Books and Movies Reviews


On the Dark Side: Fight Club & Neo-Noir In "Fight Club" (David Fincher, 1999) the director, Fincher, presents the elements that are essential in a Neo-Noir film. The most obvious of the characteristics is the dark overtone of the film. "Fight Club" is mostly set in night or in shadows as are most noir films. The other obvious characteristic of Neo-Noir is the voice over narration. Voice over narration is when a voice off screen is doing a narration of what is happening on screen. This narration is provided by the protagonist of "Fight Club," "Jack." Edward Norton plays the ambivalent protagonist, who only refers to himself as "Jack." An ambivalent protagonist, usually the main character, is someone the audience likes, but who possesses character flaws. This brings us to the use of doubles and splits in noir and neo-noir films. "Jack" (Edward Norton) unknowingly develops an alter ego by the name of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). However, this turns out to be only one of "Jack's" flaws as "Fight Club's" ambivalent protagonist. For every protagonist in Neo-Noir films there is a femme fatale, which is the leading lady who eventually leads the protagonist to his doom. "Jack's" femme fatale is Marla Singer (Helena Bonham-Carter). These are the characteristics of Neo-Noir expressed in "Fight Club;" shadows or dark lighting, voice over narration, the ambivalent protagonist, double and split imagery, and the femme fatale, while implementing an underlying theme of crime and violence. "Fight Club" is also almost completely a flashback up until the very last scene. Although not a typical noir film, "Fight Club" does fit in best under the genre of neo-noir due to these stylistic elements. One of the main reasons that "Fight Club" could be considered neo-noir is because of the dark lighting and the use of shadow…


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