By Yash Thakur. Posted on November 17, 2015
When Fight Club premiered at the 56th Venice International Film Festival, the film was fiercely debated by critics, who loved and hated it in equal measures. A 1999 American feature film adaptation of the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is directed by David Fincher. The film, since it's release, has gained a cult following and is today regarded as one of the finest films ever made. Fincher worked with Jim Uhls to develop the script, seeking advice from others in the film industry and his own cast members. That year (1999), along with Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick), Magnolia (Paul Anderson) and Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze), Fight Club was seen as an innovator in cinematic form and style, since it exploited new developments in filmmaking technology.
The film is laden with themes like discontentment, nihilism, homoerotica, anti-capitalism, spirituality and psychological neurosis. In this article, we have tried to highlight a few things that you may not have known about this film. Below is the trailer of Fight Club (the soap shot took 41 retakes, by the way) so if you haven't seen the film yet, go watch it right now.
For the major part of the film, Tyler Durden can be seen wearing Blue-Blockers, a sunglass commonly used by insomniacs to filter out blue light, which is detrimental to the production of melatonin, a hormone essential for sleep. Notice how The Narrator is an insomniac..
Meat Loaf, one of the best selling album artists of all time, who plays Bob, required an oxygen mask after every take of the scene when he fought The Narrator. He had to wear a fat suit that was filled with over 100 pounds worth of bird seed so it resembled sagging flesh. Makeup artist Rob Bottin had it worse than him; he had to build two different fat suits because Fincher wasn't sure if the studio would approve the suit with the nipples.
In the end, Meat Loaf was a good sport about the whole thing, giving Norton a framed photo of his face pressed against Bob's chest with a note saying “With Hugs, Love Meat."
The three detectives in the film who try to castrate The Narrator are named Detective Andrew, Detective Kevin, and Detective Walker. On combining those three last names, you come up with Andrew Kevin Walker, the name of the writer of Fincher's Se7en and Panic Room. This was done to give Walker some acknowledgment for doing an uncredited re-write of Fight Club's screenplay. Apart from Jim Ulhs (who actually wrote the screenplay), Cameron Crowe, Fincher, Norton, and Pitt also contributed to the screenplay in an unofficial capacity.
There is a scene where Norton's character goes into a cave, for the second time and finds Marla (Helena) and goes to kiss her. Instead, she blows smoke into his mouth. Digital Artist John Siczewicz is quoted as saying: "After starting with those existing breath elements (from Titanic) we cut and pasted and dissolved until we had some animated breath that worked with the wind action within this ice tunnel. Since either the camera or the actor was in motion for all of these shots, I had to track in the origin point for each breath. Once these swirly breaths blended in, the whole scene dropped sixty degrees."
Blue Sky Studios, that did CGI for the movie and were formerly associated with a company called VIFX that worked on Titanic, had a "library of generic breath elements created for Titanic" at their disposal. Thus, there is a high chance that what we see, is actually Leo's breath.
We think that it is a standard Hollywood number, used in films. Can't be pure coincidence! It is also the same as the Hong Kong restaurant’s phone number in Harriet the Spy, Eddie Alden’s phone number in the movie Someone Like You, and the number for a mental institution in an episode of the show Millennium.
In a 1999 interview, Norton was quoted saying: "In Buddhism there's Nirvana, and then there's Samsara, the world of confusion and disharmony. That world is our testing ground, where we have the experiences that help us become enlightened. I'm not saying Fight Club is The Book of Living and Dying, but it was kind of that idea: You're challenging yourself to break out of the world.
While Director Fincher said: "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 ... The movie introduces [Norton's character] 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 this teacher, Tyler Durden. So the movie is really about that process of maturing."
The scene where Tyler (Brad Pitt) splices the few pornographic frames into a family film shown in the theater is a reference to master director Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966), where, in the beginning a few random images are shown into a projected film, including that of an erect penis.
Shooting lasted for 138 days, during which David Fincher shot more than 1,500 rolls of film, three times the average for a feature film. Overall production included 300 scenes shot in a jaw-dropping 200 locations. When asked about the shoot, the director said: "I felt like I was spending all my time watching trucks being loaded and unloaded so I could shoot three lines of dialogue. There was far too much transportation going on."