Now This Log

Sunday, 16 September 2001 : "Movies and reactions"

How the entertainment industry is scrambling in the aftermath:

Hollywood, Finding a New Reality by Sharon Waxman [Washington Post]
As real-life tragedy continues to unfold in New York and Washington, Hollywood is struggling with how -- or whether -- to release certain movies that once aimed to titillate audiences but now strike too close to home in a shellshocked nation.

At least two major movies have been put off: the action thriller "Collateral Damage," ... and "Big Trouble," a dark comedy ... Other films are undergoing last-minute revisions to suit a dramatically different social climate.
Great title on this one:

No Escape From New York by David Edelstein [Slate]
I think about movies now only because that is my job, and because New York's mayor, displaying unprecedented stature, has counseled us all to go back to work...

Network television screenings of The X-Files movie (in which an office tower explodes) and Independence Day (in which the White House explodes) have been canceled. It wouldn't feel right to be entertained by annihilation. But should it ever have felt right? Pauline Kael, who passed away a week before this happened, in that other era, wrote about the obscenity of the 1974 schlock epic The Towering Inferno, in which "each scene of a person horribly in flames is presented as a feat for our delectation..." It will be a while, after footage of people fleeing clouds of lethal debris, before we surrender to disaster-porn like that again -- although it should be said that, 10 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a Japanese studio transformed the national trauma into a moneymaking machine named Gojira.

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Steve Bogart

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