Studying Fight Club (paperback) – Mark Ramey

£9.99   128pp   ISBN: 978-1-906733-55-1

Fight Club is, on one level, a pop-culture phenomenon and on another, a deeply philosophical and satirical exploration of modern life. David Fincher’s 1999 film (and Chuck Palahniuk s source novel) has had a huge impact on audiences worldwide leading to spoofs, homage, merchandising and numerous Internet fan sites. On initial release the film was met with wide hostility from critics who either failed to appreciate its satirical intent or believed the film failed to deliver on its satirical promise. Early in its DVD afterlife, however, a wider audience began to appreciate the film s significance and radical message. Although attracted by the film s playfulness and star wattage, however, many students struggle with its theoretical notions such as capitalism, materialism, anarchy and so on. This is one film that therefore merits a thoughtful and provocative analysis but also an accessible one, and Mark Ramey has provided just that.

The author explores Fight Club in terms of the career of its director, David Fincher, and key cast, and the film’s journey from its beginnings as a controversial novel to its present incarnation as a cult film. He goes on to examine the film in terms of its broad cultural impact and continuing relevance, especially since 9/11, illustrating the multiple interpretations and discourses to which the film gives rise.

 

“…Ramey lands good jabs. Taking his cue from close analysis, press quotes, feminists, narrative theorists, studies of ‘male-ienation’ and ‘God is dead’ thinker Nietzsche, Ramey pitches Fincher’s Chuck Palahniuk adap as a redemptive tale of one man’s growth towards maturation and responsibility… this is a measured analysis, peaking when Ramey assess how Fincher’s self-conscious, stylised direction forces us to ‘actively engage’ with its ambiguities. **** (4 stars)” Total Film

“…a convincing argument for the ongoing relevance of [Fight Club’s] themes and ideas… extremely well-written and considered… crammed with a full range of accessible and varied theoretical frameworks…” Media Education Association

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