What symbolism is there in the Fight Club

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Fight Club





Vive la anti-socialization!


David Fincher's grotesque orgy of violence is not 'the' final film about life and death, not 'the' raw work of art, the inner workings of which the soul of contemporary culture divides in a brutal duel; the film is less socially critical than anti-socializing, the content-related perversion of a theoretical construct that looks less for the origin of being a man and being human, but rather searches for a way out into nihilism, explores social chaos, a visual escape into remote realities. The film itself is a metaphor and metaphorical confrontation with the social presence, is interested in the analysis of schizophrenic social excesses, dissects the heart of the disintegrating, lonely and individualizing consumer culture, the anatomical structure of which is not held together by plastic and silicone alone, but according to how builds on the consciousness and existence of the human being.


A society ad absurdum. The nameless narrator (Edward Norton) is the main character and lively secondary matter rolled into one. Tied to the portioned credo of being average and cultural immersion in the crude mass of cataloged lifelong dreams, the employee of a car company exists primarily for himself. He, the nameless, has no dreams, no recognizable social relationships, you can see from the virtual suggestions from advertising and television, those pretended life plans that, far from individual development in an edgy environment, take into account the urge for equality in insignificance. It is an emotionally and in many ways also clinically morbid world in which the namelessness, this exemplary equalizing symbolism for the image of the masculine normal, resembles a deep fall into mental and physical indifference. For the narrator, visiting self-help groups for the physically ill is both a healing cure and a binding addiction. Only in the environment of the dying, by comparing his fate with the fate of cancer patients, does he find something like emotionality, in the awareness that in a terminally ill society there is more to him than hope, inner balance - even happiness could be the talk.


But even this bizarre kind of self-awareness does not offer the narrator nearly the emotional spectrum he is looking for. As soon as Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), another “self-help tourist”, breaks through his world of suffering by holding up her mirror to his lies with her presence, he needs not only the mental torture but also the physical limit experience. What he is not aware of is shown by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), the prophet who preaches anarchy and whose cynicism knows no moral limits in order to oppose a kind of "guerrilla war of morals" against this "failed" society with militaristic determination. Tyler is different. Not caught up in social constraints, cultural standards or religious rites, it seems to stand outside the system that it despises with all its existence. Dazed by Tyler's downright prophetic attraction, the nameless man and his “liberator” become partners, allies, perhaps even friends, whose daily togetherness becomes an obscure mission. It starts with a slap in the face and takes its course with the establishment of the so-called Fight Club, an epidemic that all too quickly affects an entire cultural area. Every evening men of all ages, skin colors and denominations meet in the basement of a bar to escape their empty, emotionally empty lives. They hit, scratch, kick, push until the blood starts to boil, every muscle is tense and strained to the point of bursting, every bone threatens to break and every nerve fiber sends out its very own electrical impulse, because these men get caught in this ecstatic borderline experience to be, to live, to exist, their futility is countered by the essential desire to survive. Violence is emotion, pain is the most intense expression for physical confrontation, proof of being. Mental pain has no meaning for these men in their very own agony, after all, today's fighting man is empty inside, lives in senselessness, loneliness, the monotony of consumption.


Up to this point Fincher's film is a leaden metaphor for the essence of American culture, a satire whose humor alternates between rough and harsh. Fight Club is evil, dirty and, in a certain sense, doubly devious. After all, the manipulative narrative style not only provides a physiognomic surprise in the echoes of the psychoanalytic finale, but also amazes in the way it communicates subliminal messages. It's about cultural decay, the loss of social identity in the midst of a hodgepodge of brand names and artificial products in the presence of which any sense of personality and personality is lost. It is not for nothing that the two-faced agitator of the plot proclaims his very own chaos ideology as “the holistic loss of the possibility of free development”. Destroying the repressive social image is the declared aim of Tyler Durden, who secretly brings the "Project Chaos" into being and together with a fascist community, which is made up of loyal supporters who now exist throughout the country, after anarchy and an idealistic A new beginning strives. The theoretical ideology of social chaos finds its practical self-realization in the anarchist community, which strives for nothing other than complete freedom, whose currently conditioned characteristic can only be the loss of individual personality and in this case the general loss of material property. From then on, the film loses its content-related conciseness, but not its staged complexity, there is no doubt that the viewer is expected to have a high level of abstraction in order not to see the bitterly angry game with breaking bones and bleeding wounds as a primarily violence-glorifying orgy. Fincher's opus is controversial in this regard, but at no time is it careless when it comes to questions about the meaning and purpose of this plastic mass brawl. The film is eminently vulnerable, if you consider the remote small-scale production as a manipulative and well-designed mainstream product that wants nothing more than to propagate a lot in order to satisfy the simple visual effects and to entertain allegorically.


Yet it is that simple Fight Club not knitted. In his film, David Fincher relies heavily on the literary model of the same name by Chuck Paulahniuk, whose novel - similar to Coupland's "Generation X", but far more satirical and evil - reveals the dark, repressive and lonely aspects of the American affluent society brightens. This is fascinating, in book form as well as in film, because lived reality can be understood on the screen in its most extreme form, and maybe even empathized. Fincher's film is a difficult chunk, complex in terms of content because it is misleadingly entangled and its symbolism is disturbingly open. Rarely has a violent film put its brutality on display so clearly and at the same time aimed so deeply into the pit of the stomach of an audience that either writhes in pain and remains in contingency or embarrassed and embarrassed everywhere retreats, away from the oppressive nothingness, out of the cinema , backwards into reality.


Patrick Joseph


This text first appeared at: www.ciao.de

There are several texts for this film in the archive of the filmzentrale



Fight Club


USA - 1999 - 139 min.- Scope

FSK: from 18; holiday-free

Predicate: particularly valuable

Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

Fox Home (video)

First performance: 11.11.1999 / 18.5.2000 Video

Fd number: 33963

Production company: Art Linson Films Prod./Fox 2000 Pictures / Regency Enterprises

Production: Art Linson

Cean Chaffin

Ross Grayson Bell

Directed by David Fincher

Book: Jim Uhls

Template: based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk

Camera: Jeff Cronenweth

Music: The Dust Brothers

Editor: James Haygood


Edward Norton (narrator)

Brad Pitt (Tyler Durden)

Meat Loaf Aday (Robert Paulsen)

Helena Bonham Carter (Marla Singer)

Jared Leto (Angel Face)

Zach Grenier (Manager)

Eion Bailey (Ricky)


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