Sunday, November 27, 2005

Are You Ready...

... for Hollywood to develop, release, and publicize 9/11 themed movies?
Outside London this month, British writer-director Paul Greengrass began shooting a Flight 93 movie, produced by Universal Pictures and London-based Working Title Films. In Los Angeles, American filmmaker Peter Markle is finishing up his movie, produced by Fox Television Studios for the A&E cable network.

The films are part of a growing trend of new Sept. 11-themed movies. Oliver Stone is shooting an untitled 9/11 film; Mike Binder's "Reign O'er Me" deals with 9/11-related grief; and a movie adaptation of the book "102 Minutes" and a TV miniseries on the 9/11 Commission's findings are planned.

Industry experts say it's not surprising filmmakers would want to tell the story of that day.

"It's probably the most dramatic story of my lifetime. It is a seminal event for people who are younger than the World War II generation," said Delia Fine, A&E's vice president of film, drama and music.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of the Los Angeles-based box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations Co., said everyone was touched by the attacks so it's a story that everyone can relate to. That will make the films profitable, he said.
One has to wonder which audience will these movies be made for? The domestic box office, which will want the spotlight shined on the Islamic terrorists who actually hijacked the four planes and killed more than 3,000 people, or an international audience that will focus on the 'root causes' babble that we brought those terrorist attacks on ourselves.

Considering that Oliver Stone is going forward with his own take on 9/11 in an untitled movie, I think it's the international box office that Hollywood is after, not the horrible truth of that day.

Ace has a report that Bruce Willis is looking at doing an Iraq war related movie. The movie would be based on the experiences of journalist/blogger Michael Yon. That sounds like a winner to me. Yon is one of the best and brightest journalists out there, and isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Oh, and that would be saying that things are going far better than the big media outlets are willing to say.

At a time when many in Hollywood are anti-war and anti-Administration [updated to include anti-American], this is a breath of fresh air.

And in the next breath, you find out that 'the creative juices really are flowing' if you're talking about the end of the US and a post-apocalyptic world.
The nets have filled their development slates with a bevy of brave ideas and bold format experiments, VARIETY reports on Monday, including shows about THE END OF AMERICA!

ABC alone has at least two would-be shows set in post-apocalyptic America ("Resistance" and "Red & Blue") while Gavin Polone and Bruce Wagner are teaming for the comfy-sounding plague drama "Four Horsemen" at CBS (which also is developing "Jericho," about life in a small town after America is destroyed).
It's nice to see such positive visions of America and the future from Hollywood.

Others noting Bruce Willis' committment to make a movie about the Deuce Four and Michael Yon and the problems with Hollywood producing positive visions of the US: Michelle Malkin, Generation Why, AJ Strata, The American Princess, Ed Driscoll, Euphoric Reality, alphabet city, reclusive antiquarian, the Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill, and Captain's Quarters

Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette notes that David Brooks blames the public for the lack of positive stories from the front lines or heroes to attach names to in this conflict.
He partly has a point - and that's more evidence of failure on the part of those who are supposed to be informing the public - (newspapers, once upon a time, had that role) but if that was spelled out in the original piece then an alert editor excised it, leaving only the "stupid Americans" part behind. (Though that bit about "those who dominate the culture" may be an oblique and and self-aggrandizing reference.) We're left with a rather astounding example of those who have failed utterly in their responsibility to the public blaming that public for their failure. As noted, Brooks is not an "anti-war liberal" in the tradition of the majority of current Times staff, but hearing those with the power to "make heroes" complain about their failure to do so disturbs me even more coming from someone with "pro-war" credibility.

Readers might be a bit confused if they recall the similar New York Times story from August bemoaning the fact that there are no hero stories from the Iraq war. But the difference between it and this latest version is that in the earlier example the Times blamed the Pentagon for their lack of heroes.

UPDATE 11/28/2005:
Vodkapundit weighs in with how movies that formerly had an anti-Communist theme, are now being remade with Americans as the bad guys.
Now to Jeff's first point. The only movie I can think of even close to what Jeff describes is The Machurian Candidate. Of course, it came out in 1962 - 15 years into the Cold War, and not the "first few years" I mentioned above. Of course, there was also Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which came out in 1956. Although as a low-budget sci-fi parable, I'm not sure how many people got the anti-communist message. It's instructive to keep in mind that the 1993 remake of Body Snatchers took place on a US Army base, and that in John Demme's 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate, the bad guys were Americans.

There's yet another remake of Snatchers due out next year, starring Nicole Kidman. Lord only knows what Hollywood will do to it this time.

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