First, my deepest sympathies to all of you directly affected by the

As the emotional smoke clears, which for many of us will take a while, then
we can begin to look at such topical movies as The Seige, True Lies, and
Starship Troopers, each of which depict elements of what has just occured
or has just begun.  I would think that The Seige would be particulary
painful to watch now, but perhaps instructive to watch in a while, not
because of its intended or effective level of reaslism necessarily, but at
least because of the correlation of events.

What might an audience do with such a film now that they wouldn't have done
before?  Shall movies be judged in terms of realism, the clarity of their
moral statements, the degree of the viewer's agreement with their apparent
morals, their political "complexity" (however defined), the degree to which
the movie appears to be using fictional terrorism as vehicle for
entertainment?  How long does Hollywood take to rebound to business as
usual in the depiction of public violence after such tragedy in the real

Has someone published on or at least begun to study the cinema of
terrorism?  Is a genre forming, or at least a stock set of characters and
scenes to be used in various other genres as needed, and if so to what
end?  (off the top of my head I'm recalling the bomber at the beginning of
To Live and Die in L.A., the Gene Simmons character in Wanted Dead or
Alive, the Tommy Lee Jones character in Blown Away, the Brad Pitt character
in The Devil's Own, the Bruce Willis character in The Jackal (remake), the
CIA bombers in The Long Kiss Goodnight, the hijacker of Passenger 57, the
older Tom Harris story Black Sunday, the Ed Harris character in The Rock,
the Travolta character in Broken Arrow, Mission Impossible 2, and of course
the Die Hard, Under Seige, and Speed movies.)

Donald Larsson wrote:

> This list has been understandably quiet about Tuesday's carnage, but I
> just wondered if people had some reactions relevant to our topic.  I
> think of such things as that common comment, "It looked like something
> out of a movie!" or "It looked like special effects!"  Even Philip
> Noyce, who directed several of the Tom Clancy movies with Harrison
> Ford and who was near the World Trade Center, remarked that the crash
> looked "unrealistic."
> There are other ramifications, dealing with film marketing.  For
> example, the trailer for the forthcoming SPIDER-MAN movie that featured
> a giant web slung between the two towers, has been pulled.
> And of course there are all the implications of how "terrorists" and
> terrorism, not to mention Muslims and Arabs in general, are and will be
> depicted.
> Thoughts?
> Don Larsson
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> Donald F. Larsson
> English Department, AH 230
> Minnesota State University
> Mankato, MN  56001
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama:

Neal King
Belmont University Sociology
Nashville TN 37212
615 460 6231

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