Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just some thoughts on the World Trade Center film

Last nightI saw a commercial for World Trade Center. The film opens today and it was about the 25th time I had seen the film advertised over the past week or so. One who also saw the advertisement remarked snidely, "Wow, I can't wait to see that!" When I mentioned that I would probably see it at some point, the response was, "Don't worry, we won't judge you." I smile now thinking about that. Don't worry, I won't judge you either for not seeing it. But I'd imagine I am in a drastic minority in my group of friends that is actually wanting to see this movie.

I have not seen any advance screenings. More or less, all I know is what I have read about the movie. It is said that it is a story about the how the events of 9/11 unified a large portion of our country's population. And they focus on two main persons stories to get across this point. When I look back on that day, after the initial shock, and before the "Oh shit, we are gonna enter an wnwinable war" feeling I was stuck watching CNN and whatever else like millions of other Americans. I couldn't do anything much else. I gave blood at a blood drive at my place of employment to feel like I was doing something for the victims. I knew people who while very much against where national policy has gone since then were feeling helpless when they realized they were not able to be in New York and help in recovery efforts. Thing is, initially and for a brief moment, the American reaction, by and large did transcend politics. Granted, it was only very brief. Our president made damn sure of that.

The events of 9/11 were both significant unifying events, and horrible awful tragedy. Fair enough. This movie apparently decides to focus entirely on the unification part of the story, by way of showing persons responses to tragedy. Which, I think is fair game.

I also think that persons initial responses to this film, especially without seeing it, show more about the person than the actual worth of the film as a piece of art. And I mean that more on a political scale than do as actual eternal worth of the person, I should clarify that at least.

Is it exploitative? Without seeing it yet, I can still say absolutely. Any film that uses a historical event as a selling point is exploitative in a sense. I mean, Schindlers List turned the Holocaust into a story of a triumph of the human spirit, and it was hailed like crazy, for whatever that is worth. Life is Beautiful turned it into a damn puppet show and was also universally acclaimed, at least at first. So, yeah, this film is definitely exploitative. Does that mean it shouldn't have been made? I don't think so. It's a few persos response to events 5 years down the line. It's not the artistic statement to end all artistic statements on 9/11. It's far from that. We are only 5 years out.

I really want to see it. It could be the biggest turd of a movie ever. I don't think I have enjoyed an Oliver Stone movie in the past 15 years outside Any Given Sunday. But, I don't think it is neccessarily too soon for this film. It's an instant response age already. In a day and age where we can watch a whole damn war on the internet, and some do, this, at least to me, seems far less concerning.


Filmbrain said...

I'll be curious to hear your reaction to it.

I couldn't hate the film any more if I tried. But then again, given my own experience on that day, it's virtually impossible for me to hide my subjectivity.

scot said...

Yeah, I meant to mention in there that since I have no real connection with NYC through memories or family some comments could come off as a bit insensitive, though that's not the intention. I can definitely understand why someone who had been close enough to the events would feel stronger about the film.

I likely won't see it this weekend as we have the Midwest Music Summit here. But, I hope to see it next week and will let you know.

Oh, and BTW, your screen capture quiz is killing me this week. I am racking my brain for that.