First, if Barton Fink has to go up against a David Fincher film, it should be Se7en. Think of it as the "what's in the box?" death match.
Second, I do think Fight Club is a pretty brilliant movie, but it's one that wears its brilliance out in the open, like a tattoo on the forehead. It knows it's good, and it wants to make sure you know it's good, too. Barton Fink is more subtle, more mysterious, and it doesn't provide any answers. My point, if I could watch only one of these movies from now until the end of time, I'd want it to be Barton Fink, because I'm sure there would always be something there to surprise me.
I'm firmly team "Fight Club is not even close to a subtle attack on consumerism, capitalism, and toxic masculinity." I think that puts me on my metaphorical 4th viewing - I have not quite made it to considering it the ultimate Gay Rom-Com level, though I will stand by reading Fight Club as mostly a love story. Fight Club is certainly a better movie than the one some of its fanboys seem to think they saw. Tyler Durden is a riff on the celebrity myths surrounding some types of men and Fincher leans into that so hard by casting Brad Pitt for the role and he just tears into the role. Helena Bonham Carter is also really great as the exact opposite of the manic pixie dream girl. Fight Club is a well structured, tightly packaged ride that rewards multiple viewing.
If this were any other group of people, I'd say Barton Fink was taking Tyler's assignment to pick a fight that they will lose and doing a good job of it. But this is Filmspotting Nation, so I have no idea how this will turn out. To a certain extent, I get it. I'm a huge Coen Bros fan myself. It hurt my heart to see Miller's Crossing get whacked in the forest of Round 1. But there is a strain of Coen films that I don't really connect with as well, that's a bit more nebbish, a bit more focused on the small failures of pompous people spiraling out of control (y'all know where I'm going with this). Barton Fink's wild third act really elevates the film for me, but I just do not love the rest of the film. It wasn't very difficult for me to vote for Fight Club here.
Barton Fink! Barton Fink! Barton Fink!
The Simpsons predict everything, don't they?
Although Barton Fink is a great film, the Coen Brothers have other, more worthy 90’s films to save. Fight Club has to be preserved because “ultra cool Brad Pitt” is just more important.
My vote goes to Barton Fink, without hesitation. Barton Fink has seeping walls. And while it doesn't have boxing, it has wrestling. And it has a box.
Maybe I need to revisit Fight Club, but I am solidly on my third viewing. Fight Club wants to have it both ways - both an examination of toxic masculinity and an example of toxic masculinity. I think it does the latter far better than the former, but it has been a few years.
When this fight is over, I think Barton Fink will look around and discover that Fight Club never existed all along... just a figment of Filmspotter's imaginations.
nothing against fight club, but it just doesn't have that "barton fink feeling."
Toughest of the round so far, two films I adore, one set who have consistently made wonderful films, with the odd remake blip and a most recent film I don't hold in as high regard as some, the other who hasn't made a film I have rated for too long. However, this one he did make, and it led to a very long, deep pub conversation afterwards and provoked thoughts long after. One is a close to masterwork, Fight Club is a masterwork.
This was painful. It felt like my psudeo-intellectual 15 year old self and my psudeo-intellectual 21 year old self were beating the crap out of each other in the parking lot of a dingy bar. Ultimately, I decided that while Fight Club expresses it's themes in a more compelling way, Barton Fink has more to say. I have seen fight club countless times whilst I have only seen Barton Fink once. Yet, I have a far clearer picture of what the Coens wanted to say.
I appreciate the Letterboxed commenter getting to the place where Fight Club is condemned, but not getting stuck there. Some have, but I think that's mistaken. Fight Club is all of the things said about it, while being consistently engaging, and the kind of cinematically flashy that is appropriate and enjoyable, even when we become aware of it. It's doing much more than the stuff that can be easily dismissed. It can be a different movie with each viewing, and all of them work.
Barton Fink is very good at what it does, but it is always the same movie, and all of the Fight Clubs, except that condemnable one, are better.
Well, thanks for that. I felt like destroying something beautiful. Farewell, Fight Club.
Rule #1 - Don't talk about Fight Club.
Rule #2 - Do I have to say it? Barton Fink