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Thread: Fight Club (1999)

  1. #1
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    Fight Club (1999)

    We have 22 threads titled 'fight club' on the forum now but they all seem to be about real fight clubs, not the movie.

    This is the perfect post to launch this long overdue thread.

    ‘Fight Club’ Author Chuck Palahniuk Says China’s Censored Ending Is Actually Truer to His Vision
    Before the cult 1999 film began streaming in China, censors drastically changed the ending so that the anarchist narrator is caught and punished for his crimes.
    BY PATRICK BRZESKI

    JANUARY 26, 2022 8:30PM

    'Fight Club'; Inset: Chuck Palahniuk EVERETT COLLECTION; VENTURELLI/WIREIMAGE

    Chuck Palahniuk, author of the original novel on which David Fincher’s film Fight Club was based, responded Wednesday to news that China dramatically altered the ending of the movie to conform with local censorship rules.

    The original 1999 film, which starred Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, ends with the narrator (Norton) killing off his imaginary alter ego, Tyler Durden (Pitt), and then watching as buildings explode across the city skyline, suggesting that his anarchist crusade to take down consumerist society has begun.

    A key tenet of China’s film censorship system is that criminals must always be punished for their crimes onscreen and societal harmony restored. So, before the 20th Century Fox film began airing on Chinese streamer Tencent Video, Fight Club’s ending was altered. The climactic scene was excised and replaced with a blank screen showing the message: “The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to a lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”

    News of the alterations sparked outcry on Chinese social media among local film fans who had seen pirate copies of the original cut — not to mention among moviegoers elsewhere in the world where Fight Club is a cult classic.

    Now, Palahniuk, originator of the characters and story, has weighed in with his own response. The author tweeted a link to his Substack newsletter where he discusses the episode, writing: “Have You Seen This Sh*t? This is SUPER wonderful! Everyone gets a happy ending in China!”

    In his newsletter, Palahniuk wrote: “Tyler and the gang were all arrested. He was tried and sentenced to a mental asylum. How amazing. I’d no idea! Justice always wins. Nothing ever exploded. Fini.”

    The author later gave an interview to TMZ in which he pointed out that the altered Chinese ending is actually somewhat closer to how his book concluded. In Palahniuk’s novel, the narrator’s scheme also fails — not because of the wisdom and competence of the authorities, but simply due to his bomb malfunctioning. The narrator then shoots himself in the head and wakes up in a mental hospital, thinking that he’s made it to heaven.

    “The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it is they’ve aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher’s ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending,” he said. “So in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit.”

    The author also said that he saw the irony in many Americans’ angry response to China’s actions, given that his books are banned in many locations across the U.S.

    “What I find really interesting is that my books are heavily banned throughout the U.S.,” he said. “The Texas prison system refuses to carry my books in their libraries. A lot of public schools and most private schools refuse to carry my books. But it’s only an issue once China changes the end of a movie? I’ve been putting up with book banning for a long time.”

    He also said that having his work revised in ways he can’t control is nothing new to him.

    “A lot of my overseas publishers have edited the novel so the novel ends the way the movie ends,” he said. “So I’ve been dealing with this kind of revision for like 25 years.”
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    uncensored?

    Original ‘Fight Club’ Ending Restored in China After Censorship Backlash
    In a rare censorship reversal, Chinese streamer Tencent Video has undone its mangled cuts to the conclusion of David Fincher's 1999 cult classic.

    BY PATRICK BRZESKI

    FEBRUARY 6, 2022 4:14PM

    Brad Pitt (center) in "Fight Club" EVERETT
    David Fincher’s 1999 cult classic Fight Club has been restored to its original state in China — almost.

    After widespread online backlash to clumsy censorship of the film’s ending, Chinese streaming service Tencent Video backtracked in recent days and restored most of the cuts it had made. Crucially, Fight Club’s complete ending is now viewable in full in China.

    Fincher’s original film, which stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, ends with the narrator (Norton) killing off his imaginary alter ego, Tyler Durden (Pitt), and then watching as buildings explode across a city skyline, suggesting that his anarchist crusade to take down consumerist society has begun.

    A key tenet of China’s usual film censorship system is that criminals must always be punished for their crimes onscreen and societal harmony restored — especially in local Chinese movies. So, before the 20th Century Fox film began airing in the country, Tencent dramatically altered Fight Club’s ending. The climactic scene was excised and replaced with a blank screen showing the message: “The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to a lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment.”

    News of the cuts went viral around the world and sparked much debate and embarrassment on Chinese social media about local censorship practices. Some commentators pointed out that the new ending rendered the film nonsensical, given that Pitt’s character was actually just a delusion of the movie’s narrator. Chuck Palahniuk, author of the original novel on which Fincher’s film was based, joined the fray with the surprising observation that China’s ending was actually truer to the original vision of his book.

    But it would appear that the backlash has been deemed more troublesome than the fictional film’s ending, as Tencent has now restored 11 of the 12 minutes it originally cut from the 137-minute movie. The minute still missing is mostly comprised of brief nude sex scenes between Pitt’s and Bonham Carter’s characters.

    A spokesperson at Tencent didn’t respond to a request for comment.

    Reversals of censorship actions are extremely rare within China’s entertainment industry — but cuts to Hollywood movies are not.

    After 20th Century Fox’s Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody won multiple Oscars in the 2018, it was granted a theatrical release in China — but only after all mentions of Freddie Mercury’s ****sexuality were cut from the film. The movie earned $14 million in China, but human rights groups were vocally critical of Fox for letting Beijing screen the straightwashed version.

    Last year, WarnerMedia’s much anticipated Friends reunion had several scenes cut from its Chinese online release, including a cameo featuring Lady Gaga. The pop star is persona non grata in China due to a brief meeting she had with the Dalai Lama in 2016.
    Just gonna chalk this one up to weird PRC news...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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