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Stereoactive Presents - ‘Fight Club’ // a 1999 film retrospective

‘Fight Club’ // a 1999 film retrospective

Stereoactive Presents

07/19/19 • 47 min

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With this, their second episode in a series, J. McVay, Jacqueline Soller, and Charles Hinshaw continue to look back on movies released in 1999, discussing how they stand up 20 years on...

Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk (“Paula-nick”) and directed by David Fincher, ‘Fight Club’ stars Edward Norton as a never named narrator who’s more or less fed up with his life and suffering from severe insomnia as he travels from place to place examining auto-accidents. He begins to find cathartic solace through attending support groups for people suffering from various ailments and conditions, before his routine is interrupted by a woman named Marla Singer (Helena Boham Carter), who is also attending these groups for less-than-honest purposes. Eventually, Norton’s character meets Tyler Durden on one of his flights. Played by Brad Pitt, Durden seems to be as free of conformist societal pressures as the Narrator is bound by them. Immediately after this seemingly chance encounter, the Narrator’s high rise condo is destroyed by an explosion, leaving him with nowhere to turn but his new acquaintance. After an evening of bonding and trading personal philosophies, the two decide to have a fist fight free of animus just to see what it feels like. High on the resultant feeling, they end up founding a club of men looking for the same experience. This balloons first into a secret underground network of similar clubs that extends to an unknown size, then to the beginning of Project Mayhem in which men dedicate their entire lives to following Durden’s call to upset the materialist, corporate nature of the society around them.

The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 10th, 1999. It drew both praise and criticism, with many referencing ‘A Clockwork Orange’ as a precedent case of a film that both portrays violence and, it was worried, could also inspire violence. It opened commercially in the US on October 15th and came in first in box office rankings with just over $11 million. Despite this, the film was considered a bit of a financial disappointment by its studio, Fox. However, it was such a popular DVD release that it went on to become one of the studio’s top selling home media items and eventually turned a profit.


Episode Credits:

Producer/Host: J. McVay

Guests: Jacqueline Soller, Charles Hinshaw

Music: Hansdale Hsu

Originally released as part of a previous podcast on 7/19/19

Now released and distributed by Stereoactive Media

07/19/19 • 47 min

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