More on A.I. and the World Trade Center

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Adkins, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I just read this interview with Jan Harlan at www.aintitcoolnews.com and the way it reads to me, it looks like the World Trade Center will be digitally removed from A.I.. Maybe I'm reading his response incorrectly, but that's how it looks to me.
    "QUINT: IN REGARDS TO THE UPCOMING DVD RELEASE OF A.I.: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE DIGITAL ERASURE OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER FROM THE FILM? WOULD KUBRICK HAVE DISAGREED WITH THE REVISIONISM?
    JH: I can't speak for Kubrick here. I can see arguments for and against this, but on balance I agree with the decision: It may be an improper distraction seeing the much admired towers of the Trade Centre, which were one of the symbols for the USA and the Free World at the end of this fairy tale. After all, with all its brilliance and intelligence, this film sets out to stimulate and entertain. "
    Am I reading this correctly?? If so, I am sorely disappointed with this constant revising of great films.
    Jeff
     
  2. Hakan Powers

    Hakan Powers Stunt Coordinator

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    Based on that quote I wouldn't say it's sure they will be erased. If they are, it would be a very bad decision.
    It is a Steven S movie though.. we know he doesn't want to offend anyone.
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  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Sounds to me like they've asked him a hypothetical question about the removal. Especially since it's only ever been an internet rumor that the towers are being digitally removed from A.I. My bet is that the film remains intact.
     
  4. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    It was this line in particular that made me think a decision had been reached: "...but on balance I agree with the decision."
    Jeff
     
  5. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    A poor decision to be sure. Both for the film and for this trend's continuance. The towers should remain in works of fiction. Shall we remove them from any work of future scifi, literary or filmed?
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  6. Rusty Ray

    Rusty Ray Second Unit

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    well if he removes guns with celphones, (ET) it wouldnt suprise me if this was true...
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  7. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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    "...but on balance I agree with the decision."
    But what exactly is the decision? It isn't exactly clear from these comments.
     
  8. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  10. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Oh, come on people...you're getting all worked up just because TWO BUILDINGS, that AREN'T EVEN STANDING ANYMORE, are erased out of the frame in a ten-second shot. Besides, this movie takes place AFTER 9/11; if a new WTC was built, it probably wouldn't be tall enough to stick out above the water anyway. As for me, I don't care if the WTC twin towers are removed from that shot. Just be thankful they aren't doing anything worse.
    [Edited last by Jeffrey Gray on October 29, 2001 at 09:43 PM]
     
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    It is a big deal, artistically speaking. Should the WTC be removed from every movie that they were seen in? No! If that happens, consider it another small victory for the terrorists. They've taken enough from us - don't let them take our artistic integrity as well...
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  12. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    This is Aint It Cool News that posted this, everything is to be taken with a grain of salt (hell, screw grain of salt... how bout a whole ten pound bag) there.
    Also, David Lambert posted the quote that said the WTC will not be removed, and this is coming from people who actually work at DreamWorks.
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  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  14. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    I think its a bad decision. I havnt seen the movie, so i dont know if the towers are seen as a part of the city or as a close up, but i think it would be just as great a "distraction" having them missing from the NYC skyline as having them there in the first place.
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  15. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  16. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    With one horrible act, the terrorists not only managed to destroy the actual towers in NY, but the representations of the towers in many of our beloved films as well. Looks like they accomplished what they set out to do. How truly sad. Where will the revisionism end?
     
  17. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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    It could well be that Harlan is in fact "out of the loop" where this is concerned. He refers to "the decision" but the only such official word has been:
    "...Spielberg spokesperson Marvin Levy and DreamWorks DVD publicist Missy Davy both said there are no plans to erase the towers...."
    I don't think we have anything to worry about.
     
  18. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    How about this scenario - erase the towers from the recent films in their theatrical release, but restore them in their video release. This makes sense because when you see the towers in a recent film, it's jarring. Especially in a movie like Serendipity. However, by the time the movie makes it to video, the towers can be restored, hopefully by that time (Feb., March), the sight of the towers won't sting as much.
    Mike
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  19. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Well, I think it's a good idea to remove them. It's a film that's supposed to take place in our future - and, unfortunately, our future does not include the World Trade Towers.
    First, it's a matter of verisimilitude. If I see those towers in A.I., my suspension of disbelief will be, itself, suspended, taking me out of the story of the film and into an awareness of its artificiality. Upon seeing those now non-existent towers, my thoughts will undoubtedly be focused upon the events of 9/11, and the mass murder of our fellow citizens, friends and family.
    Closely related to the issue of verisimilitude is the issue of historical truth. If the events of a film set in New York were intended to take place in 1975, or 1985, or 1995, I would expect that the shots of the skyline be avoided unless one can digitally or from stock footage place the towers in the skyline. They are supposed to be there. Their absense in a film from this period would be an historical falsity, just as their presence in a film set in the future would also be.
    The most common argument I've heard for their inclusion is along the lines of "How sad. Where will the revisionism end?". Let's be clear: revisionism of a film is one thing; revisionism of history is another. If Speilberg does not revise the film, then he will be revising history. To pretend that the towers still exist is to close our eyes to the sad reality of their destruction. I would not call such pretence an insult to the memory of those lost in the attack, but I'd be hard-pressed to refer to such pretence as honoring their memory. It's simply a pretence.
    If we have any duty to history - or, more on-point, if filmmakers have any duty to history - it's to be faithful to it. Films set in a world post-9/11 are set in a world in which the towers have been destroyed. That is not revisionism. That is the truth.
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    [Edited last by Al Brown on October 30, 2001 at 08:20 AM]
     
  20. Matt Perkins

    Matt Perkins Stunt Coordinator

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    Usually I agree with Al Brown. Usually.
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    Whatya think of changing the "Pan Am" logo in 2001? To me, history isn't offended by leaving that logo alone, but I am offended by its erasure. Same with WTC in A.I.. Leave it be.
     

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