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Daily Reads: Lena Dunham Has It All, ‘Fight Club’ Fan Theories and More

Daily Reads: Lena Dunham Has It All, 'Fight Club' Fan Theories and More

Criticwire’s Daily Reads brings today’s essential news stories and critical pieces to you.

1. “Fight Club” Fan Theories. It’s the 15th anniversary of “Fight Club,” and people are still talking about it, rules be damned. But while some argue about whether or not the film is sexist or not, others have some very, very strange theories about the film. The Huffington Post’s Erin Whitney writes about some of the nuttiest.

What if Norton’s unnamed character is actually Calvin of “Calvin and Hobbes,” and Tyler is his imaginary tiger? Galvin P. Chow first introduced an extensive theory that mapped out how “Ed Norton is playing the part of grown-up Calvin,” and it’s pretty mind-blowing. It begins with the classic comic book, in which Calvin creates an imaginary friend out of his stuffed animal, but by the time he reaches seventh grade, the boy is forced to face reality and “un-imagine” Hobbes. Calvin grows up and attempts to forget his best friend, but the pain and bitterness of it turn him into the miserable, insomnia-afflicted Narrator. Years later, Hobbes evolves into Tyler, since, at the Narrator’s age, he would no longer accept an anthropomorphized jungle animal. Read more.

2. Bob Rafelson’s Lost Classic. New Hollywood innovator Bob Rafelson made his dream project, “Mountains of the Moon,” in 1990, but the film bombed at the box office in spite of strong reviews. But Turner Classic Movies is playing the film on Friday, October 17, and Rafelson spoke to Matt Zoller Seitz about the film, its production, the reasons it floundered in theaters and more.

Rafelson: And the story of this film’s release is one of those insane, tragic stories of a company going bankrupt. The company was known for making movies like the Rambo films.

MZS: You’re talking about Carolco Pictures…

Right. Well, you know the guys who ran that company both had been in jail, and one of them got started in the movie business selling wigs in Hong Kong!  And then they got involved with the Rambo movies. By the time this picture came along, they had no intention of making it, they didn’t know why they were making it. They desperately needed a profit, and they had very little belief in it. Read more.

3. HBO Hurt the Cable Bundle, But ESPN Has to Kill It. 
After years of fighting it, HBO has finally announced plans to separate HBO Go from bundle packages from anyone who wants to watch “Game of Thrones” or “Girls” without paying for shows and channels they don’t want. But is this the death of cable? Decider’s Mark Graham says it’s the start.

This is also a smart move by HBO to cut down on the not-unsubstantial amount of piracy that affects their programming; by giving customers access to their amazing content at a low price point, people will be less inclined to steal their shows…. Sports fans — and there a TON of them — are out of luck, though. If you want to watch live sports on your teevee, you’re still gonna have to pony up that monthly ransom fee to Kabletown. Your move, ESPN! Read more.

4. It’s Time for Kalinda to Leave “The Good Wife.” 
Archie Panjabi has announced that she’s leaving “The Good Wife” at the end of season 6. A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable, even devastating to the show. But for all of its virtues, “The Good Wife” hasn’t made the best use her character, Kalinda, in years.

Kalinda remains a kickass and reliable investigator in impressive boots, but it has been a long time since we saw her do anything besides track down impossible information and sexually appeal to everyone she encounters, of either gender. Six seasons in, it’s easy to imagine that an actress might be looking for something meatier to play than “low-burn smoldering.” Read more.

5. Lena Dunham Has It All. “Girls” creator Lena Dunham is one of the most polarizing figures in contemporary pop culture, in no small part because of the perception of her privilege. But Dunham has always been a dedicated artist, and even someone of privilege can’t conquer the world as quickly as she did. Sonia Sarayia of The A.V. Club wrote about her conflicting feelings about Dunham, and her overall respect for her talent.

Blind spots and all, Dunham is a visionary — her blend of dedication, self-awareness, and sheltered unawareness have combined to create work that is always fascinating. She has a strong sense of purpose with her work, which often involves performative self-excavating, recreating moments in her life that caused her anguish as a way to exorcise her own demons and express her own indelible voice. Dunham’s work has the incredible ability to make basically anyone uncomfortable; it is the definition of “provocative,” rubbing up against preconceived notions of what is appropriate, acceptable, or good, even in today’s theoretically liberated culture. Read more.

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