Live as a Movie

The irony of Fight Club is added to by the fact that the characters seem to realize that they are in a movie. An obvious example of this is given with the Narrator's voice over throughout the movie, and his ability to "back up" the action to show previous events. This is most obvious when, at the end, the Narrator fades into the same scene that opened the movie and says, "I think this is where we started."

Another example is the Narrator's exposition on Tyler's professions. He cuts away from the current action to show Tyler at work as a projectionist, then in his restaurant. The spots that indicate when a reel must be changed are shown, and are made even more obvious when Tyler points at them. The scene then cuts to show people in a theater witnessing Tyler's work. After the projectionist scene, the Narrator shows Tyler serving as banquet waiter and "preparing" the food, then the movie cuts back to the interrupted current action.

Towards the end of the movie, there are three main examples of "life as a movie" (not counting the fact that the Narrator shoots himself in the mouth and is barely touched, while somehow the bullet goes in a totally different direction through Tyler). In the hotel room, the Narrator faints, and in a voice-over says, "This is called a change-over... the audience has no idea..." When Tyler is holding the Narrator captive, the latter says, "I still can't think of anything." Tyler says sardonically, "Ah, flashback humor." And finally, there is the unforgettable, three-frame "contribution" to the movie at the very end.

Mike writes that "in the scene where the narrator is in the airport lounge... talking to the two guys about Tyler and how no one knows what he looks like and he has facial reconstructive surgery every three years, behind the narrator there is a man outside on his cell phone, and although the scene is moving normally, the background (including the man) is frozen."

I rewatched this scene and I'm not sure that the background is really frozen-- to me it looks like the man with the cell phone is just standing still while he's talking.