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Fight Club & Autonmous Spaces @ rampART

rampART | 17.08.2004 20:31 | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Tomorrow night (wednesday 18th from 8pm) at the rampART...

Free community cinema presents - F I G H T C L U B
an evening of films and discussion about reclaiming and defending spaces from capital
- land squats, housing, social centres and much more...

People involved in squat projects/social centres are invited to come along and share their experiences, motivations and stories of resistance.

Some of the projects represented (either on film or hopefully in person), include:

* rampart street creative centre (new 10 minute film plus speakers)
* sutton street 21st century action zone (10 min film plus speaker)
* chalk farm road autonomous lab (short film, maybe speaker)
* plus other films from;
Barcelona, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Roma, Milan, Berlin and more

( Anybody from 'in arms reach', 'ex-grand banks', ‘St’ Agnes Place’, ‘142’, ‘491’ )
( ‘Unity Works’ or from 'Use Your Loaf' wanna come along and/or got video? )

Starts 8pm. Drink and vegan food available.

Also screening... 'Fight Club' 1999 USA 21st Century Fox (139 minutes)

(Directed by David Fincher. Staring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf Aday, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier. Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk)

If you haven't seen this film by now it may be because you thought it's nothing more than a violent movie about bare knuckle beat-em-up and little else. WRONG!

Many critics raved about this movie. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "a true American classic." Others, like Alexander Walker of This Is London, declared it "irresponsible" and "anti-society, anti-capitalist, and...anti-God."
Fight Club is indeed anti-society and anti-capitalist - a dark nihilistic and subversive fantasy, depicting an improbable uprising against the powers-that-be and things-as-they-are. The media and our elders keep telling us that each of us is special, each of us can make a difference, and all of us can realize our dreams–while at the same time telling us to express our individuality by buying dining sets and khaki pants. Fight Club informs us that we've been lied to. "You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake," we are informed. "We are all the part of the same compost heap."

At the beginning of Fight Club, the unnamed narrator is cracking up. His job is meaningless, his life is empty, and his attempts to fill it by accumulating stuff - Ikea furniture, Calvin Klein clothes - are failing. His constant travelling, and acute insomnia, mean he's no longer sure where, why, or who he is anymore.

He attempts to fill the void by attending support group meetings for diseases - testicular
cancer, brain parasites - he doesn't have. There, cocooned by the suffering of the other
members, he finds peace, and is able to sleep again. But the peace is shattered when another 'tourist' starts attending meetings. Now he can't release his emotions because the presence of another spectator makes him conscious of his own deception - and the insomnia returns. Until he meets Tyler Durden.

Tyler is everything he isn't - worldly-wise, good-looking, and amoral. And so when he returns home to find his apartment ('his life') destroyed by a gas leak, he moves in to Tyler's dilapidated squat, a million miles from his plush apartment. And together they start Fight Club. Fight Club starts small. After a night's drinking, both realise that they've never been in a fight, and trade punches. It's painful, but the pain - unlike his job, his furniture, his whole life - is real and immediate. Soon the fights become the focus of their lives, and others, seeing them, want to join.

For its members, Fight Club is a liberation. They don't fight because of any grudges they hold, or for the victory. The fight itself is all that concerns them - a few minutes of direct experience, not bought or sold, not analysed or mediated, but real pain, authentic emotion. For the rest of the week they have boring and meaningless jobs, bossed around by their superiors, but for one night a week they are all equals. And because of that night of intensity and adrenaline, everything else becomes controllable - your boss is no longer intimidating when he is just another potential opponent.

As Fight Club grows, with more and more members and branches appearing all over the country, so do Tyler's ambitions. The focus of the club shifts from the fights, and towards attacks on the corporate society that created it. Advertisements are subverted, corporate art and fast food chains vandalised, until the final attack on the headquarters of the major credit card companies, an attempt to wipe everyone's slate clean.

All idylls must end though, and the seeds of destruction are sown by the charismatic Tyler's increasing control over the group. The fighters feel real when they fight, but it's a reality that strips away their individuality. Their equality is fake - Tyler is always the leader. This becomes more obvious as Fight Club becomes Project Mayhem, where the first rule is not to ask questions. Rather than being shorn of their inhibitions and neuroses, these men are slowly replacing their dependence on consumerist society with dependence on Durden himself.

Fight Club is an anarchist inspiration to some, fascist propaganda to others, and it's easy to see why opinions are divided. It's an attack on the emptiness of consumerism, the way society robs us of real choice, the void at the heart of capitalism.

(most of this review was taken from

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report from the evening

20.08.2004 10:32

the ramparts free community cinema presented on this weeks screening an overview about the global reclaim free spaces movement. initiating spark was the successfully won eviction courtcase of the 'ex- steffi' in karlsruhe, germany.

arround 50 people, mostly not involved in the squats or social centres, came to see short films from italy, spain, germany, denmark, brasil, and of course the united kingdom, which was represented by the projects larc, ex- grand banks, oxford, chalk farm road, sutton street, loaf, portman road and rampART on the screen and in persona, talking about their experiences and gave an outlook on further activities.

various speakers from italy, poland/netherlands, germany introduced the audience into the
situation of the squatting/socialcentre movement in their countries. delicious vegan burgers and spicy tomatosoup, the classic stella cans and vivid discussions accompanied the lively exchange, so that the main feature film 'fight club' started at the end quite late at 0.30.

the rampART may continue with the 'reclaim' theme with a reclaim the media night this comming wednesday.

and, due to the success of the 'reclaiming and defending spaces', as a monthly event on thursdays next to the 'squatters cafe', which is a connection and networking space for squatters and those who'd like to squat. participation, personal, on dvd, vcd, vhs or dv are wecome.