Leftist movies

Did this movie do more for anarchism, particularly an-prim, an-nhilism etc., then all the big anarchist protests and websites combined? Pretty interesting that its release coincides with the WTO riots in Seattle. This movie has become a huge cliché but watching it I had the sinking feeling that Hollywood would never allow that kind of creative freedom in a post-911 world. When you watch it critically and you have a firm understanding of anarchist ideologies its a lot like an exceptionally creative anarchist manifesto. Most burgers don't know about anarchism to make the connection but its very preachy to me. That's not necessarily bad but Hollywood doesn't make leftist films very often anymore, a few vague leftist ideas and remarks are allowed but then its back to commonsensical liberal-conservative way of seeing the world. So, what I mean when I say that its hard to imagine a film like it being made in the post-9/11 world, isn't just the terrorist aspect of it but the fact that when you consider the film as a holistically, its actually pretty far-left.

I'm not a cinephile though those are just my observations. Also leftist film thread.

What film is this?

Fight Club (1999)

Really? I thought the movie was more about the dangers of radical ideology (albeit this when i was a libertarian).

I'd say the narrator embraced a form of anarcho-nihilism/ individualism. He ripped himself away from material want and embarked on a journey of taking control of his life in a way that was fun.

Tyler represented more of an egoist Max Stirner like character, and his followers were his own union of egoists. Hell, they literally go through a process of almost despooking themselves.

Ohhh. Forgot this scene. I've only seen it twice.

What are your thoughts on Ted Kaczynski's views and writings?

Reminder that calling him a murderer is not an argument.

He's the last worthwhile luddite

He was nuts, but also really smart. It's a shame.

I'd say it goes through phases there's different flavors of anarchist thought expressed in the film but I'd say that Tyler is guided primarily by anarcho-primitivism as shown by the confession that he makes to the narrator (Norton) in regards to his plan for the future:

The overarching plan of project mayhem is very interesting because even though its not exclusively primitivist it seeks to free mankind from debt slavery and exploitation, to destroy the basis of capitalist property by equalizing society by "going back to zero"–destroying the debt record. It's very interesting that certain anarchists like David Graeber really caught onto this point of view and way of seeing debt.

Should have been a thread instead. Sorry guys. Please ignore it or post your opinions in the thread.

I suppose I should also add that destruction of the banks in the final scene was brilliant. I like the lack of justification for the action, since no one was killed by it the film does not attempt to justify or vilify Tyler's actions. Pretty eerie to watch today when you consider parallels between the events of 9/11 and the 2008 banking crisis that followed this film. Who hasn't felt the desire to blow up a bank before though?

Its tough to imagine a film being made today where a terrorist who blows up a half dozen banks is the good guy or the anti-hero. That's why in spite of its machismo and the vulgar right-wing appropriation of this film–its one of the most left-wing hollywood flics made in relatively recent history. Now its almost 20 years and honestly no other Hollywood films (with perhaps the exception of In Time) come to mind which are unabashedly left and revolutionary.

No. That movie did Capitalism.

Now moving on from this stupid thread…

Lmao everything made under capitalism "does capitalism" in some shape or form, doesn't mean we can't appreciate something good made under capitalism when you see it.

Also, if that pic proves anything, its that fight club wasn't really a big hit at the box office…

I watched Blood Diamond recently, good stuff about slave trade, refugees, forced labour, corruption etc.

But other than Tyler's anti-materialism/anti-capitalism, is there really any leftist aspects to his personality? He's extremely authoritarian, cultivates a cultish personality in his followers, fetishes violence and conflict, etc. If anything it'd be easier to call him a primitivist-fascist, since he doesn't really support anarchy.

I hate Fight Club, I hate the Matrix, I hate ironic detached 90's American grunge politics where being sincere was a sin and vague anger was revolutionary.

Also I really hate the fucking Pixies and it cant be said enough.

That's really the contradiction between the man who seems like such a perfect example of egotism, individualist anarchism etc, whatever you want to call it, and the fact that they he runs the club like a dictatorship or some sort of secret society.

Tyler sees what he's doing as something for the greater good, hence the analogies with "space monkeys" and human sacrifice. When the narrator complains about the what he's doing and the way he runs things he tells him that what they've started "goes beyond us" the way he sees it, he's laying the ground work for humanity's liberation.

Tyler, of course, is not the movie, he is himself only a double for the narrator whose a meek, consumerist worker-drone, a veritable little eichmann for big corporate crimes who is literally driven insane by capitalism.

It's definitely a contradiction that to overcome hierarchies that the film shows the anarchist guru creating new hierarchies to over throw them. You get the feeling that the organization has served its purpose with the destruction of the banks, and that might be why the narrator "kills" Durden at the end of the movie. "Kill the cop inside your head" and all that nonsense–now that capitalism is presumably "overthrown" Durden is no longer needed to help drive forward revolutionary action. Durden was just a symptom of the narrators alienation under the capitalist system and presumably he gets to a point where he is no longer necessary. Durden explains that he is just an alienated and idealized part of the Narrator that every person takes on in modern society but few people have the courage to "run with" the double-consciousness they attain under capitalism. Perhaps the reason for that is the narrator is so close to being the embodiment of the 90s capitalist ideal that he doesn't know where his job/social role begins and his personality ends.

Also the fetishization of violence isn't for its own sake but for building up the strength to carry out the revolution. I think the film sees rather clearly that effeminate men conditioned by society to act in a submissive manner are not going to carry out any kind of revolution. The self-destruction is part of the self-transformation stage.

I'm not an anarchist so don't let me define what that is for you but I think the anarchist themes are subtle and well done but I think the anarchist themes in the movie are well done.

Why tho? We tried post-irony and it turned out to be a bunch of sentimental schlock where the JK Rowlings of the world run the planet turning faux-compassion into poison that actually harms the victims it claims to be saving while degrading critical thinking.

Just look at Buzzfeed for god's sake.

I hate the faux petty idealism-romanticist reaction to irony almost as much, but the problem with both still rests with not taking the real world seriously or attempting to change it in a coherent way that makes sense. Most American fiction is made with the Fukuyama paradigm in mind so that even when political messages or ideas are put forward they aren't put forward in such a way as to challenge capitalism or imagine a world with material conditions beyond are own. Nothing is transformative, in the world of Fight Club or The Matrix the world is essentially already dead and we are supposed to feel good because we stop the capitalists from raping a few scraps of freedom and change we have left.

A smaller problem is that films and television shows are basically commercials with some story scenes thrown in nowadays. I mean there was never a time when they weren't at least in part commercial products, but it also was never quite this bad either. I don't believe in golden ages.. Fuck it this will be a passive aggressive run around of mine if I keep going the point is shit ain't good.

Now that is a very, very interesting perspective on it and something I've never thought about.

I, and probably most other people, had thought that the narrator was rejecting Tyler and his ideas, including the revolution, but thinking about it, that couldn't have been the case or Tyler would've disappeared long before he shot himself. Tyler can be thought of as a archetype of a true revolutionary: a necessary evil for the revolution but something that should not exist after. His methods and personality are often in contradiction to an anarchistic future, presumably one he is trying to create, but (within the frame of the movie) his personality and methods are what is necessary to create that future. Once the Narrator can no longer prevent his liberation and it has effectively already been achieved, that is the point where the revolutionary is no longer necessary and allows itself to be killed.

Fuck, that was some good analysis, man. It really made me think, as they say. I have no idea if that's what the writers or director intended, but thinking of it in that way definitely makes the movie a lot deeper and more meaningful.

I liked Fight Club

Maximum Overdrive
A Long, Long Trailer (old and corny, but still great)
China Seas (very old '30s movie, but great)
Pink Flamingos (very gross obscene movie, but very funny)
The Shining
Beetlejuice (cornball, but entertaining to watch)
Eraser Head (old, also cornball but entertaining to watch)
Naked Lunch

Oh oh oh, can't forget Requiem for a Dream.

whats so leftist about the shining?