American Eye

In a new regular feature, our American correspondent Mark Jeffries casts an observational eye over a celluloid issue setting tongues wagging in the Land Of The Free. This month, 9/11 - The Movie?

Article by Mark Jeffries | 16 Apr 2006
Given the enormous creative drought Hollywood has been stuck in over the past several years, studio executives are desperate to come up with anything that resembles an original concept. Tinseltown has been anxiously biding its time for the initial trauma and shock of the 9/11 attacks to subside so they can tap into this unused source for a new round of feature films focusing on the tragedy. The first release to capitalize on this is Paul Greengrass' 'Flight 93', released here this month. It reconstructs the flight of the only one of the four planes in the 9/11 attacks that didn't reach it's destination, crashing instead in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. But are Americans ready to revisit the events on that day with a bucket of popcorn in their lap? General consensus in the States seems to be a resounding "not yet". Not by a long shot. Maybe as a documentary, but not as a feature film in the local Megaplex. Greengrass has relied heavily on flight data recordings, air traffic control reports and other pieces of information gathered from the various investigations to construct an "accurate as possible" snapshot of what happened that day in the most sensitive manner possible. The movie-going public will be the judges. Following hot on the heels of 'Flight 93' will be Oliver Stone's 'World Trade Center' starring Nicolas Cage. It's hard to see how the director of 'Natural Born Killers' and 'The Doors' and the guy who was in 'Con Air' and 'Gone in 60 Seconds' (the remake, not the original) can pull this one off without completely trouncing it. These movies seem more opportunist than anything else, but once again, if people go and see them (which they will), the studios will keep making 'em.
Flight 93 and World Trade Center are released in the UK in September.,