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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Too Soon

The tragedy of 9/11, is still with so many of us, to this day.

I feel it here in South Florida, every time I go to the airport, and wonder, just wonder, what would happen, what would be going through my mind, if I knew FOR CERTAIN, that my life would be over in a matter of minutes -- due to a hijacking?

It's almost too ruthlessly visceral, to imagine just such a scene being portrayed, but portrayed it will be, in theatres this May.

9/11 has got its first film; the first of many, without a shadow of a doubt.

Although Pearl Harbour had a similar national impact in 1941, and this nation was never the same again because of it, it did take a while for Hollywood to put what happened then, unto celluloid.

But the various producers, directors, and movie moguls, have thought that a mere 5 years, is plenty enough time, for the healing to be over.

Assuredly, not all Hollywood players must think this, but the ones who green-lighted the film about the doomed, but wonderfully heroic passengers of Flight 93, certainly did.

Suddenly, Monday, all the news programmes, on television and radio, picked up the story, and asked their audience, as I do now:

Is a movie about 9/11, too soon?

Arguments tend to centre on, if you had any relatives who perished in these planes, buildings, or had some direct link to that frozen moment of hate.

But some New Yorkers, who many around the nation believe live the rarified, untroubled lives of elites, little concerned with sentimentality, have balked at this movie being shown around their city.

Said this report:

"At least one theatre on Manhattan's upper West Side has yanked the harrowing trailer for Universal Pictures' upcoming United 93, saying it reduced one patron to tears.

"I personally received a couple of complaints. Some people were pretty upset," said a manager at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 12 theater on Broadway. "We pulled the trailer last weekend."

The new US$15 million feature-length film dramatises events on the doomed United flight from takeoff through the courageous revolt by passengers to the eventual crash outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania."

Many others in the Big Apple, saw the trailer for the Flight 93 film this weekend, before the Inside Man showings.

(I myself caught this last-gasp-for-Denzel film last week, and indeed, saw the trailer. It was tastefully done, but still, I could hear the gasps of disbelief or perhaps anger, around me)

So, if you are one of those people who were directly affected by 9/11, or perhaps had a very powerful emotional reaction to the terrorist attacks, you no doubt think this film, a mere half-decade away from the event, is almost like grinding glass in someone's heart.

And then, there are those who are hover between interest or even, curiosity, about what happened on board.

Exactly people how did people, who knew they would surely die, feel like and act like, during their last moments on earth?

No matter how much we can leave to the imagination, with reconstructed or newly-released 911 tapes, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words -- even a few hundred blog ones.

What do I think?

I think it's too soon, but I am curious -- so yes, I will watch the film when it debuts.

And I shall evidently, blog about it.

I think the most important aspect of this film, must be the respect given to the victim's families, because if it's just a movie about "Little Eichmanns" getting theirs, and acting like vigilantes, we'll all of us be disgusted.

These types of films will no doubt come in future.

Just like Joyeux Noël, which I saw this past weekend, about the friendly truce between German, British and French soldiers, on Christmas Day 1914, a story whose historical liberties were ridiculous to the point of triteness (the better to emphasise their premise that all war is evil), filmmakers have a way of disregarding the truth to hammer home their message.

Those who complain that politicians are less than integral, should look no further than their own behaviour, as if to a mirror.

Let's hope Flight 93 is a testament to courage, rather than a statement of ideology.

Too soon -- but not too late for Hollywood to learn.

19 Comments:

  • Tora!Tora!Tora! was made in 1970. But director John Ford made a movie [short] in 1943. Ford's movie is entitled "December 7th". We're 3 years late, by my math.

    see: http://imdb.com/title/tt0035790/

    For those who will never forget, it's always time to remember the day that changed our world. For others, it's not too soon to remember.

    I think we need to see the first heroes of 9/11 [and the family members do, too]. Those on Flight 93 fought back against Al-Q. They didn't need much more than an hour and phone calls to loved ones to realize they had a choice...die or die with a fight. We need to see and experience what they did. It needs to seep into the collective consciousness as only a well-made film can do.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Tue Apr 04, 02:09:00 pm GMT-4  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Apr 04, 04:07:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I never want to have anyone trying to bully me like a cheap thug determining when or how:

    I am to act, politically or militarily,

    I am to feel and think about my course of actions, and especially,

    I am to make art -- any art! -- that I deem significant to deal with the losses I have taken or the suffering I have had to endure.

    I'd have started shooting my film on 9/12, if I had that kind of art in me.

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Apr 04, 04:08:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I agree with Ruth Anne and with Ron!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Tue Apr 04, 04:13:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Short List: "Secret Agent of Japan," Twentieth Century Fox, 1942

    "Little Tokyo, USA," Twentieth Century Fox, 1942

    "Across The Pacific," Warner Bros., 1942

    "Remember Pearl Harbor," Republic, 1942

    "Submarine Raider," Columbia Pictures, 1942

    "December 7, 1941," U.S. Navy, 1943

    "Air Force," Warner Bros., 1943

    "Blood on the Sun," United Artists, 1945

    Look, this was painful, but the MSM and our "Leaders" are happy to have all of us forget, so we can ignore what is happening around us. It's not too soon. If some NYers object, well, "Cowboy Up!" as my ex-fiance would have said. Too soon for ya? Don't go. Otherwise, this nation needs to see, know, and remember! We need to reignite the rage.

    Film, damn it!

    By Blogger benning, at Tue Apr 04, 05:45:00 pm GMT-4  

  • There does seem to be a left/right divide regarding this particular film, with showings in NYC and LA being where the trailer was heckled and then pulled.

    Most right of center bloggers who have commented on the film look forward to the picture (Hewitt, Driscoll, Yehudit at Winds of Change, for a few examples, I looked for any lefty blogger who even commented one way or the other on the film, couldn't find any), and the one family member who's been doing press says that it will make her angry, and bring her to tears, but that's what is needed, and she's looking forward to seeing the picture.

    There are some (all on the left) who would like us to put 9/11 'behind us' and move on to being who we were before all this happened.

    That thinking is wrong-headed and dangerous. The world before 9/11 was an illusion, most people get this, that's why despite polls that show frustration at President Bush, given the choice to fight or retreat (rightly or wrongly that's how many perceived the difference between Pres. Bush and Sen. Kerry) more voters chose to fight.

    (and I suspect if the '06 elections get framed as being about security, then the talk of gloom and doom for the GOP are premature)

    (and I'm alot more confident that this film will be an honest take on events than that Stone picture upcoming)

    As far as WWII and filmmaking, Hollywood was making anti-Nazi pictures well before Pearl Harbor (and British filmmakers like Hitchcock were making them before the invasion of Poland), so when it comes to opposing fascism, the George Clooney's of the world have a lot to learn.

    Instead we get historical revisionism and 'balanced' portrayals of Islam like Kingdom of Heaven.

    (I'm not saying that you need to portray all Muslims as 'enemies' but trying to make Saladhin out as being so much more 'civilized' than the Crusaders is a huge stretch and done because of current politics)

    By Blogger XWL, at Tue Apr 04, 06:04:00 pm GMT-4  

  • If Aristophanes can write a sex comedy set in the Peleponnesian War, anything's possible!

    If you look at a particular scene in Dr. Strangelove George C. Scott's binder says: "World Targets in Megadeaths." Black enough?

    Also, don't forget Frank Capra and George Stevens directed a lot of stuff for the more-aptly-named War Department which got shown immediately during the war. Stevens filmed in Dachau which seriously affected him from that point on. (no more light fluff like Abigail Adams or Swing Time from him! His stuff got more somber in tone.)

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Apr 04, 06:14:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Oh, and I forgot To Be or Not To Be! Benny/Lombard Wartime comedy with a comedic line we wouldn't get away with today: "So they call me Concentration Camp Erhard, eh?..."

    By Blogger Ron, at Tue Apr 04, 06:18:00 pm GMT-4  

  • This movie, I believe, has the Flight 93 families' blessing.

    Upper West Siders are probably taking offense for it being insufficiently sensitive to the terrorists' POV...

    I wish I could attend the premiere, but I'll definitely see it opening night.

    By Blogger JSU, at Wed Apr 05, 12:51:00 am GMT-4  

  • Tora!Tora!Tora! was made in 1970.

    Good one. I only recently saw that in its entirety, and very much liked it.

    BTW, I still have to watch Spinal Tap, Ruth Anne...

    But director John Ford made a movie [short] in 1943. Ford's movie is entitled "December 7th". We're 3 years late, by my math.

    Hmm, interesting. I had heard of his wartime films, as well as having seen Frank Capra's "Why We Fight" (wasn't it?), so this comes as a surprise.

    Perhaps you, Ron, and others may remember a scene in Stalag 17, where a young Peter Graves (who is a Nazi infiltrator, of course, sorry for the spoiler in case you haven't seen it ;), is being quizzed by William Holden to describe the moment Americans got the news Pearl Harbour had been bombed.

    Obviously, being in Germany, he got the time's of the day all wrong.

    That's the earliest film reference I remember, in a major motion picture, to Pearl Harbour.

    For those who will never forget, it's always time to remember the day that changed our world. For others, it's not too soon to remember.

    That could be, word for word, about 9/11.

    I think we need to see the first heroes of 9/11 [and the family members do, too]. Those on Flight 93 fought back against Al-Q. They didn't need much more than an hour and phone calls to loved ones to realize they had a choice...die or die with a fight. We need to see and experience what they did. It needs to seep into the collective consciousness as only a well-made film can do.

    I have personal reasons which I won't mention here, why this day meant so much to me.

    And I'm thinking of a family member who might be shocked to see, just what this awful day entailed.

    But I am in agreement with what you said, believe me.

    P.S.: Did you see the tastefully done made-for-TV-movie, starring Timothy Bottoms as Dubya?

    Not too bad.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 03:55:00 am GMT-4  

  • I never want to have anyone trying to bully me like a cheap thug determining when or how:

    Heh. Cheap thug. Cool.

    I am to act, politically or militarily,

    I am to feel and think about my course of actions, and especially,

    I am to make art -- any art! -- that I deem significant to deal with the losses I have taken or the suffering I have had to endure.


    Well said.

    I'd have started shooting my film on 9/12, if I had that kind of art in me.

    See, that's where perhaps my historian's mind creeps in to stay the artist's hand.

    For an historian, one must, ABSOLUTELY must, start culling information the sooner the better.

    But also, one must, ABSOLUTELY must, be wary of coming to conclusions, so close to the actual event.

    At least that's how I think.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 03:58:00 am GMT-4  

  • I agree with Ruth Anne and with Ron!

    I hope I didn't make it seem like I didn't.

    Sure, I do.

    It's just that what I replied to Ron about the historian's eye, is also important to me. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    (word verification: faulthdw -- fault of hdw? Who dat is?)

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 03:59:00 am GMT-4  

  • (snip excellent Pearl Harbour film references...thanks Benning!)

    Look, this was painful, but the MSM and our "Leaders" are happy to have all of us forget, so we can ignore what is happening around us. It's not too soon. If some NYers object, well, "Cowboy Up!" as my ex-fiance would have said.

    She said, Cowboy Up??

    Was she Johnny Damon? *duck!* ;)

    Too soon for ya? Don't go. Otherwise, this nation needs to see, know, and remember! We need to reignite the rage.

    Film, damn it!


    Hey! I don't even have a camera!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:01:00 am GMT-4  

  • (May I just say, XWL, that is below is one of your best replies on Sundries...although an uncharacteristically serious one! I seem to bring that out in you :)

    There does seem to be a left/right divide regarding this particular film, with showings in NYC and LA being where the trailer was heckled and then pulled.

    So I have seen, in the meantime since posting this.

    Most right of center bloggers who have commented on the film look forward to the picture (Hewitt, Driscoll, Yehudit at Winds of Change, for a few examples, I looked for any lefty blogger who even commented one way or the other on the film, couldn't find any), and the one family member who's been doing press says that it will make her angry, and bring her to tears, but that's what is needed, and she's looking forward to seeing the picture.

    I daresay anything which reminds people that we didn't have to be in Iraq, for terrorists to attack us, is not good for certain ideologues.

    I'll never ever forget the post-blame-America slanging that went on, immediately after 9/11.

    And how torturous it must've been for them, when the majority of Americans drew together unlike anything I've ever experienced, afterwards.

    This they can't want, and how disgusting it must be to be a part of that crowd.

    There are some (all on the left) who would like us to put 9/11 'behind us' and move on to being who we were before all this happened.

    Suspiciously like many people in Europe, who call World War II "ancient history".

    This is important, because then the contributions of the US towards European liberation, are lessened and not needed to be remembered.

    That thinking is wrong-headed and dangerous. The world before 9/11 was an illusion, most people get this, that's why despite polls that show frustration at President Bush, given the choice to fight or retreat (rightly or wrongly that's how many perceived the difference between Pres. Bush and Sen. Kerry) more voters chose to fight.

    Or at least to not to take the situation lying down, which was the MO under President Clinton...

    His piddly attempts at bombing Al-Qaeda strongholds, with continued bad information by the CIA and others, were a joke.

    (and I suspect if the '06 elections get framed as being about security, then the talk of gloom and doom for the GOP are premature)

    I don't think it's that gloomy, to be honest...

    The summer will see a hike in petrol prices, which is worrisome, but by November, they'll be down again.

    Once that's over, it's a strong economy that will win the day.

    (and I'm alot more confident that this film will be an honest take on events than that Stone picture upcoming)

    Oh God. You had to go and remind me of that. Yuck...

    As far as WWII and filmmaking, Hollywood was making anti-Nazi pictures well before Pearl Harbor (and British filmmakers like Hitchcock were making them before the invasion of Poland), so when it comes to opposing fascism, the George Clooney's of the world have a lot to learn.

    Heh. :)

    Instead we get historical revisionism and 'balanced' portrayals of Islam like Kingdom of Heaven.

    Although, interestingly, they could've showed the initiation ceremony of the Knights Templars in their entirety...and had a Brokeback Mountain moment before Jake Gyllenhaal could've hiked down his shorts.

    (I'm not saying that you need to portray all Muslims as 'enemies' but trying to make Saladhin out as being so much more 'civilized' than the Crusaders is a huge stretch and done because of current politics)

    Yes...naturally, there will never be a Hollywood treatment of the Turkish incursions into Vienna from the Balkans.

    You know the ones, where enemies' heads of Islam were placed on spikes.

    Hard to 'nicefy' that kind of practise, ain't it.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:13:00 am GMT-4  

  • If Aristophanes can write a sex comedy set in the Peleponnesian War, anything's possible!

    Woe! Woe! And Thrice Woe!

    (Name the Britcom which staged this Lysistrata-inspired scene for extra bonus points)

    If you look at a particular scene in Dr. Strangelove George C. Scott's binder says: "World Targets in Megadeaths." Black enough?

    YEEHAW!

    Also, don't forget Frank Capra and George Stevens directed a lot of stuff for the more-aptly-named War Department which got shown immediately during the war. Stevens filmed in Dachau which seriously affected him from that point on. (no more light fluff like Abigail Adams or Swing Time from him! His stuff got more somber in tone.)

    Interesting! I hadn't realised that about Stevens, Ron.

    As ever, trust you to enlighten about film. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:16:00 am GMT-4  

  • Oh, and I forgot To Be or Not To Be! Benny/Lombard Wartime comedy with a comedic line we wouldn't get away with today: "So they call me Concentration Camp Erhard, eh?..."

    Will you hate me, if I confess I liked the Mel Brooks/Ann Bancroft movie just as much, if not more?

    *g*

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:17:00 am GMT-4  

  • This movie, I believe, has the Flight 93 families' blessing.

    Thanks for the link, JSU. :)

    I hadn't realised it was Greengrass, the director.

    The Bourne Supremacy absolutely sucked, so this doesn't give me much confidence, but at least, he can handle a big blockbuster movie...

    Upper West Siders are probably taking offense for it being insufficiently sensitive to the terrorists' POV...

    It will definitely be interesting to see what kinds of arguments will happen during this time.

    I will be reading some less well-known left-of-centre blogs to get their impressions.

    I wish I could attend the premiere, but I'll definitely see it opening night.

    That's a date then. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Apr 06, 04:20:00 am GMT-4  

  • Suspiciously like many people in Europe, who call World War II "ancient history".

    This is important, because then the contributions of the US towards European liberation, are lessened and not needed to be remembered.


    If WWII is ancient history, then no Extra Credit Points for Plato, Titian, Michaelanglo, Tolstoy...if we are to only judge the cultural contributions of Europe post-'45, thank goodness we have such noble spirits as Stalin, Milosovic, Ceausescu, etc. to enlighten us!

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Apr 06, 10:00:00 am GMT-4  

  • Will you hate me, if I confess I liked the Mel Brooks/Ann Bancroft movie just as much, if not more?
    Of course not! I'm no Lubisch-Nazi! It's not like Mel and Ann aren't also funny! I love how they start the film in Polish until the God-like voice tells them it's ok to use English, and the whole cast sighs!

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Apr 06, 10:04:00 am GMT-4  

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