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The_scene_I_am_about_to_analyse_is_from_the_first_few_scenes_of David Fincher's Fight Club

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How does sound, editing and mis en scene combine to create meaning in David Fincher's "Fight Club?" The sequence I am about to analyse is from David Fincher's "Fight Club" made in 1999. The film follows the exploits of Edward Norton as an unnamed (though he later refers to himself as "Jack") blue collar work a day man employed by a major car company who begins attending support groups for terminal illnesses he doesn't have in order to cure his insomnia. The film begins in medias res (in the middle of the story) as Brad Pit's character "Tyler Durden" The scene opens with a medium shot of "Jack" (Norton) lying in his bed, awake. Norton's haggard face and bedraggled figure expression coupled with the use of side lighting help to convey to the audience just how bad his insomnia is and the toll it's currently taking on his life. The use of diagetic sound in the form of the movement of the second hand on a clock that is pleonastic in nature as its monotonous ticking represents the movement of time and just how long Jack has been awake for. Jack's narrative is also important in this sequence, his words echo and trail into the next shot as he remarks - ...read more.


- This is Jack describing his world to us. The use of sound here is also notable as the monotonous ringing of the telephones and tapping of computer keys throughout the waste paper basket scene adds extra resonance not only to the theme of a corporate lifestyle driven by consumerism but its contrapuntal nature contrasts with the theme of space exploration and high lights the difference between the two themes being brought up by Jack's ongoing narrative. The constant reappearance of the Starbucks brand in the sequence up until and including this point in the film is used to emphasise the theme of consumerism and how the brand names Jack and by proxy the rest of us rely on to get through the day are seemingly inescapable; we're only minutes into the film and already we have seen the same logo in several of the shots. As we cut to an over the shoulder shot of Jack's desk as he and his boss exchange office related jargon, we are shown Jack's work space which we can infer is essentially his world. In this shot the props are key and give us further insight into his nature and personality; the ever present cup of Starbucks coffee on his desk, the meticulously organised wall ...read more.


This scene tells us almost directly that Jack's life is the Ikea catalogue. As Jack describes the items his finds himself compulsively purchasing from the Ikea catalogue, the audience is given a view of the full extent of his apparent obsessive compulsive disorder; Jack opens a cupboard and we're given a match on action cut to a shot from within the cupboard. There are several blue bowls with "the little imperfections" or bubbles in them, Jack closes the cupboard, his figure expression showing that he's impressed with the contents. Cut to a shot of Jack opening his fridge, we are given another match on action cut to a shot from within the fridge; there are two potatoes, a few jars of mustard and one vegetable. The props in this shot are key because of how starkly they contrast with the contents of his cupboard in which he had several bowls, presumably for eating food with yet the contents of his fridge show that he has no use for the bowls, once again hammering in the fact that, to Jack nothing is more important that the superfluously purchasing things he doesn't need - not even eating. ...read more.

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