Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blogathon: White Swan, Black Swan

For her latest blogathon, Sati over at the fantastic cinematic corner. has asked participants to consider their favorite movie nutcases. But not just batshit crazy wackos, no, she's interested in exploring those characters that show two distinct sides to their personality. Here is my entry into the White Swan, Black Swan blogathon.

For many, many movies (at least the kind I watch), it seems to me that a stark contrast between two sides of the same character can be broken down into three simple categories: the Possessed, the Cheater, and the Reluctant Ass Kicker. Each of these character types present themselves as one thing, perhaps the White Swan, while secretly harboring an inner Black Swan. Ultimately we're not sure which version is the real version, but that's not where the fun is. The real joy is the struggle between the two. I just need to find one of these, right? Not all three. That would be absurd.



Initially I was going to take a look at Michelle Pfieffer in What Lies Beneath, primarily because I want to look at Michelle Pfieffer in...well, anything. Next, I considered Diane Lane in Unfaithful, as her character presents herself as loving mom on the one hand, while f--king the shit out of some dude with the other. Oh, and I love me some late-model Cherry Valance. Finally, after some deep breaths (Margaret Thatcher on a cold day!), I went with the direct opposite of a complicated woman, and opted for Sylvester Stallones' iconic John Rambo. Rambo perfectly encapsulates the internal struggles of the anti-hero. He wants to live a quiet life, while leaving his anger and violent past behind him.

But looking at the three of them, representing the Possessed, the Cheater and the Reluctant Ass Kicker, I decided to combine them into one super character. The possessed cheater reluctantly kicking ass. His name is Jack. Or Tyler. Maybe even the Narrator. Shit, I don't know. You decide.


Fight Club is easily one of my favorite movies, if not my favorite of all-time. That said, bear with me, as I honestly haven't seen this film in years. From what I can recall though, Jack is likely the ideal candidate for what Sati's blogathon is all about (and probably written about by someone much smarter than I). Here, I'm going to attempt to break him down into the three aforementioned categories.

The Possessed (or The Haunted, Demonic, etc.): For the vast majority of Fight Club, the Narrator is convinced that Tyler Durden is real person, maybe even his best friend. While Durden isn't a ghost, or even demonic in any way (though the soap thing is pretty devilish), he certainly isn't there in any tangible sense. He is simply the embodiment of Jack's years of being a faceless drone in the corporate machine. Oh, and he's dirty. Very, very dirty.

The Cheater: Even though Jack only has a relationship with one other person, he's totally unfaithful. In fact, he basically cheats on himself, and in the process mystifies and infuriates his ladyfriend Martha. This one is a bit hard to nail down, but it's safe to say he's not presenting himself honestly to a lover, and for that he gets tagged as dishonest prick, even if it's entirely inadvertent/impossible.

The Reluctant Ass Kicker: A good portion of the Narrator is that of a simple guy. Even with initially murky intentions, everything he ends up responsible for gets way out of hand. Project Mayhem, though exacted, seems to bring very little joy to Jack, leading me to believe that there was a reluctance in his actions, at least in hindsight. But the part of him that got the ball rolling? Well, clearly that was another half of this volatile and mysterious man.


It's fitting that I chose Fight Club as the film to use for Sati's blogathon as me and my bitchtits have once again, destroyed something beautiful.

With that in mind, why don't we invoke the first rule of Fight Club in regard to what has just occurred. Hell, maybe even the first two.

8 comments:

  1. OMG! This is brilliant. I came so close to choosing this one myself. I love how you broke this down into those three categories, it fits perfects.

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    1. Ha, thanks. I thought Jack/Narrator/Tyler was too much of an obvious choice, but I'm glad you're on board with it. I was very much leaning toward Pfieffer...if you can believe it.

      As for Jack, it was a bit of a stretch for all three, but he's certainly at least totally f--king crazy in some regard...which helps.

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  2. Love this post! And I always laugh when I read or hear "bitch tits" somewhere. lol

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    1. Thanks!

      Ah, bitch tits is pretty much the best thing ever. Way cooler than moobs or whatever the Hell else people call 'em. And the fact that they were attached to Meat Loaf means they win every time.

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  3. LOVE this choice, I was hoping someone will go with that one! And I love your breakdown of the character into three categories, very clever! Thank you for participating!

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    1. I was happy to participate (and was stoked that you extended the deadline...even though I think I made it anyway). The three categories was a late idea to the whole thing, but I think it worked out. Though I really wish I had had time to crank up Fight Club one more time. I have no idea where my copy is though....f--k.

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  4. "Bitch tits" is a phrase that isn't used nearly enough in conversation. I'm just sayin'.

    Excellent choice! Fight Club is one of those movies that has high rewatchability value for me.

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    1. You could always bring it back. I mean, it's gotta start somewhere...

      I completely agree. I COULD watch it once a month, and if I was still a college kid, I probably would. Maybe when my son's a little older, I be able to sit him down and show him Fincher's goodness. That would make for quite a rad 6th birthday party, you know?

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