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FIGHT CLUB
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F
IGHT CLUB
(1999)

FIGHT CLUB
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TYLER DURDEN -WHO ARE YOU?
Subject: Fight Club
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001
From: Brad

Fight Club has to be one of the most influential movies of all time. The way it takes manic depressives, Jack played by Edward Norton, and compromises there life with anothers, Tyler Durden played by Brad Pitt. The way in which the two are completely different yet the same person actually makes the film that more beleivable.

Most people have had or have an imaginary friend in there life, someone who u talk to when u have problems, or just when you are bored and lonely. You will find that you will mutter to yourself, speak out aload when thinking sometimes, this is you talking to another version of you, to try and find what the other version of you thinks about you or what you are doing!!!!!!...For example:

When doing an essay for college or University, you will type it out, then read it to yourself. The fact is you are not reading it to yourself, you are actually reading it to another version of yourself, like a 1-to-1 with yourself, to try and get another 'persons' opinion, to see if the essay sounds correct. Jacks wasn't happy with his life, he told himself this, he wanted to start again, he wanted to look differently, act differently be a different person, so he slowly let his life become Tylers. Tyler was Jacks imaginary friend, but Jack wanted Tyler to be with him all the time. Jack liked Tylers life, so decieded this is the way he is going to live.

I conducted a questionnaire asking 100 people,
A:) If they have ever had, or have, an imaginary friend?
B:) If they knew what there imaginary friend looked like?
C:) If they wanted to be like their imaginary friend?
D:) Do you wish you still had the imaginary friend? If yes, why?

The results I received, to say the least shocked me, 64% had, when they were younger, and imaginary friend, 3% still had 1. All the people who had imaginary friends knew what they looked like. Over half wanted to look like them. 70% of people who had imaginary friends still wished that they had them, as they say, 'It would make life that little bit easier.' I would like to note that around 80% of the people who had imaginary friends were male, and not once did I mention Fight Club, or Tyler Durden.

MOVIE SUGGESTION
Subject: Fight Club
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001
From: Zack

Just want to say, I very much enjoyed your site. I didn't see the movie "Fight Club" on your list of 100 movies, I was watching that movie again just a couple of nights ago and there are some great lines in there that really made me think about my christian life and what I've been through, I think one of the lines talked about "losing everything before you can gain anything".
Thanks again, Zack

WE ALL LOVED IT
Subject: Fight Club
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001
From: Mike

Hi,
I just watched Fight Club for the first time. It was recommended by my 15 year old daughter. My wife, daughter, and I watched it together and we all loved it. It was the best movie we have seen in years and were surprised that it got made. We agreed that it was an metaphor for the extreme materialism of our current western culture and the rebellion against it. It presented one approach (albiet a very unpleasant approach) to solving the problem. It was a viceral reminder of what we as Christians must constantly do to fight off the compulsions of the environment in which we find ourselves and to, instead, hang on tightly to the Truth

IT WILL MAKE YOU THINK
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001
From: Mike

The story is based on a pathetic man, stuck in a dead end job, and constantly tired due to insomnia. He begins to fake illnesses to get into support groups in order to cry. This outlet allows him to finally sleep at night, until Marla starts showing up at his groups. He knows she is doing the same as him, but with her around he can't let go, which means no more sleep. Then he meets Tyler, who is the most interesting person he's ever met. He goes home to find his apartment blown clear out of the building, homeless and desperate he calls Tyler. Tylers philosophy about not buying into consumerism shocks this man, as his belief is quite the opposite. Eventually the become friends and start fight club, which is basically self-explanatory by the name. This becomes an outlet for the man and he can continue sleeping again. Then Tyler takes it to far and the man wants out, only to realize of course that he is in fact Tyler. He must then face Tyler, himself, in order to stop the destruction he has created. The movie to me is essentially seeing the Tyler inside of myself. The person inside of you that does everything you could not. I kind of picture Tyler as sin, the hate towards everything that has built up over years of torment. Then seeing that sin and almost embracing it as an outlet for your suffering. As it slowly starts to take you over you realize its power and destructive nature. From there it is up to you to confront the evil and overcome it. I strongly recommend this movie to just about everyone, it has to be one of the best I have ever seen. It makes you think, and in some areas it plays the devils advocate. I believe questioning your faith and finding answers is the way to a healthier relationship with God. I'm not saying watch fight club to grow in your faith, I'm simply recommending because it made me think about my relationship with Christ, and it may help you as well.

THANKS AND SUGGESTION
Subject: Fight Club
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001
From: "Chip Webb"

David, I've been a fan of this site for more than a year now; thanks for evaluating films through a Christian worldview instead of ignoring the cries of those around us (as expressed in films). I know that current films certainly keep you busy enough, but it would be great to see you or others examine a director's body of work in light of spiritual concerns. One of the more interesting directors in the '90s proved to be David Fincher. In Alien 3, Seven, The Game, and Fight Club, Fincher seems to be exploring (in somewhat of a twisted way) the Christianity/Catholicism with which he apparently grew up. By the way, are you ever going to finish your Fight Club review?
Peace of Christ, Chip

EXISTENTIALISM
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001
From: Jon Gill, 20, Minneapolis, MN

I loved watching Fight Club. Although there is a great deal of bad content, I have seen it about 5 times and when I saw it at the store recently, I bought it. I just watched it again tonight.

It is indeed a profound statement (of truth) about materialism and the futility of the American Dream. However, it does not come to the correct philosophical conclusion - it sees the world as fallen, but reacts not by looking for a higher power, but by accepting that and saying "to heck with it all"... This is existentialism. According to the dictionary, existentialism is "a philosophical movement stressing individual existence [hence the name] and holding that human beings are totally free and responsible for their acts."

This movie encompasses the logical end to the world's materialistic trend right now: eventually, we will tire of the things we have, since they cannot ever bring meaning. Then, we will need something else. Everyone searches for meaning. In the movie, Tyler Durden successfully recruits about 90% of the world's male population, it seems, because they feel they have found meaning in meaninglessness itself. This philosophy is also called Absurdism, and is closely related to Existentialism.

I found the philosophies of the movie very logical and very insightful. They of course would be different if they knew of the Truth, but as a purely human philosophy, it is far more enlightened (at least in regards to the nature of human beings and life as we know it) than atheism, humanism, materialism, nazism or communism. All those philosophies are simply "what ifs". Each time you watch it, look for more lines about what Tyler believes humans are. Most of the descriptions are more poetic than meaningful, but when you study some of them, you can get a good idea of how existentialists and absurdists - and schizophrenics and crazed vandalists and murderers - may see the world. Their philosophies include: stop trying to be somebody because it won't work; even if it does you won't find meaning in it; give up the things you hold dear because you won't find meaning in them; and find a way to express yourself - whoever that may be. To the men of Fight Club, the fights were the way to express themselves. Edward Norton's character (he is unnamed for a reason), first creates Tyler Durden, then creates Fight Club, as alternatives to his going to support groups for emotional release. By starting Fight Club, then blossoming into Project Mayhem, the members find a way to express their violence to the world. They do it without hurting people necessarily, but getting rid of material things, such as corporate art, coffee shops, and major credit card industries, thus creating mayhem and striking down the meaningless lies of corporate materialism. It's a revolution that I would welcome, actually, though not because I believe we are all worthless pieces of dung that God doesn't like. I believe that materialism is a thorn that chokes the true submission to God that all men need and inanely desire. That's why I wouldn't mind so much if Y2K had happened, or a group like Project Mayhem did spread the globe.

I would recommend those heavy thinkers to watch this movie, though I would strongly caution it because of the content. I feel a little guilty and dirty watching it repeated times, and do not find the philosophical content to be a proper excuse for filling my mind with 2 hours of that stuff, but if you can get around that, pay close attention to the philosophies presented in it. Existentialism and Absurdism, the best ways to describe this movie (it is NOT a bible allegory), are also two of the fastest growing movements of thought in the country and in the world. Take caution not to fall into them, since we know the Truth, but study them to be proficient in showing others that truth. You may find yourself a bit guilty of materialism and hedonism after watching this movie, and you have to give those people credit for their unique and insightful observations.
Jon Gill, 20, Minneapolis, MN

NEED TO QUESTION
Subject: fight club
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000
From: Tyler Durden

This is in response to what "Sverre" wrote. I do agree with you that Tyler Durden is not Jesus. I think he asks an honest question though when he talks about our forefathers failing and God not liking us and all that business. In our quests for faith we have to question. Without questioning, we go through life with a naive approach to everything. I don't believe that we are God's unwanted children. I'm very thankful that the Lord has set me free through Him, and not
Tyler Durden.

TYLER NOT JEUS
Subject: TYLER DURDEN IS NOT JESUS
Date: 19 Jul 2000
From: Sverre

First of all, don't you remember the words Tyler Durden said when he gave the Narrator (Jack) a chemical burn? "If our fathers were our rolemodels for god, what does that say of god? You have to consider the possibility that god does not like you, this is not the worst thing that could happen...." And to you who wrote the "Fight club is misunderstod" are you sure you've seen the movie? because within the first 15 minutes of the film, nothing controversial is either said or done.

FIGHT CLUB MISUNDERSTOOD
Subject: Developing a relationship with God.
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000
From: XXX XXXXXX

Fight Club was highly misunderstood. I went with an open mind. Within the fist 15 minutes, several viewers walked out! I get the impression from so many varied reviews that Fight Club was a film that was interpreted in many personal ways. This may be why it failed at the box office. For me, Fight Club was treatise on the battle between the ego and the id. Tyler Durden turned out to be both the protagonist and the antagonist who in the end fought to the death. In that death came total release, total acceptance leading to freedom. Fight Club symbolized the personal struggle in each of us to turn our will over to a higher power. How each of us finds the means to let go and let God into our lives so completely that one lives in true freedom is the basis of this film, as I see it.

TRUTH TWISTING
Subject: Truth twisting: will the real messiah stand up?
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000
From: "Juanita Cassellius"

I'm responding to the 12/99 Fight Club comments posted by Glen Jordan. This is my first leap into this thought provoking site, and it's wonderful to find Christians communicating about their faith via film culture. Thanks for the opportunity! If at all possible, I would greatly appreciate the Webmaster contacting Glen Jordan (his email's not available) and alert him that he has a response to his thoughtful ideas. I know he found FC to be a strong theological statement, and I hope he will consider my thoughts which I have also based on scriptural Truth. I realize that art is highly subjective and up for interpretation in many ways. Fight Club has resulted in reviews calling it Freudian because it calls for rejecting social norms, and Marxian for rejecting materialism, on and on.

Concerning Christ there are scriptural standards for interpretation, and that's what I want to discuss. "A messiah/Christ" figure is what Jordan calls Durden, who he says "does everything to awaken the men's senses". I disagree. Consider the dehumanizing way Durden controlled the Club - they could not to even ask questions or have names. Durden showed no remorse when Paulson was shot and killed. Jesus never condoned violence toward other Christians, and he wept when Lazarus died! This is NOT a Christian lesson in discipleship. Jesus said his disciples would be known be their love for one another and their neighbor (see John 10, John 15). Several reviews of this film say Fight Club is a cautionary tale about the cult of fascism. Hitler was considered a "messiah" in Germany in his day, and Durden can be considered a messiah-type - but clearly a false messiah (wolf in sheeps clothing) not a Christian-type. Durden's rejection of God sounds more like the superman philosophy of Nietzsche (isn't it Satan's line: "God doesn't love you".) than Christ's perfect faith and sacrifice in oneness with God the Father. Clearly the FC Director used the elements of Christianity (shots of Durdens "cruciform stance, blood, his sacrificial beating) to create a messiah figure, as many cult leaders take on a "holy" appearance in order to exploit and deceive followers. Know them by their fruits, right?

An example of film that depicts a messiah/Christ figure that truly does some good and "saves" humanity by sacrificing himself is the "Omega Man" with Charleton Heston. Jordan mentions a comparison of the rigorous initiation that Operation Mayhem members underwent to "spiritual violence that restored the monks true humanity (during the Dark Ages)." There are many traditions that religious groups create that are not God's will according to His Word, and this is one of them - think of the self-indulgent practices in the Dark Ages of wearing hair shirts, whippings, and eating ashes. This is carnal religion, not spirit-led discipleship. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God they are sons of God" Romans 8:13.

It is true, as Glen Jordan points out, that "we need to learn the value of pain". Modern society, including Christians, runs from discomfort as an aberration when Christ asks us suffer in fellowship with Him (thank God he gives us comfort and strength for this!), and be refined by His healing fire. The message of waking up from a life centered on self, comfort, and consumerism is a great message, but Fight Club's violence is not Christ's way. My point in responding to Glen Jordan's posting is to encourage him to continue to seek God's reality, and to be more careful about attributing messages to Christ. Fight Club did not portray Durden as Christ. The Word warns us there will be false Christs in the world and to expose them. The value of this film is that it focuses on finding spiritual meaning in life. As Christians, we all need to pray for discernment to know Christ in Spirit and Truth, and not buy into dangerous false messiahs!
- Juanita Cassellius, Anchorage, Alaska northvision@hotmail.com

SEARCH FOR OURSELVES
Subject: that was good! Fight Club
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000
From: "Lazy Boy"

It been a long time I didn't saw a movie with strange intensity like this movie. The idea is good, the action is wonderfull. At a time of our live we search for our self, when we find it, we don't always love it... like this movie... we are who we are and nothing could chage it.. this movie made my top 10 all time best movies...

FIGHT CLUB IS AN ALLEGORY
Subject: A Lesson in Discipleship
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999
From: Glenn Jordan

Hi There!
I loved Fight Club. It seems to me that the film is an allegory, with Tyler Durden as the Messiah/Christ figure. Let me explain why. There are three types of violence in the movie. 1. the violence of consumerism, which numbs the spirit. 2. the violence of thuggery (displayed by the thuggish owner of the bar) a violence which brutalises people. 3. the violence of Fight Club. Here the men gather not to inflict violence on others, but to have violence inflicted on them. This to me is the key to the film. FC was established for those men who have been numbed and brutalised by the culture they live in. Everything that Durden does is designed to subvert the intentions of the thuggish and to awaken the senses and the spirit of those who have been numbed to reality.

One scene which springs to mind is a voice-over to a fight in which the Narrator says something like "the cries of the men were the tongues at a Pentecostal Church, and every Saturday night we were born again; we were redeemed." Significantly the Director chose to conclude this voice-over by a telling shot of blood spilled on the ground! Similarly, when the brutish owner appears Durden confronts him in a kind of cruciform stance, completely vulnerable. He takes upon himself the blows so that the FC might remain free to all who came. (Note also that one of the members of FC throws up during this violence, indicating it was of a different order from what happens regularly at FC) By covering the man in his blood Durden 'redeems' the situation. He even invites them to join.

One other observation. The scene outside the house where the novice presents himself for membership of 'Operation Mayhem' was jaw-dropping. For it seems to me that the writer knew about monastic orders, particularly the Benedictines. Novices were forced to stand for three days outside the monastery during which time they were forced to face their own humanity and unworthiness. They also lost their name on joining, and only received it again at birth. The Benedictines were part of a movement in Church history which preserved the Gospel during the Dark Ages. Western Christianity only survived because of people like them. The Benedictine Rule (which Durden appears to quote at times) was a form of spiritual violence which restored the monks' true humanity.

By the way, did anyone notice the transformation of Marla Singer in the course of the movie? No more chain smoking or dark glasses by the end. A Mary Magdalene figure perhaps?

I saw this movie twice. For me it is the most profound movie I have seen in many, many years, perhaps ever! It taught me that sin is awful and that true violence is the violence that wakes us to its reality, and strips us of the flesh, mortifys it if you prefer the old term. The true violence, which is the violence of the Holy Spirit on our flesh, restores our humanity and makes us new people as God intended us to be. It also leaves its mark. As Durden says, "I don't want to live my life without a scar". I'm with him on that. But the scars I want are those which are inflicted by my Lord as he seeks to make me whole.

In our cushy, comfortable society we need to learn the value of pain. C.S. Lewis knew it (see Shadowlands). Paul knew it (see 2 Cor 12) (Was Meat Loaf's character called Robert PAUL-Son for nothing?). Jesus knew it (Heb 2:10). And I just wonder what Jesus meant in Matt 11:12??

There is so much more of value in this movie, I look forward to the release of the video. It will then take its rightful place on my shelves alongside books of more obvious theology!

Glenn Jordan
Bangor, Northern Ireland


FIGHT! THE DEVIL/SIN PERSONIFIED

November 6, 1999.
(Re The Fight Club)

You know the thing about this show? It shows that we all have that little devil in our minds. That pesky little guy that is the same as Tyler Durden. That pesky little guy that keeps telling us to do what we want to do and push us to do it. So Tyler did show us each and everyone of us thinks. "Does God really care?"
I think we have the best portrayal of the devil and our sins. It is of our darkest wants and needs humanised. The very Human Nature at its worse~! Rauchy sex? Blowing things up? Pornography? Vadalism? VIOLENCE!!
You name it and our Tyler Durden inside us wants us to do it. As Paul put it very clearly in Romans
"I do not understand what i do. For what i want to do (for the Lord) I do not do, but what i hate to do. And if i do what i do not want to do, i agree with the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For i have the desire to do what is good, but i cannot carry it out. For what i do is not the good i want to do;no, the evil i do not want to do-this i keep on doing. Now if i do what i do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
-Romans 7:15-20.
Well said indeed~!! Tyler Durden is the one who is doing all the things that the character do not want to do. And the things that he wants to do he could not control it as portrayed by the power of Tyler.
He could not kill it after 'shooting' him in the last moments of the show. And the end is pretty exciting (yucks~!)
So what does it say us as human beings? We are forever condemned because nothing good will come out of us no matter how 'good' we are because day in and out, our thoughts will wonder to do 'bad' things.
Do we have a saviour?
Who will show the Tyler Durden in all of us?
Ans? Jesus Christ.
Now matter what our Tyler Durden do. We can conquer him through Jesus Christ. We can stop our spiritual decay, our anguish of this present life and losing of hope.
We can. and We will.....May our Tyler Durdens die with the knowledge
that we can control our destiny through Jesus' help.
Kriston Wong
wilswong@pacific.net.sg

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