Agreed, I love the comment and am more enamored with Ehrlich's readings of films than most active professional critics. I think he is often misinterpreted as being vacuously flippant because of his brash means of expression. My stray thoughts on this connection are that, contrary to Jack, Fassbender(/i.e. modern man?) has been primed by a more consistent, accepted atmosphere of isolating consumerism producing ennui. So he's evolved from a state where that listlessness clashes with an angsty psychological part that 'remembers when' and craves that elastic identity (Jack's struggle in Fight Club), now replaced by an embrace of rigid, determined individualism as a defense mechanism. This contrasts with Jack's drive to feed that impulse to connect, back when it seemed possible -and accessible, before the technological walls went up barring in-person opportunities for intimacy- in the earlier stages of Gen X conditioning.Mr Sausage wrote: ↑Sat Nov 11, 2023 4:16 pmI have been mulling over that Fight Club connection. I don't know exactly what I want to say about it yet, but the hitman's monologue is performing something like the same function as Tyler Durden, just on a less extreme and psychotic level. I think Erlich's comment is a lot less flippant than it comes across.
So, as Never Cursed diagnoses him as "more philosophically disturbed version of" (I imagine Durden), I think there's something there, but on a less 'literally'-disturbing level. Fassbender doesn't disturb his neighbors, he doesn't disrupt systems (at least not in a playful way that seems outwardly more threatening but less internally; for it's less prescriptive for long-term behavior, and less cynical for it. Those acting out are doing so for reasons under the psychological iceberg, as a reaction to something unrelated, and have more potential to shift behavior and allow this destruction to be a 'phase'). Fassbender follows them, ironically by adopting the antisocial cultural touchstones from the zeitgeist's overwhelming stimulation pushing persons towards mental breakdowns or apathy. So he falls in suit with society's self-serving "nihilistic" attitudes while simultaneously rejecting society. Instead of gaining pleasure on an anarchic level like Tyler Durden, he resists pleasure as a self-gratifying practice of coping to mirror an inability, or fear of attempting to locate pleasure amidst an alienating milieu. So is he "more philosophically disturbed" because he's lost his "Jack" persona, or because he's using "Durden" as a shield? Is it because, instead of having these two strong parts of him (from an IFS-therapy perspective, though "Jack" and "Tyler" were certainly extreme versions of those selves!) he has diluted Jack and Durden together into a compromised state of complacent passionless faux-nirvana? Is it because it's more realistic - reminiscent of some of the scarier personality disorders' rationales? Is it because, in fully accepting and internalizing this attitude for so long at such a comfortable simmer, the delusion is likely to be permanent, the skills lost or perhaps never developed at all? Jack at least had memories of a time when he was freer, and they were keys to self-actualize; just like I remember when I was a kid before computers and phones and had less obstructions to connection. Is Fassbender's lack of freedom a primer for the most horrifying vehicle posing as a relaxed commoner?
Is Fincher, a lover of technology himself, self-reflexively engaging with his own competing parts - both mourning a loss of impassioned 'self' from those earlier days of Fight Club, and scoffing at that self; prided as a treasurer of rules, technology, process, and also realizing and sobering to his complacent routine of older age, without being sure how to feel about it?