Wednesday, August 09, 2006

WTC comments: Remembering, Greed, and Americanism

In my recent posts about Nicolas Cage and the controveresial nature of the September 11 films United 93 and World Trade Center I have received some interesting comments worth special attention.

RWA feels that Oliver Stone's film World Trade Center "is important so that our children don't forget."

Tooners says: "I''ll never forget." And I think many would agree.
In another post RWA continues this thought saying: "People need to remember. It's a shame that people are already forgetting." I've heard these thoughts and words before, but I have a few questions...if people are forgetting about the event then maybe the just have alzheimers. But if it's not just the event you want them to remember, what is it? A feeling? Or something else?

KatieG doesn't have a problem with the films being made, but is bothered by some of the attitudes that go with the film. She writes some really great personal thoughts in the comment section of this post where she desribes what it was like as some one who lived 6 blocks from the WTC on the corner of Fulton and Gold Street for the summer of 2001.

I think KatieG says something wonderful when she says: "But should my fellow Americans really need to remember that day, I simply suggest you pick up a newspaper and read about the ongoing battles in Afghanistan, Iraq, now Lebanon...because this is all fallout from the day of 9/11."

I thought it was interesting that Flameskb didn't think the movie was too soon but disrepectful for a very unique reason: "As for the World Trade Centre, I don't think it's too soon, what I do think is that we'll never know the real truth (mainly, who knew what and who didn't stop it if they could and why....), so making a Hollywood tearjerker somehow feels disrespectful to me in that context..."

Jim thinks Stone's film is all about making money and "hoping to get eyeballs in the theatres." Typically, I think I'd agree with Jim, but I think making a movie like this is a huge financial risk, and Stone usually isn't the type of guy to completly sell out and make artless crude comedies. If you want to criticize Stone's intentions it would be that he's rushing a film like World Trade Center so that he can be credited with the first successful telling of the World Trade Center attacks. Thus AWG is going to be disappointed that Oliver Stone doesn't tackle conspiracy theories in this film.

Although Jim, I think Paula as a Canadian would agree with you as she classifies this film as a "flag-waver," something you can "wrap it in a flag, and then the American masses will eat it up as truth." Paula's probably right on this one, this film may not have world wide appeal like The Da Vinci Code or Pirates of the Caribbean. Wasp Jerky, from Illinois agreed with Paula, saying you don't have to be outside of the US to avoid the "flag-waver" films.

Spoke is reactionary towards Americans who forget that there are other struggles that he see's as at least being equally as important for American's to remember, he gives examples of Rwanda, the Republic of the Congo, and Chechnya.

So as Oliver Stone's film World Trade Center opens today some people like Pat and Augustus will vocalize their disdain for the tought of the film, while I believe that in the coming months this film will be viewed as a real success known to make grown men cry.

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Jim Jannotti said...

Double linkage! Thanks, man.

The film may be a huge risk for the studio, I'll grant you that. But it's no risk at all for Oliver Stone who gets paid no matter what. And even if it tanks (which it won't), critics are already crediting Stone with trying to find hope in the tragedy and with departing from his feared conspiracy theory motif. Hope you'll forgive my cynicism in this matter, but I think it's quite well founded, not to mention accurate.

Oh, and apparently the film is about more than just Cage's character, though he's the whole show in the previews... that's what the studio would call risk management, I think.

Spoke said...

Well capsulated. I think I'll still give it a miss though.
I heard a rumour that Spielberg was thinking about a film trilogy about the millions of dollars Hollywood films make...look for teasers soon in theaters across North America.

Morgan W. Brown said...

Thanks for posting a comment on the initial post I posted this afternoon to my blog (i.e., Norsehorse's Home Turf concerning the movie.

Went to the early evening showing and, it has been over an hour or so since the movie ended.

Will try to blog up a post about my overall impressions when I am able to do so, either tonight or some other time, if I can collect my thoughts on the subject.

Rae said...

I too wonder about the worldwide appeal of this film. We are starting to see the Promo's over here in NZ but I'm not sure how many people will be rushing out to see it.

JW said...

I think Stone completely minimalized the tragedy by making an overly sentimental, sap-fest the likes of which I've never seen before.

The emotional manipulation rings so completely false (and throughout the movie, it only gets worse and worse) that it is just so disappointing.

Based on real people or no, the absolute horrendous writing (especially the dream sequences, to a lesser extend the flashbacks) and tone do a disserice to the story. Realism is so much more powerful, and as a result of the lack of it I think this movie will be forgotten.

Glenn Dunks said...

the trouble in Lebanon and Israel sorta has nothing to do with 9/11 at all. It has links to it, but that's a situation those guys got into all by themselves. Those two countries have no connection to 9/11 and America has no war connection to them.

...or, that's my understanding of the whole situation.

Great entry tho.

Darrell said...

Movies are part of the cultural exchange in this country. It's never "too soon" or "too late" to make a movie. That's like saying it's "too soon" or "too late" to paint a painting, write a song, etc. The quality of the movie can be debated, and the message the movie seems to be sending is always up for debate... but there's no such thing as "too soon."

Here's the thing: people want a happy ending. It IS "too soon" to make a movie about 9/11 with a clearly happy ending. The movie can not end with a crawl screen that reads something like "After 15 years of tumult and war, terrorism was defeated and America went back to being a nation of numb, confident belly-button contemplators." When people say it's "too soon," that's really the message they're sending: it's too soon because it's still unresolved.

What that tells me is that people honestly believe that this kind of thing can be resolved in just a few years and, for some reason, it hasn't been resolved yet. People who say it's "too soon" are communicating to me that they just don't take the circumstances of our real world seriously enough.

United 93 has been the best film I've seen this year, it effected me more than any other movie I've seen and brought my 9/11 memories back full force in my review. It put me back in the moment and re-energized my resolve. It was a great film. I hope Oliver Stone is able to pull off something as good as United 93, but I'm worried that the maker of films like Nixon and JFK will use the film as his personal soap-box. I might disagree with his message, but it is never "too soon" for him to communicate it.

JW said...

World Trader Center is the farthest thing from Oliver Stone's personal soap-box. The movie does not have a message (incidentally, he did not write this movie, as he usually does) for him to portray. It is nothing more than 100% pure false over-the-top sentiment and nothing else. United 93 was a great film, but this... well, you know my opinion pretty much.

And I also think as some others do that it is never too soon to make a movie about a subject. The issues need to be addressed, whether or not they are completedly resolved or not. If people still find the situation too painful for them to watch a movie about it in theaters, so be it. That doesn't mean that others cannot achive a meaningful experience out of seeing one.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

If you want to see the horrors and the tragedy of the day, get the 9/11 documentary that the two foreign film makers put together (they were actually doing a film on rookie firemen on that tragic day).

It showed on CBS a while back, and I taped it.

As for this movie, I don't see anything wrong with showing a moment of hope and survival in that day.

And as for whether or not it's the "truth," when someone can show me facts that show a conspiracy or something else, I'll consider it. To me, the recent discoveries of actions by American Airlines, the FAA and NORAD eliminate most of the outrageous conspiracy theories that people had.

Finally, I would agree that this has nothing directly to do with the Israel-Lebanon situation today. It does have to do with Afghanistan (that is where bin Laden was before he ran like a coward), and it also has things to do with Iraq.

I look forward to seeing it this weekend.

Anonymous said...

We all should remember the film and the lesson learned from from it. I am excited to see the movie.

Belladonna said...

I am reminded of the book The Pearl by John Steinbeck. In that classic tale the main character, Kino, says that time ever after would be divided by the event before finding the pearl, and life after the pearl. For many of us, the tragedy of 9/11 is much the same.

Jon said...

I saw the movie with my fam here the day it came out. Overall, I think Stone did a great job portraying the events in a real way that didn't have a commercial/movie making feel to them.

Honestly, the impact of the event is what makes the movie worth watching. It takes viewers there and helps them to process the whole thing through the eyes of a few families. If it was a movie about a less recent tragedy, I might have found it boring, but because the event was still rather fresh, the movie became more meaningful