Seldom do I watch TV these days, but last night I indulged in a little late-night Simspons. I caught the tail end of some news broadcasts and the first segment of Charlie Rose with guests Oliver Stone, Nicholas Cage, and Michael Pena. On the news broadcast, NYC police officers were invited to a pre-screening of the film and raved about how “realistic” the movie was. The news reporter said, “…and some of the cast were actually in Manhattan on September 11th.” They cut to the solemn face of Maria Bello saying (sanctimoniously), “I never saw so many people come together and help one another.”
On Charlie Rose I watched Nicholas Cage talk about the “heroes,” and refer to his conversation with the rescuers: “I was in the presence of real angels.”
Oliver Stone said he had to draw the line on what might be considered going too far and felt he tread that line carefully. People, he thought, would be “happy” with his version of events, and he hoped the film would be “healing” for them.
To end the news broadcast, the announcer said, “Ten percent of the revenue of the first five days of the film’s release will go to a September 11th fund and to the downtown memorial, so see it now!”
No, I won’t listen to Maria Bello tell me how it was that day because I was there, on Church Street, just four blocks away when the first tower fell.
No, I won’t let Nicholas Cage tell me in pumped up false piety how I should feel about the rescuers. That day he was sitting in his expensive condo in California sipping chardonnay and reading his next bad script.
No, I won’t let Oliver Stone tell me how he tempered his version of events so as not to offend or that I need to spend $12 and watch a fictionalized version of events in order to “heal.”
No, I won’t let some marketer convince me I have to see the film in the first five days, otherwise my money’s wasted.
Never mind that it’s only been five years, that the war(s) begun on that day are still being fought. According to Oliver Stone, it’s never too soon to heal and make a buck.