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fight club

have too many conflicting, muddied thoughts about this movie and i'm not sure i feel like teasing them out even for myself, but in general i really liked this as an extremely compelling depiction of disaffection and self-destruction. when fincher is in this mode he just can't help but be engrossing. philosophically it can get pretty juvenile but there's at least enough truth in its critique of consumerism that i don't feel bad about nodding along at moments. i've semi-avoided this movie for years not because i thought i wouldn't like it, but because i knew i'd have a hard time separating it from its reputation as the ultimate bro intellectual movie with the most obnoxious fans (also i knew the ending already). i think judging a movie based on its fans is one of the worst tendencies among film buffs, which is why i didn't want to put myself in a position where i can't help myself because they're so hopelessly intertwined in my mind. there were certainly moments where i nearly rolled my eyes thinking about the fact that people think this stuff is as deep as cinema gets, but overall i was able to assess the film on its own terms and came to the conclusion that it's just pretty damn good, particularly in the first act. i don't have any problems with the twist itself (although knowing it in advance made it obvious how telegraphed it all is, but i suppose that just adds to the magic trick for those who go in blind), but it is weird how it uses it to undercut the film's whole philosophy to that point. it's clear the film is never condoning the characters' actions, but it still seems to have at least some sympathy for hatred of modern society, yet in the end it kinda does a complete 180 when our hero must go to the police to protect a bunch of credit card company buildings. makes it even weirder that people hold up tyler durden and this movie as aspirational symbols of (a laughably oversimplied) anarchy.

but otherwise i just found it be a very well-constructed movie with some great performances. it's pretty remarkable how it maintains its frenetic pace, constantly jumping back and forth in space and time, while still elegantly balancing its narrative threads and paying everything off. it sorta dragged for me at times in the middle, usually when it would disappear too far up its own ass, but even then it still maintained an impressive playfulness. the winking dialogue could be grating at times, but for the most part i was surprised by how genuinely clever it was.

very glad i finally saw this. possibly the most significant film i'd never seen before, aside from maybe one of the two movies i have left in this thing.