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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Not Ready For Reality

How often do you think Newsweek says these kinds of things about a film (emphasis mine):

A Dark Day Revisited
By Sean Smith and Jac Chebatoris, Newsweek
"One lady was crying," says one of the theater's managers, Kevin Adjodha. "She was saying we shouldn't have [played the trailer]. That this was wrong ... I don't think people are ready for this."

We're about to find out. "United 93" is the first feature film to deal explicitly with the events of September 11, 2001, and is certain to ignite an emotional debate before and after it opens on April 28. Is it too soon? Should the film have been made at all? More to the point, will anyone want to see it?
What kind of ridiculous questions are these? My response to the trailer is: about time. My response to the people who can't handle it: get a grip.

The families of the passengers who suffered this nightmare cooperated with and approve of the film, so please spare us the faux overwrought horror. You can't get enough of films like Syriana and Fahrenheit 9/11 that feed the fantasy of America as the world's villain, but you're not ready for this? It's easy to guess the real reason why. You don't want to face the reality of the cold-blooded evil that could plan and carry out such attacks. They don't exist. George Bush is the world's biggest terrorist. That's what you're comfortable with, and you don't know why anyone else might feel differently. So in your denial you ask imbecilic questions like: "Why would anyone want to watch this?" Go ahead and skip the movie but don't project your ennui on me.
Universal, which is releasing the film, plans to donate 10 percent of its opening weekend gross to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund. That hasn't stopped criticism that the studio is exploiting a national tragedy. O'Hare thinks that's unfair. "This story has to be told to honor the passengers and crew for what they did," she says. "But more than that, it raises awareness. Our ports aren't secure. Our borders aren't secure. Our airlines still aren't secure, and this is what happens when you're not secure. That's the message I want people to hear."

It's unclear whether Americans will pay $9.50 to hear it. The A&E cable movie "Flight 93" drew 5.9 million viewers in January, the highest-rated show in the channel's history. But movies are different.
Exploiting a national tragedy? You mean like the endless demagoguing of Hurricane Katrina? And since when does Hollywood care whether people pay to see their movies? They make films about important issues, like gay cowboys, because their consciences demand it not because it sells tickets. Besides, TV has already demonstrated the story's popularity, so why would anyone think a movie would be different? More denial?

Not everyone screaming "too soon" is deluding themselves. Some do so with quite conscious disgust because they know the film will remind people what happened and cause many to reflect, to become angry, to want to defend their country and countrymen. Fresh images of 9/11 tend to evoke support for offensive action against the jihadis, and tend to deflate the conspiracy theories about our military and The Joooos. No, not "too soon", more like "just in time".


Blogger flippityflopitty said...

Its like porn - you dont like it dont watch it....
I didnt...

4/04/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

I don't need a movie. I have imagined the hell these people must have experienced many times, certainly every time I fly.

But I will see it. At the very least I'm curious whether the portrayal is unflinching, or if it glosses over the role played by Allah.

The reason people need to see this movie is to learn what the passengers of Flight 93 learned on 9/11: if we are to die we have a choice, we can go like sheep, or we can go with a fight.

I for one am not flying into any "target" while I'm still breathing.

4/05/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

I think everyone can make that choice without seeing the film. Anyone that has not pictured themselves in Fl 93 after hearing of the experience isnt breathing. Im curious where all the $$$ proceeds from this film and its showing are going - Im sure no one would dare profit from such a tragic (yet heroic) story.

Im sure it will hit cable TV (USA or FX) within a few years. If its well-made it will be compelling and not need the big screen effects.

On heroism, I know if Im a victim and have knowledge of the "target" scenario I will take the plunge as well. The mind is a funny thing, one has to wonder whether you will take that plunge if you are unsure of your impending demise. (ie you are in plane #1 instead of a later plane).

4/12/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

4/16/2006 12:19:00 PM  

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