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WJEC A2 Film Studies FM4 Section C Single Film Critical Study Fight Club Exemplar

Rob Miller | Monday June 03, 2013

Categories: A Level, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS A2, FM4, Section C: Single Film Critical Study, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Fight Club, Hot Entries

Despite the gesture of destroying symbols of corporate power at the end, Fight Club is a film about power and control, not liberation. How far do you agree?

Fight Club is a pre millennium, 1999 film directed by David Fincher. Fincher admits to wanting to create a discourse on corporate power, advertising and a crisis in masculinity which is developed also through the novel’s homoerotic connotations. The film’s screenplay was developed by Jim Uhles and as such, remains close in narrative content to book.

The whole idea of pre millennium angst was a crucial theme for the film with corporate power and control under threat, primarily through the widely publicised possible consequences of the so called ‘millennium bug’ which spread anxiety, particularly among corporations such as banks, insurance companies and the very systems of government. Other films of the time explore similar themes including The Matrix, Being John Malcovich and American Beauty – all distributed in 1999 and all focusing on corporate power and control and gender representation, specifically notions of masculinity in crisis.

Fight Club stars Edward Norton as an unnamed character, potentially feeding the anarchic representation through audiences’ inability to fully understand his character and his role against his alter ego, the enigmatic Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden. Durden is the anti-hero protagonist who consistently challenges corporate power and control through his anti—establishment, controversial ideologies which reflect well the pre millennium anxiety of the time. Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer further anchors the anarchic representations as a passive/aggressive femme fatale who, like the Edward Norton character is entirely selfish and only concerned with self gratification as evidenced by their repeated attendance at self help meetings as a form of cathartic reflection. (Bonham-Carter is often cast as a seductive but dangerous female whose role...

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