Fight Club, a widely beloved and controversial film from the late ‘90s, has been repeatedly slammed by critics for its portrayal of cancer survivors and group therapy
Since the release of Fight Club, few other films have managed to evoke such a strong reaction from audiences and pundits alike. One of the most vocal critics of Fincher's outrageous drama, as it turns out, is none other than Paul Thomas Anderson himself.
In a 2000 Rolling Stone interview, the acclaimed director of There will be Blood, Boogie Nights and Magnolia said, “I saw thirty minutes of Fight Club only because our trailer is playing in front of it,”
"And I would love to go on railing about the movie, but I’m just going to pretend as if I haven’t seen it. It’s just unbearable. I wish David Fincher testicular cancer, for all of his jokes about it, I wish him testicular fu*king cancer.”
David Fincher was recently asked to respond to Anderson's comments. Fincher was surprisingly understanding of the wrath his film sparked.
“Yeah. Look, I’ve been through cancer with somebody that I love, and I can understand if somebody thought.. I didn’t think that we were making fun of cancer survivors or victims."
Anderson, like many of Fight Club's detractors, took issue with the film's portrayal of group therapy and cancer survivors.
"I thought what Chuck [Palahniuk, on whose book the film was based] was doing was talking about a therapeutic environment that could be infiltrated or abused. We were talking about empathy vampirism. Cancer’s rough. It’s a fucking horrible thing. As far as Paul’s quote, I get it. My dad died, and it certainly made me feel different about death and suffering [pauses]. And my dad probably liked ‘Fight Club’ even less than Paul did,” Fincher explained.
Fight Club is still one of the most talked about films from the '90s, with The New York Times describing Fincher's psychological thriller as the 'defining cult movie of our time.'