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  • "United 93": Too Soon?

    NEW YORK - The first few hours of the Sept. 11 attacks have been imagined and replayed countless ways in the minds of many, but for the first time, a movie of that nightmare premiered on the big screen.

    "United 93," the first feature film to dramatize the Sept. 11, 2001, story, opened the Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday in front of a somber audience that included Hollywood stars, city officials and victims' relatives.

    "The vision is something we see in our heads every day," said Jan Snyder, whose daughter Christine was on the flight. "It's time for this. The public needs to know, they need to remember and know what the families have gone through."

    The 90-minute movie takes place in real time and portrays the gripping story of the flight that left Newark, N.J., and crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers rallied against their hijackers and tried to recapture control of the jet.

    At Tuesday's premiere, the screen went dark after the stomach-turning sequence showing the plane's nosedive. The theater was silent except for the gut-wrenching sobs and wails from the loge, where the relatives were seated together.

    Moviegoers absorbed and shared their pain. Throughout the screening, they wept, drew sharp breaths, gasped and covered their faces with their hands. They shifted in their seats, sometimes to look back at the family section.

    "You saw moviemaking and real life come together," said Jeffrey Sachs, a consultant from Manhattan who attended the premiere. "It fills in the mystery of what happened."

    Flight 93 was the fourth plane hijacked that morning, crashing near Shanksville, Pa., minutes after the first trade center tower collapsed in lower Manhattan.

    In the film, the Flight 93 story is juxtaposed with that of the air traffic controllers, who watched with disbelief as four planes were seized and crashed by 19 terrorists. American Airlines Flight 11 slammed first into the north tower, United Airlines 175 hit the south tower and United 77 went down at the Pentagon.

    Officials believe Flight 93, carrying 40 passengers and crew plus the four hijackers, was headed for the White House or the Capitol. The film uses that idea to suggest that the passenger uprising might have saved lives a subtle bright spot amid the heartstopping devastation.

    Relatives of people who were on Flight 93 collaborated with writer-director Paul Greengrass to lend authenticity to the characters and story of the movie, which opens nationwide Friday.

    Greengrass did take some creative license using what relatives told him about the victims' personalities to envision what they might have done or which role they played in the revolt.

    "Only 40 people truly know what happened that day and I thought he went to painstaking grounds to make it feel that all 40 of them were a part of it," said Ken Nacke, whose brother Louis J. Nacke was killed.

    Nacke said he found himself "rooting for them, for a different outcome."

    For some, seeing reminders of 9/11 on the big screen was too disturbing. A few theaters in the New York area pulled the film's trailer this spring after moviegoers complained about the upsetting images.

    Cindy Somma, who came from Long Island to see the premiere, described it afterward as "very upsetting, truthful, realistic and painful."

    Greengrass and film festival founders acknowledge that the film stirs powerful emotions but say the Tribeca gathering was appropriate for its premiere. The festival, which runs through May 7, was created to help lower Manhattan recover economically from the 2001 attacks.

    "Remembering is painful, it's difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom," Greengrass told the audience before the film started.

    Robert De Niro, who lives and works in the neighborhood and co-founded the festival with his producing partner, Jane Rosenthal, said the film "is a story that honors bravery."
    -SOURCE-

    -------

    There is another 9/11 movie coming out this year: "World Trade Center" (Directed by Oliver Stone, Starring Mario Bello & Nicholas Cage).

    But the question remains: Is it too soon?

  • #2
    I don't know? Is it?
    I think it's always a very strong conflict as to when it is the point where you should start confrontation and the point when it leads to repression.
    But I can completely understand that this trauma is something that needs to be treated extremely careful and with a lot of sensitiveness.

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    • #3
      It's been 5 years but I personally think that for the americans it's too soon. They should wait 15 years.

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      • #4
        hmmm 5 years, not everyone has come to terms with what happened and a lot of people are still in the early process of greiving. But maybe this film can help some people come to terms with things.........

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        • #5
          Personally, I think it's too soon. I think people are still recovering the tragedy of what happened. I know some people that had their loved ones in this tragic accident and I think it's too soon. Even though it's been 5 years, too soon. Maybe 10 years after would be okay, but 5 years? That's pretty early. And I still can't believe that people in Hollywood is making movies out of this misery people have. I think they should've waited. They should've thought about the other people instead of themselves in a way.

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          • #6
            I don't think it's too soon at all. In the entertainement industry, there aren't times things "should" come out. If the time is right then it's right. It's based on what sells and the movie is hardly about what exactly happened and how people suffered but an on the edge of your seat thriller similar to Red Eye. There have beens LOADS of movies made about plan hijackings in the past and this one will be no different.

            Yes, it was a tragedy but seriously, a LOT of bad things happen in the world. There's wars and thousands dying daily yet we tend to only focus on certain events. Maybe it's because it happened at the epicentre on America but its been 5 years. Unless someone was directly affected ( aka Family member), I don't see how they're so touched by it. At least I'm not, there are lots of occurences like these that have have happened, I don't see why an emphasis is put on this particular event.

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            • #7
              I don't think it's too soon at all. In the entertainement industry, there aren't times things "should" come out. If the time is right then it's right. It's based on what sells and the movie is hardly about what exactly happened and how people suffered but an on the edge of your seat thriller similar to Red Eye.
              While I'm not naive enough to say the movie was made without an ounce of "a lucrative thought," I highly doubt it was the central intent. And I wouldn't exactly call this docudrama "entertainment," but the very fact that you equate it as such is baffling.

              There have beens LOADS of movies made about plan hijackings in the past and this one will be no different.
              Really? There are LOADS of movies where a group of terrorists hijack a plane with the intention of flying it into a building only to have their plans foiled by the rebellion of all the passengers and airline employees, even if it meant losing their lives as well? Please name 5.

              Yes, it was a tragedy but seriously, a LOT of bad things happen in the world. There's wars and thousands dying daily yet we tend to only focus on certain events.
              Yes, there are bad things happening in the world today. And this movie is about a group of people that prevented one.

              It's called keeping within the focal point; just because it isn't addressing the whole "list of bad things going on today" doesn't mean the filmmakers are placing the subject on a higher pedestal than other modern day issues.

              It would be like saying a person who donates to AIDS research is vehemently snubbing cancer research.

              Maybe it's because it happened at the epicentre on America but its been 5 years.
              Uh huh... I'm sure you also tell Holocaust victims/those affected by it "Gee guys, more than half a century has gone by: get over it."

              Unless someone was directly affected (aka Family member), I don't see how they're so touched by it. At least I'm not, there are lots of occurences like these that have have happened, I don't see why an emphasis is put on this particular event.
              Taking a look at your profile and subtracting the subsequent years, you would've been 10, maybe 9 years old at the time. So maybe you were a little too young to understand the extremity of the situation:

              19 hijackers used airplanes as missiles, which resulted in the death of innocent people, damage to the Pentagon, and the destruction of the two 110-story WTC buildings, along with its surrounding buildings.

              It's deplorable how you can't see the connection between "tragedy" and "empathy from others."

              Comment


              • #8
                You made great points there Andrew.

                I just watched the news about the movie and they got a talk from the director and he said that it was right to film this movie to have people learn from what happened. What is there to learn about, really? I mean, seriously? But, I hear they'll give some money for donation for the plane crash in Pennsylvania. I think that was. But, only money from this weekend box office.

                And the other movie, World Trade Center. Now, that's stupid. I just read a brief description of what the movie will be about. I'll just take it out from the newspaper:

                "Port Authority police officers John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and William Jimeno (Michael Pe-a) become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001 attack." - Eagle Tribune

                I think they should've waited. I mean, we all know that they'll make a movie out of it sometime, but how did you think they were planning to show it, now? Seriously . . . It's even sad to actually see the previews or even hear about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I dont really the point of it, its something that should never be made..In many ways its seems disrespectful to those who lost their lives/someone in the whole thing...

                  "Remembering is painful, it's difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom," Greengrass told the audience before the film started.
                  Give wisdom and inspiration with what exactly? how people should kill others? If it'll do anything [apart from making people remember and go through a pain they might have started to forget or deal with] it'll cause racial trouble, and more violence

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                  • #10
                    I guess it serves more as a reminder.

                    I haven't seen the movie yet, but I know some people who have, and the consensus is that it's good but extremely depressing in a reminiscent way since it doesn't exactly end on a happy note (but I guess we can all assume that since we all know the outcome of the flight).

                    Quoting a critic who sums it up well: "It's the best-made film I never want to see again."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Its not something easily forgotten though..plus if it was a like documentary sort of movie it would have been better, a movie about a made up plot [since it doesn't say that it actually happened with the police officers] makes it so normal and just...another movie.
                      Plus it gives that..approval, or right, for someone in the future to make yet another movie about it but make it less meaningful as this seems to be [according to that critic at least]

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                      • #12
                        Director Greengrass has been making bad statements about why he filmed this movie. One was to give people a lesson of what happened and second, it could be inspired and give people wisdom. All of his statements isn't so great at all, really. He's not doing a good job on defending himself, really.

                        I agree with you Kay on about the movie not actually based on true events. The point that is true is the plane got hijacked and crashed into WTC and was a big tragedy. I mean, adding all these storylines just doesn't make the movie any good. If everything was true, meaning a documentary, as what Kay said, it would've been better, at least.

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                        • #13
                          When the critic says "It's the best-made film I never want to see again," he means it's a good movie, but is so powerfully reminiscent of the day that it would be too depressing to "watch again."

                          And the movie is based on true events while certain details were umm... "included."

                          For example, one of the opening shots of the movie shows the terrorists praying or something in their hotel room. One can argue over whether or not that really happened. But then it eventually transitions into a shot of them bypassing security. That was based off the surveillance tapes.

                          Also, the events that occurred on the airplane prior to the crash was based off phonecalls from the passengers. Obviously, some details leading up to the ambush were "included."

                          However, the whole "let's roll" thing followed by them storming the cockpit was based off again, from the phonecalls.

                          And United 93 didn't crash into the WTC towers (neither the real one nor the one in the movie). The plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania (again, both the real one and the one in the movie).

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                          • #14
                            Oh, sorry, I didn't read that Pennsylvania part in that article. Sorry.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by darad1o
                              While I'm not naive enough to say the movie was made without an ounce of "a lucrative thought," I highly doubt it was the central intent. And I wouldn't exactly call this docudrama "entertainment," but the very fact that you equate it as such is baffling.



                              Really? There are LOADS of movies where a group of terrorists hijack a plane with the intention of flying it into a building only to have their plans foiled by the rebellion of all the passengers and airline employees, even if it meant losing their lives as well? Please name 5.



                              Yes, there are bad things happening in the world today. And this movie is about a group of people that prevented one.

                              It's called keeping within the focal point; just because it isn't addressing the whole "list of bad things going on today" doesn't mean the filmmakers are placing the subject on a higher pedestal than other modern day issues.

                              It would be like saying a person who donates to AIDS research is vehemently snubbing cancer research.



                              Uh huh... I'm sure you also tell Holocaust victims/those affected by it "Gee guys, more than half a century has gone by: get over it."



                              Taking a look at your profile and subtracting the subsequent years, you would've been 10, maybe 9 years old at the time. So maybe you were a little too young to understand the extremity of the situation:

                              19 hijackers used airplanes as missiles, which resulted in the death of innocent people, damage to the Pentagon, and the destruction of the two 110-story WTC buildings, along with its surrounding buildings.

                              It's deplorable how you can't see the connection between "tragedy" and "empathy from others."
                              Actually, I was 11 but I don't see how my age has anything to do with this. Or how your stating that I don't seem to understand the extremity of the situation is false. Ofcourse it was a tragedy that shouldn't have happened and a lot of innocent people died. But since when has a million dollar big production movie had the intention of educating or helping people. I honestly believe that money wants to be made and since this was such a big event that people are really fascinated by, they will listen and money will be made.

                              But look at it how you like, that's simply my opinion. It doesn't really affect me and the horrendous way Bush delt with it so nauseating, I don't even want to think about it anymore.

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