On a lazy Saturday morning browsing my DVD collection for inspiration, I found my eyes towards David Fincher’s Fight Club. It is a film I saw when it first came on video in 1999 and something I have revisited many times since that day. I first watched the film when I was in my teenage years, I had missed school because I had tonsillitis and to cheer myself up I rented some videos. I had just watched Edward Norton in American History x and I was nothing short of being blown away by his performance in that, so my expectations were high.
I remember watching the opening sequence and I was totally gripped and in owe. Incase you have not seen the opening sequence it is the most engaging and creatively inspiring tittle sequences ever made. The camera is traveling around the maze that is the human brain. It is told in one single shot with no cuts, the perspective is that you are walking out of a room backwards at great speed. Leaving you as the viewer feeling disorientated and powerless. For anyone who has seen the film you will know this is an exact metaphor for the next 2 hours to your life. The film has many twists and turns within the narrative. As well as the issues being suggested about modern day society, to do with the abyss in our souls created by consumerism. This is such a rich area difficult to compress into the length of the feature film which is handled in such a fast and aggressive way, by the character of Tyler Durden who played by Brad Pitt.
The computer generated imagery in the opening sequence is so complex in visual structure and so detailed textually, it felt real. I realised that this is something that is an alien feeling to me. Uncommon in the large blockbusters that have been released since then. Despite the likes of the ‘Transformer’ franchise or ‘The Matrix Trilogy’ looking amazing visually. They still failed to hit the mark for me as a viewer. In getting me to believe that what I am seeing is not an impressive camera trick but in fact reality.
The world of CGI software is ever evolving in terms of capabilities and resolution. In the last 15 years in particular film technology has taken huge strides in this regard. Pixar studios have made large advancements in human characters in their films and the 3D modelling of these in this time. However the fusion of traditional filmmaking with actors within a computer generated settings still feels as though it has some way to go. It is almost blasphemy to say the likes of ‘Avatar’ failed to impress and was not a huge leap in digital film history. This is not something I am suggesting, however I do feel that we have developed too much in one area and not enough in others. Possibly revisiting this time of visual effects (1999) will help us align the over development in resolution and capabilities within film technology in the industry. With the under development of the perception of the humans eye’s understanding of the world as we know it. The successful alignment of these both will create not just a visually rewarding experience but it will also reach the goal of allowing the viewer to escape their reality. So they are active in the story and world being presented to them by the filmmaker.