yeah, well, I knew. And I go, Bullshit, how could you possibly know? We spent tons of money to get two different people to make sure that you wouldn’t know. The point is not whether you’re stupid or smart because you didn’t see it coming, the point is that that’s the realization that this guy comes to. But if you trick people, it’s an affront, and you really better be careful about what you’re doing. A wise friend of mine once said, “What people want from the movies is to be able to say, I knew it and it’s not my fault.” And it’s so true. I’ve had this argument with a couple people we’ve shown the movie to. Like, “Fuck you man, this is like The Game, you’re just looking for some way to dick with me.” It’s not about tricking you, it’s a metaphor, it’s not about a real guy who really blows up buildings, it’s about a guy who’s led to feel this might be the answer based on all the confusion and rage that he’s suffered and it’s from that frustration and bottled rage that he creates Tyler. And he goes through a natural process of experimenting with notions that are complicated and have moral and ethical implications that the Nietzschean übermensch doesn’t have to answer to. That’s why Nietzsche’s really great with college freshman males, and unfortunately doesn’t have much to say to somebody in their early thirties or early forties. And that’s the conflict at the end—you have Tyler Durden, who is everything you would want to be, except real and empathetic. He’s not living in our world, he’s not governed by the same forces, he is an ideal. And he can deal with the concepts of our lives in an idealistic fashion, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the compromises of real life as modern man knows it. Which is: You’re not really necessary to a lot of what’s going on. It’s built, it just needs to run now. Thank you very much, here’s your Internet access.

 
Is the Edward Norton character ever named?
In the screenplay we call him Jack. In the credits it says “The Narrator.”

Did you see him in terms of the literary device of the unreliable narrator?
Oh, he’s totally unreliable.

How does that affect the staging—how do you hint at it?
We had tons of little rules about Tyler. Tyler is not seen in a two-shot within a group of people. We don’t play it over the shoulder when Tyler gives him an idea about something that’s very specific, that’s going to lead him. It’s never an over the shoulder shot, it’s always Tyler by himself. There’s five or six shots in the first two reels of Tyler, where he appears in one frame, waiting for Edward Norton’s character. When the doctor says to him, You wanna see pain, swing by First Methodist Tuesday night and see the guys with testicular cancer, that’s pain—and, boop, Brad appears over the guy’s shoulder for one frame. We shot him in the environment with the people, and then we matted him in for one frame, so that Tyler literally appears like his spliced-in penis shot, just dink, dink. You can see it on DVD. We did a lot of that stuff. When Edward’s on the airplane and they have that little promotional Marriott television loop, when they’re showing all their banquet facilities, there’s this shot of all these waiters going “Welcome!” and Brad’s in the middle of those waiters.

I didn’t know what the flash frames were but I took them to mean that the movie we’re watching has been tampered with by Tyler Durden.
True. Same thing. At the end, when the buildings blow up, we spliced in two frames of a penis.

Do you see links to The Game in which he goes on this journey where everything is stripped away and nothing is what it seems?
He’s humiliated. Yeah, they’re cousins. It’s a Twilight Zone episode. That’s all it’s supposed to be. In Fight Club it’s even worse—having to contend with somebody who’s powerful and you look up to them and his ideas become all too questionable, but then to find out that they are indeed your ideas, that this is your mess, that you are the leader.

What did you envisage in terms of style?
Lurid was definitely one of the things we wanted to do. We didn’t want to be afraid of color, we wanted to control the color palette. You go into 7-Eleven in the middle of the night and there’s all that green-fluorescent. And like what green light does to cellophane packages, we wanted to make people sort of shiny. Helena wears opalescent makeup so she always has this smack-fiend patina, like a corpse. Because she is a truly romantic nihilistic. [Cinematographer] Jeff Cronenweth and I talked about Haskell Wexler’s American Graffiti and how that looked, how the nighttime exteriors have this sort of mundane look, but it still has a lot of different colors but they all seem very true, they don’t seem hyperstylized. And we talked about making it a dirty-looking movie, kind of grainy. When we processed it, we stretched the contrast to make it kind of ugly, a little bit of underexposure, a little bit of resilvering, and using new high-contrast print socks and stepping all over it so it has a dirty patina.

What’s resilvering?
Lower-scale enhancement. Rebonding silver that’s been bleached away during the processing of the print and then rebonding it to the print.

 
What does that do?
Makes it really dense. The blacks become incredibly rich and kind of dirty. We did it on Se7en a little, just to make the prints nice. But it’s really in this more for making it ugly. We wanted to present things fairly realistically, except obviously the Paper Street house—there are no Victorians with eighteen-foot ceilings on the West Coast. [Production designer] Alex McDowell and I looked at books of [photographer] Philip-Lorca diCorcia because it just felt like the motel-life world that you see. Marla’s apartment, which was a set, was literally like photographs of a room at the Rosalind Apartments in downtown L.A. We just went in and took pictures of it and said, “This is it, build this.” As much as possible we tried to incorporate real office buildings, just went down and said, “All right, put some cubicles in and we’ll shoot.” Kind of a low-budget approach.

Where did the IKEA catalog scene come from? That was the moment where I knew I’d never seen a movie like this before.
In the book he constantly lists his possessions, and we were like, How do we show that, how do we convey the culmination of his collecting things, and show how hollow and flat and two-dimensional it is? So we were just like, Let’s put it in a catalog. So we brought in a motion control camera and filmed Edward walking through the set, then filmed the camera pan across the set, then filmed every single piece of set dressing and just slipped them all back together, then used this type program so that it would all pan. It was just the idea of living in this fraudulent idea of happiness. There’s this guy who’s literally living in this IKEA catalog.

Did you have a sense of biting the hand that feeds you, given that you direct commercials?
Well, I’m extremely cynical about commercials and about selling things and about the narcissistic ideals of what we’re supposed to be. I guess in my heart I was hoping people are too smart to fall for that stuff. But it’s unfortunate that it had to be presented in such a low-budget way. I would have loved to have done a whole sequence of it.

What gets you going as a director?
I don’t want to be constrained by having to do something new. I look at it as: What are the movies that I want to see? I make movies that other people aren’t making. I’m not interested in The Hero with a Thousand Faces—there’s a lot of people that do that. A friend of mine used to say there’s a pervert on every block, there’s always one person in every neighborhood who’s kind of questionable. You’re looking for that one pervert story.

What’s the most creative part of directing?
Thinking. It’s thinking the thing up, designing all the sets, and it’s rehearsals, and then the creative process is fuckin’ over. Then it’s just war, it’s just literally, How do we get through this day? It’s 99 percent politics and 1 percent inspiration. I’ve had days of shooting where I went, Wow, that’s what it is, that’s what it’s like to be making a movie. Everything’s clicking, people are asking questions, and the clock’s ticking, but you feel like you’re making progress. But most of the time it isn’t that. Most of the time it’s, How do you support the initial intent of what it is you set out to do, and not undercut that by getting pissed off and letting your attention get away on that? It’s priority management. It’s problem solving. Oftentimes you walk away from a scene going, Wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. Often. But it’s also knowing that you don’t have to get it exactly the way you see it. You want to be able to provide something, and you’re pissing down a fucking well. It will suck you dry and take everything you have and, like being a parent, you can pour as much love as you want, and your kid still says, “Just let me out right here, you don’t have to take me all the way.” You’re working to make yourself obsolete. I’m not going to make Persona—my movies are fairly obvious in what the people want and what it is that’s happening; it’s not that internalized. What’s internalized is how you process the information from the singular, subjective point of view. And that becomes the subtext of it. I’m not Elia Kazan; I’m probably not going to reinvent an actor for the audience or for themselves. But I pay meticulous attention to getting the environment right so that the people have to do less work to pretend to be that person. It makes sense—seeing them next to that desk, and with that light. Michael Douglas and I went through this on The Game a lot. He would say, But you need to be able to make this turn, so that later on you can do this. And I would say, “You know what? That may be narratively essential, but I don’t believe that somebody would do that at this point. So go ahead and take the producer cap off and be the selfish actor and make me deliver what’s around it to make it make sense. You don’t have to help me tell my story. You don’t have to get riled over here. You don’t have to let people know what your potential is for losing control.” There are times when you, as the director, need to say to the actor, “Be selfish, make me do this. Create a hurdle for me to jump over instead of me creating a hurdle for you.”

 
Any example where something turned out the way you wanted it?
No. [Laughs.] I think the master in Se7en where they walk in and see big Bob on the table with his face in spaghetti—that was what I thought it was going to be.

What about in Fight Club?
I went into it thinking, Grow up, stop trying to fucking control everything and just let go. Try to give the guidance where you can and be smart editorially about what you allow to happen—directions that you allow things to go in, so you don’t create a fucking morass for yourself. But don’t try to over think it, because it’s the kind of thing that’s got a lot of truths in it, and those truths are going to come through no matter what you do. You have a responsibility to the schedule and the budget and those things, but you’re not really responsible for making everything happen. Create a good environment, cast the thing as well as you can, and get the hell out of the way of those people. This is a movie about twenty-six-to-thirty-four-year-olds, and I think that there’s a definite generational division between Brad and Edward. They’re definitely about a different kind of thought process. I thought, There’s a thing that Edward Norton’s going to bring to this that’s going to be really important, and he’s safeguarding his generational input, he’s the caretaker of that.

Apart, from the fact that directing pays the bills and you enjoy it—
I don’t enjoy it at all.

Okay. So what need does it satisfy in you?
Filmmaking encompasses everything, from tricking people into investing in it, to putting on the show, to trying to distill down to moments in time, and ape reality but send this other message. It’s got everything. When I was a kid I loved to draw, and I loved my electric football sets, and I painted little things and made sculptures and did matte painting and comic books and illustrated stuff, and took pictures, had a darkroom, loved to tape-record stuff. It’s all of that. It’s not having to grow up. It’s four-dimensional chess, it’s strategy, and it’s being painfully honest, and unbelievably deceitful, and everything in between. When I was a kid I would spend hours in my bedroom drawing. I could never get my fucking hands to do it the way I had it in my head. I used to always go, Someday you’ll have the skill to draw exactly what you see in your head, and then you’d be able to show it to somebody, and if they like it, then you will have been able to transfer this thing [in your head] through this apparatus to this, and then you’ll truly know your worth. And I gave up drawing and then painting and then sculpture and then acting and then photography for things that were that much more difficult—to get that idea in your head out there. It’s kind of a masochistic endeavor. I know that if I can put all this together, record the sound the way I want to hear it… You know, we had such a hard time getting the timbre of Edward’s voiceover, because it has to sound like a thought. We ended up using five different microphones trying to get this sound. You listen to it and it doesn’t sound like a thought, it sounds like a guy talking to you. The voiceover in Blade Runner, if you listen to it, sounds like a guy reading prose while he’s sitting on the john. How do you avoid that? So it’s all those things, it’s so challenging.

 

“THIS IS YOUR LIFE AND IT’S ENDING ONE MINUTE AT A TIME”

“Jim Uhls is not your average screenwriter. For one thing, his nickname is Professor Peculiar. For another, as this exclusive off-kilter discussion of his craft demonstrates, Uhls is eager to break the first rule of Fight Club—he talks about Fight Club. A lot. That seminal film, directed by David Fincher, pushed every boundary possible for a studio movie, and Uhls’ darkly funny script, adapted from the Chuck Palahniuk novel, is a wickedly subversive example of how to successfully adapt an unadaptable book. Step inside the mind of the man who figured out how to do it, as Professor Peculiar explains how to use a newspaper story approach to build a brilliant pitch, why you should interview your characters, how to know when to stick a fork in your screenplay, and the macabre particulars of how and why he had to murder his brother’s cat.”

 

THE DEFINITIVE ARTICLE ON THE MAKING OF ‘FIGHT CLUB’

Forget the first two rules of Fight Club. Dipping into their personal photo collections and taking Total Film on a three month journey over as many time zones, David Fincher, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter and Chuck Palahniuk reflect on making, quite simply, the greatest film of our lifetime. You can download the PDF here.




David Fincher and Chuck Palahniuk reflect on making, quite simply, one of the greatest films of our lifetime. Go here to listen to Jeff Goldsmith’s Q&A with David Fincher and Chuck Palahniuk.

15 minutes of David Fincher discussing filmmaking. For more, visit filmschoolthrucommentaries.

 
A look at the hidden visual effects work within David Fincher’s filmography. An excellent video essay by Kristian Williams.

 

THE BEAUTY OF SOUND DESIGN

David Fincher’s Fight Club has grown from an underrated gem, to a cult classic, to being widely accepted as one of the best films of all time. In this video Film Radar’s Daniel Netzel shine a light on the sound design of Ren Klyce and Richard Hymns, specifically in the film’s fight scenes, and (hopefully) give a better idea of why sound design is so important in a film, and the role it played in cementing the films status as one of the greatest of all time.

Watch the BAFTA-winning director of Gone Girl, The Social Network, Seven and Fight Club discussed his craft and career. Recorded on 19 September 2014.

 
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of David Fincher’s Fight Club. Photographed by Merrick Morton © Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Linson Films, Atman Entertainment, Knickerbocker Films, Taurus Film. Please visit the website and support: The Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers. Intended for editorial use only. All material for educational and noncommercial purposes only.

 
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  • lucky gmail

    Another example of your dedication to the “film making craft”! I’m always amazed at what I learn here. Such obscure things that I never new existed such as….at the end of “Fight Club” as the buildings implode before Jack & Marla….I never knew that one frame of the film was actually a penis! Did I read that wrong on the last page of the script? I mean…who would have known?