The Profound Misunderstanding of ‘Fight Club’

I have a love/hate relationship with Fight Club. This has less to do with the actual movie and everything to do with the film’s reputation 20 years later. Fight Club, in author Chuck Palahniuk and director David Fincher’s own words, is a satire. But to a certain subset of men, it’s a pro masculine movement that crowns man as the alpha being in the universe a.k.a. “the manosphere.” Consider all of the men’s rights activists and anti-feminist circles that coddle Fight Club as a handbook, or worse, a BIBLE.

I am Jack’s cold sweat. Continue reading

The Detectives of David Fincher

In another life, David Fincher would make an excellent detective. It’s no coincidence that the protagonists in his films often brandish the fedora and trench-coat (some literally, others spiritually) or are prone to endless brooding as they piece together a complicated world. But it’s not the fact that they investigate that’s so compelling, it’s that they obsess. For a director himself who will shoot 100 takes of a scene, or refine the junk in a character’s apartment to an exact science, or pore over every line and molecule of the script; this storyteller-character pairing is as self-reflexive as it is madly engrossing.

This, of course, depends on how you like your heroes. Some like ‘em squeaky clean in every moral facet i.e. won’t take a nickel off the street, or aren’t above arresting every rule-breaking offender out there including jaywalkers. I like my detectives the way Fincher does, weathered and broken and a little fucked up. Continue reading

The Social Network’s Unforgettable Opening Scene

“Did you know there are more people with genius IQs living in China than there are people of any kind living in the United States?”

The first line of David Fincher’s The Social Network starts at the 16 second mark, just as the Columbia Pictures logo rolls, and just as we slowly fade into the middle of Mark Zuckerberg and Erica Albright’s whirlwind date. (Whirlwind as in the speed at which they talk, NOT that they’re “in love.”) Where are we? In a bar. When are we? Boston 2003, at the intersection of Harvard and – as far as the tech-wunderkind Zuckerberg is concerned – the rest of the world. Continue reading

In Praise of David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

“She’s different,” Armansky says, words that mark the worldwide iconographic appeal of the title-heroine. “In what way?” Dirch Frode asks. “In every way.” I can’t think of a more unique blockbuster in recent memory. No, not the R-rated drama aspect of David Fincher’s lurid and underrated gem. The hard-R studio adult franchise, or the promising start of one. Considering Fincher never got to see through to a trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remains as a defiant standalone movie that’s wholly unique and of a blockbuster caliber that’s rarely been attempted since. Continue reading