Hollywood Will Take It On The Chin For Fox’s Morally Repulsive ‘Fight Club’, says Editor Anita M. Busch.
The ultra-graphic violence of Fox 2000’s FIGHT CLUB has drawn more gut anger from the industry than I’ve ever heard. And for good reason.
The film, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, Is David Fincher’s big-budget tirade about bare-knuckled fighters who form a national network of sociopathio terrorists. No one’s faulting the film’s top-notch production values or performances, but many are outraged by its content.
In scene after blood-soaked scene, it preaches personal growth through acts of calculated violence.
Pitt’s character orders dub members to go out and pick a fight with someone they don’t know. Later, Pitt plows into a car on the highway, resulting in a horrific accident, and then explains to a limp, bleeding Norton that he’s had a new life experience. When asked why he beat one of his colleagues to a lifeless pulp, Norton says, “I wanted to destroy something beautiful.” When Pitt pours lye on Norton’s hand, audiences not only hear flesh burning but see it bubbling in an oozing sore.
FIGHT CLUB, no doubt, will become Washington’s poster child for what’s wrong with Hollywood. And Washington, for once, will be right The film is exactly the kind of product that lawmakers should target for being socially irresponsible in a nation that has deteriorated to the point of Columbine.
But the movie also is the kind of product that should have been self-policed by Fox and the MPAA ratings board. Why the film was given an R rating Instead of an NC-17 is beyond logic.
After giving FIGHT CLUB an R, the ratings board should apologize for forcing changes to Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut’ to digitally cover nude bodies. Why is the board OK with Fincher’s closing shot of a penis that fills half the screen?
When Washington immediately pointed its finger at Hollywood after Columbine, it grasped at straws. Entertainment does influence society, but so do images from real life, the evening news and magazines. To blame one source is myopic.
In our ridiculously politically correct society, many in Hollywood would be reluctant to greenlight a story about a 10-year-old gin who smokes cigarettes and cons her way across the country. “Paper Moon” would be shot down as socially irresponsible.
Yet, FIGHT CLUB lives?
Just because a project gets the attention of A-list talent doesn’t mean you have to indulge them. Those responsible for bringing FIGHT CLUB to the screen — agents, financiers, studio executives — should hang their heads for setting fine entire industry back.
– Anita Busch