July 11, 2011

The Cinematography of “Fight Club”

Like Fincher's previous work, Fight Club is unrelentlessly bleak. Full of provocative ideas and brutal violence, his film is a portrait of the downfall of modern civilization. The dehumanizing aspects of society are shown as an emasculating force, against which a group of men rebel by giving in to their primary urges of chaos and destruction. Sensitive viewers may take offense at the film's destructive, fascistic and misogynistic themes, but that's only if they can last through the film's intensely ugly depiction of violence. Those who can stomach the violence and the film's unusual message are in for a treat, however. Fight Club is visually inventive, and a tremendous treat to watch

Fincher and Cronenweth like symmetry/balanced compositions, strong leading lines, level frames, zero keystone effects. They favors [dolly] track, and avoid cranes as much as possible, and there's very few handheld shots in their films.

Arguably all that was distinctive and influential in ’90s cinema can be located in Fincher’s sleek, meticulous visual design. Still today, it remains just as dark, funny, epic, and psychically wrenching as ever. Solid acting, amazing direction, and elaborate production design make Fight Club the perfect movie, I love this film in every way. 

Fight Club remains a signifier of Fincher’s influential visual style, painted in shadows of sickly green and a postmodern “violence chic” that, intentionally or not, rubs off of Fincher’s work (including Se7en), and has been fine-tuned to perfection in their more recent film The Social Network.

Here, the cinematographer talks about "The Social Network", shooting digital, and working with David Fincher:  
Man, I love how "The Social Network" looks, feels and flows. There is this gloomy and intimate sense to the dorm room scenes, there is an incredible flow and pulse to the narration, in some instances reminiscient of "Fight Club", and once again, with all cinematic disciplines working hand in hand, this movie is an example of near-perfect filmmaking.

Cronenweth talk about his work in this great article: Indie Wire
Watch some behind-the-scenes clips here, here, here, and here.

"Fight Club" Cinematographer: Jeff Cronenweth

    1 comment:

    Nathan Safford said...

    My Favorite. So glad you did this one thanks alot!