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“It’s called a changeover”: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club HUM 2250: Film Adaptation Summer 2012 Dr. Perdigao June 19-26, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "“It’s called a changeover”: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club HUM 2250: Film Adaptation Summer 2012 Dr. Perdigao June 19-26, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 “It’s called a changeover”: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club HUM 2250: Film Adaptation Summer 2012 Dr. Perdigao June 19-26, 2012

2 On Chuck Palahniuk Born February 21, 1962 Childhood living out of mobile home in Burbank, Washington, on grandparents’ cattle ranch in Washington Parents separated and divorced when he was fourteen Grandfather shot and killed grandmother over cost of a sewing machine when his father was three, watching from under the bed; grandfather killed self Father a railroad brakeman and mother an office manager at a nuclear power plant Graduated from Columbia High School in Burbank then attended University of Oregon, receiving a BA in journalism (1986) Worked as a journalist for a Portland newspaper

3 On Chuck Palahniuk Worked as diesel mechanic, worked as a movie projectionist, volunteered at homeless shelter, transported terminally ill patients to support meetings Became a member of the Cacophony Society, “dedicated to experiencing things outside of the mainstream and performing large-sale pranks in public places” (www.chuckpalahniuk.net), inspiration for Project Mayhemwww.chuckpalahniuk.net

4 Evolving and de-volving? Wrote first short story “Negative Reinforcement,” published in August 1990 in Modern Short Stories “The Love Theme of Sybil and William” published in October 1990 in Modern Short Stories First attempt at writing a novel “If You Lived Here, You’d be Home Already” Emulates Stephen King This 700 page novel was rejected but parts used in Fight Club His next novel “Manifesto” was first unsuccessful but then is later published as Invisible Monsters (1999) Gives up on mainstream, writes Fight Club

5 Surviving Survivor (1999) Choke (2001), New York Times Bestseller Lullaby (2002)—Palahniuk says helped him cope with death of his father murdered by the jealous ex of a woman he met through a personal ad Diary (2003) Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories (2004) Haunted (2005) Rant (2007) Snuff (2008) Pygmy (2009) Tell-All (2010) Damned (2011) Invisible Monsters Remix (2012)

6 Surviving 2003 literary conference on his work Story “Guts” (later included in Haunted)—infamous story because it caused people to faint at readings Writes chapters of novels as if they were short stories Part of writing community, articles on his website as “How To” articles on writing

7 Reinvention “ I think that the central, most American literary theme is the invention of self. We see it in Henry James’s Bostonians; we see it in The Great Gatsby; we see it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. People who move to the city from the country and reinvent themselves, or move to the frontier and reinvent themselves. It’s the poor person becoming the rich person. You know, the nobody becoming the celebrity. It’s such an American genre, this whole idea of reinventing and creating your self based on your dream, or how you perceive yourself to be, or not to be, whatever. And I’ve always seen that as the most American literary device or literary theme, so I really wanted to play with that.” (http://www.powells.com/authors/palahniuk.html)http://www.powells.com/authors/palahniuk.html Coming of age experience as male adult Rite of passage Transformation Consequences of actions Violence Dirty realism

8 Unremembering? “People were always asking, did I know about Tyler Durden” (11). “The five-picture time-lapse series” (14). “I remember everything” (15). “This is how I met Tyler Durden. You wake up at O’Hare. You wake up at LaGuardia. You wake up at Logan.” (25) “I know this because Tyler knows this” (26). “I don’t know how long Tyler had been working on all those nights I couldn’t sleep” (27).

9 Contemporary culture Film culture Framing Subjective camera—perspective and point of view? Movie projectionist Cigarette burns (27) “Changeover. The move goes on. Nobody in the audience has any idea” (28). Consumer culture “Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy” (21). Objects owning you Place of feelings and emotions “All that’s left is the concrete shell” (45).

10 The first rule of fight club “I tell Walter I fell.... I did this to myself” (48). “Who I am in fight club is not someone my boss knows” (49). “Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer.... Maybe self-destruction is the answer” (49). “What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women” (50). “The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or art director says” (50). “maybe we have to break everything to make something better of ourselves” (52). “Nothing is static. Everything is falling apart” (112). Project Mayhem, space monkeys Arson; Assault; Mischief; Misinformation (119)

11 Foreground and Background Spherical versus anamorphic lens, grainy images in expanding frame Print underexposed, high contrasts, “dirty patina” Fincher attempted flash of Brad Pitt with 20 th Century Fox logo but company refused No use of two shots with Brad Pitt to show projection of narrator Idea of “Paper Street”: planned by city engineers but not yet constructed, does not yet exist (http://www.moviequotesandmore.com/fight-club-trivia.html)http://www.moviequotesandmore.com/fight-club-trivia.html Background films, featuring actors in Fight Club, on marquees Se7en, Seven Years in Tibet (Tibe)—also shot with The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Wings of the Dove Castings Brad Pitt vs. Russell Crowe Edward Norton vs. Matt Damon Edward Norton vs. Sean Penn Helena Bonham Carter vs. Reese Witherspoon Marla vs. Buffy????

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16 Projections Framing Tyler At copy machine (4:04) With doctor about insomnia (6:16) At support group (7:22) When Marla leaves support group (12:30) Airport (19:44) On movie projections, as flashback after Tyler asks narrator to hit him (32:22) It’s called a changeover (1:50)

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