WTC: What's This Crap?

As someone with first hand experience of standing at “Ground Zero” on the morning of the attacks, I can’t think of a worse thing to do than make a Hollywood film about September 11, 2001…except maybe making TWO movies about it. In the wake of this terrible loss of life, people were barred from selling memorial statues on the street. Why is it okay to make a movie for profit about it?

Do we need another less accurate account of what happened on the most documented and videotaped tragedy in American history? Is Oliver Stone the man to deliver such an account? Is anyone willing to pay money to relive those emotions? I answer no to all those questions. How about you?

Why is it ok to make movies about WW2/Vietnam/Iraq for profit? I mean, compared to the tragedy of a full on war the tragedy of of terrorists making two buildings collapse on 3,000 people doesn’t seem like something worth getting up in arms about.

Dramatizing history is what people do. It’s not always tasteful, but just because something is tragic doesn’t mean it’s somehow off limits. I don’t remember people complaining about Schindlers List much and that wasn’t exactly a non-profit venture.

Could be worse. Anyone see that made for Cable movie starring James Woods as Guilliani? Looked like it was shot on hi-8.

You do have a logical point, of course… but there’s more to it than logic. I think dramatizing is exactly the problem with something of this magnitude. Many people aren’t ready to be reminded of what happened – especially, to be reminded by way of some dramatization that is clearly mercenary in motivation. We know we’re not being “reminded” as in some alturistic effort by the filmmakers; we’re being pumped for cash for the sake of sentimentality.

You might say that it happens all the time, and you’d be right. But this is too close, too soon, for many people. You can also cite Vietnam, Pearl Harbor, World War II, or any other mass-death subject matter-turned-blockbuster-film. September 11th was about civilian deaths, though. That makes a difference. These people weren’t prepared for war or trained or volunteered to put their lives on the line. They were suddenly killed and thousands of family members were scarred by the loss; some of them even committed suicide rather than live with the pain.

And so here comes another movie, six years later. It’s not a “reminder,” or a mere dramatization. It’s mercenary at best and ghoulish at worst. Perhaps it’s best to wait a decade or two, when all of our memories have faded and we’re ready to shell out some cash to see some inane “interpretation” of the events, starring the major Hollywood sweetheart dujour. Then we might be ready to remember it with a bitterness that’s almost savored, rather than just a heavy sadness in our chests.

So everybody portraýed in Schindlers List were volunteers? And no civilians were killed in WW2, Vietnam or even the not so long ago Gulf War, which we’ve allready seen a couple of movies about?

As long as it’s done in good taste and hopefully with a bit more of a message, than ‘please buy a ticket’ I’m fine with it.

From the trailer I saw this weekend, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. (of course, my reaction could just be the obligatory “all movies suck” response)

Schindler’s List: Sixty years had passed. Not at all a counter to what I was saying. You’re just being argumentative for the sake of being snarky and trying to be clever. Not impressed. Next.

WW2: Yup, civilians were certainly killed. But it wasn’t a sole civilian tragedy; it was a war brought to action by military branches of the governments. A horrible thing, to be sure. But, here we are, about sixty years since the end of that war. Who’s to say if a grand, blockbuster film had been made in 1952, people would have felt uncomforatble? Also, that war wasn’t as closely covered as wars since Vietnam. We weren’t as informed of the civilian casualties or true horrors they suffered. And, as Americans, we’re somewhat separated from this. My mother-in-law lived through the bombing of Dresden. She’s still uncomforatable watching any documentary, let alone fictionalization of the event. So, you’re off on that one. Next point.

Vietnam: So when was the first film on Vietnam that centered on the civilian tragedy? Was it viewed in Vietnam? You see, that’s the difference and also makes this a bad example. We’re somewhat removed from the civilian tragedy of that war, as callous as that seems. Again, we don’t have the personal connection. I suspect any Vietnamese person who had family members or friends who died in the war would have a certain discomfort with seeing a blockbuster movie raking in the cash from that horror.

“Good taste,” is dubious, subjective, and really, the sticking point with any Sept. 11th film.

I’m not planning to see any September 11 movies, but their existence doesn’t bother me. If people are too bothered by the subject matter, they won’t go see the movies and the movies will lose money. I don’t see the movies having a lot of impact besides the “Isn’t it too soon?” discussions. It’s not like Oliver Stone hasn’t shown himself to be an over-reaching putz before.

And I thought Hanzii made good points – didn’t seem to be snarky at all.

So more than sixty years has to pass and as long as there’s no American Civilian casualties we’re good?
… as long as we don’t show the movie to you mother-in-law or anybody from whatever country you last bombed civilians in?!

Your argument, if it can be called that, makes no sense. WW2 had pretty extensive news coverage and nobody during Vietnam was in any doubt, that there was a lot of civilian casualties. I’m to lazy to Google or IMDB the information, but I’m pretty sure that 1952 had a WW2 Blockbuster. Hell, some of them were made while the war was still raging.
Of course it can always be argued what’s in good or bad taste which is why freedom of speech protects any filmmaker to make a movie about any subject - so that we don’t censor important viewpoints just because it steps on somebodys toes.
Considering that 9/11 caused the misjudged War on Terror that involves a big part of the world and causes casualties from as far away as my little country, I’d say that WTC is a subject that needs plenty of movies made about it - whether this is the one, I don’t know.

Sixty years – apparently, we’re good, as long as we’re removed enough from the subject matter. I’m not arguing logic. Did you see my first post? I said you had a point there, cowboy. I was crazy enough to think you were curious as to why the original poster might have some misgivings about such a movie – and I have a few myself. In fact, I’m not really “arguing” in a dick-measuring kinda way that the Interent loves so much. I’m not trying to convince you to change your mind.

Contrarybear, I wasn’t saying all his points were snarky. As a matter of fact, the points in his first post are absolutely logical. That first one in the second post was a strawman, is all. I had already stated about it being too soon in relation to the tragedy. But again, OPINION! I’m not at all interested in changing the minds of people who want to shuffle off to silver screen and slap down their cash to be “reminded” through the filter of a filmmaker’s imagination. Have at it!

It’s about logic the way any emotion is – and this is an emotional subject. You know, just like Dresden is with my mother-in-law. A lifetime isn’t long enough. You can get all “Spock” about it, and you’d be right in a rational sense. Sure, let’s be reminded. Why not make a film the day after? As long as it’s done tastefully, baby, there’s money to be made. God knows, network news did their part to cash in.

And, Hanzii, I have no idea what country you live in – so we may be approaching this discussion from two very different angles. With something like this, in case you haven’t noticed, context is everything.

Maybe for people in America or more specifically - those affected.
For the rest of the world its “just another movie”.

The same could be said by a locally made film down here, Totsi, about a black thug that hijacks a car with a baby in it. Hijackings are a daily occurence and also affect people yet there are movies made about it.

There are probably more hijackings daily than people were senslessly killed in 9/11 :/

IIRC, the networks lost a boatload of money covering Sept 11 and the aftermath for the next few days because they didn’t show commercials during the round-the-clock coverage.

From the trailer, it looks like they’re going to do something very similar to Ladder 49. By very similar, I mean they’re going to pull out all stops in order to evoke emotion.

As cheesy as it was, Ladder 49 wore me out. Heroes risking their lives/well-being and possibly dying for innocents just gets to me more than most scenarios.

Oh, no…

I can’t think of a worse thing to do than make a Hollywood film about September 11, 2001…except maybe making TWO movies about it. In the wake of this terrible loss of life, people were barred from selling memorial statues on the street. Why is it okay to make a movie for profit about it?

Are people still barred from doing that, or was that just in the actual wake of it? See, right now, the wake is sort of over - not that you nor anyone else’s pain or sense of loss has become null and void,mind. That will, you know, never go away. Even when it’s lost some of its bite for you, there will be hundreds more for whom it hasn’t, and may never until the day they die. So, like, when can somebody make a film about it?

Do we need another less accurate account of what happened on the most documented and videotaped tragedy in American history? Is Oliver Stone the man to deliver such an account? Is anyone willing to pay money to relive those emotions? I answer no to all those questions. How about you?

No, but if you want to look at it this way, you can: the people who caused the incident in question, well they’d never stand for such a film to be made - probably not even if it was accurate. This country subsists on capitalism at its core, and if someone thinks something will make money (because it usually does), they will.

Also, you and me and most of the guys here,we’re not your protoypical American. That’s not to be elitist…okay, well maybe it is. But guess what, I guarantee several people here even will go to see this film opening day/weekend. Box office receipts have yet to include an option for filmgoers who are seeing the film just to deride it or ended up unhappy with it. They just help Stone make another film like this sometime in the future.

PS Apocalypse Now was released in 1979. The Vietnam War ended in 1973. 6 years.

So let’s see if I have this right… so far, KONY has made himself look like:

  1. an inept viral marketer
  2. a mindless sony fanboy
  3. a GG Refugee-style pariah

Did I leave anything out?

Movies about major, tragic, historical events are nothing new and not at all a bad thing. If they’re bad films, don’t see them. If they bother you, don’t see them. Let others make their own choices.

Let’s look at WWII as an example. John Wayne made at least 4 films about the war while it was still being fought. These include They were Expendable (PT boats in the Philipines), Back to Bataan (guerilla warfare, same place), Reunion in France (Yank pilot shot down over France), and perhaps the most famous, Flying Tigers (volunteer Americans vs. the Japanese just prior to Pearl Harbor).

Got a problem with those films? If so, why? Should they not have been made since they might offend parents of soldiers or civilians who were KIA?

Those films still aren’t about civilian deaths, Dave. It’s a pretty big distinction in my mind.

[Edit : I wasn’t around at the time, but I’m betting it was a lot easier to see the justitification for WW2 than the justificiation for 9/11. Anyone dying in a WW2 movie usually did it for a good (or at least comprehensible) reason. Another big distinction]

So wait: now it’s just Not Okay to make films about real-life tragedies involving civilian deaths?

And here I thought the most offensive thing about Titanic was the soundtrack.

Have you not read the damn thread, Ryan A? (I know, why do I even ask…)

Titanic happened how long ago?

Actually, wait, that’s not bad. That’s the only movie I can think of about a fairly large loss of civilian life, and they waited what, 80 years?

If it were a one-man play about the attacks, would it be out of line? How about a series of paintings? A song?

It’s been said before, but this is what artists do when something like this happens. They use their medium to cope or interpret or elucidate or whatever it is that they want to do. I don’t find that to be terribly objectionable.

I imagine that the problem with a big budget hollywood film is that everybody suspects (or knows) that the driving force behind it is probably profit rather than art. I can see why that would rub people the wrong way, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an artist creating a work of art that is inspired by the attacks.