How Tragedy Changed Cinema | Filmanias | Movies


American society as well as American cinema were hit hard on September 11, 2001. Prior to that infamous day, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were an iconic landmark of the New York skyline, used as a backdrop for ‘establishment by dozens of time is exceeded.

The sight of these gleaming skyscrapers was once a staple of nearly every movie or TV show set in the Big Apple. They have been featured in several major Hollywood productions including ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Home Alone 2’, ‘Trading Places’ and the third film ‘Die Hard’ starring Bruce Willis.

There have also been a variety of tower documentaries, such as 2008’s “Man On a Wire” which features Phillipe Petit illegally stepping over a wire and dancing between buildings for over an hour.

A pair of hijacked 747s later and that memorable skyline image suddenly changed.

The attitudes of the American people have refocused on how to properly honor the dead, both the citizens trapped in the towers as well as the first responders who gave their last full measure to save as many of those souls as possible.

Over the next few years, entertainment media began looking for ways to incorporate and accommodate this element of living history. CBS’ ‘CSI: New York’ police procedural turned into a skid; the character of Detective Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) lost his wife in the attacks.

Released in 2006, “World Trade Center” and “United 93” described the events of the first responder teams and what happened to the flight that crashed into the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, respectively.

But if you go back to 2002, a stylized superhero movie helmed by then-indie horror director Sam Raimi took a different approach when “Spider-Man” (2002) began promotions in early 2001, teasing its exit.

A promotional trailer showed Spidey catching a rogue helicopter full of bank robbers in a huge web stretching between the Twin Towers. The scene was removed from the final cut for fear that it would be tasteless for the families of the victims.

But Marvel and “Spider-Man” provided a fitting way to mourn those tragic events of 21 years ago.

“Amazing Spider-Man”, Vol. 2, issue 36 was the first comic published in the aftermath of the disaster. Dubbed the “Black Issue” due to its plain black cover, it features a mostly dialogue-free story as readers see the event through the eyes of the titular hero.

In a word, it makes you think.

Spider-Man helps clean up debris and gets people to safety at Ground Zero. He mourns the loss of “innocents and innocence” as the story goes. He ponders Captain America and the parallels to Cap’s World War II experiences.

But he also marvels at the resilience of New York as a community and of the American people while chastising and reprimanding the actions of the “madmen” who carried out the act, acknowledging that even villains like Magneto and Dr. Doom weren’t so insensitive. achieve this level of destruction.

Many movies and TV shows have paid homage to the towers over the past two decades. Some do it to refer to that bygone era before the attacks, others to describe what happened during the attacks.

Whatever the source, it is clear that 9/11 has always had a crucial impact at the heart of this media art form.


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