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Fincher and the whole Fox 2000 team told me about this
The following is from today’s World of Reel. Read it here.
David Fincher Recalls…
It’s been 24 years since David Fincher premiered “Fight Club” at Venice. The film’s infamous midnight screening got a lot of people riled up. A loud chorus of boos could be heard once the film ended.
Speaking to the New York Times, Fincher recalls showing “Fight Club” at Venice and how he was practically booted out of town, accused of being a “fascist”:
“I came here with a little film called ‘Fight Club […] I looked down and the youngest person in our row was Giorgio Armani. I was like, ‘I’m not sure the guest list is the right guest list for this […] We were fairly run out of town for being fascists.”
Not everybody hated “Fight Club,” but the film was fiercely debated by critics. The Ottawa Sun had reported, "many loved and hated it in equal measures." Meanwhile, some critics expressed concern that the film would incite copycat behavior, such as that seen after A Clockwork Orange debuted in the UK.
The film’s stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, who were both stoned at the premiere, recalled being the only ones laughing at that first screening:
"It gets to one of Helena's scandalous lines — 'I haven't been f***ed like that since grade school!' — and literally, the guy running the festival got up and left," Pitt remembered. Meanwhile, as the audience descended into boos around them, the actors themselves were having the time of their lives. "Edward and I were still the only ones laughing," Pitt said. "You could hear two idiots up in the balcony cackling through the whole thing."
Like “The Shining,” “The Thing,” and “Blade Runner,” this much-hated film was eventually reappraised and it’s now known as a classic. My general rule stands, if your film gets booed at Cannes or Venice then you must have surely done something right.
In our massive critics poll for the Best Films of the 1990s, “Fight Club” was voted in as the 20th best film of that decade. It’s still one of Fincher’s best films.