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More on A.I. and the World Trade Center


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100 replies to this topic

#1 of 101 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:08 AM

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 of 101 Hakan Powers

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:11 AM

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 of 101 Peter Apruzzese

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:21 AM

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.
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#4 of 101 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:29 AM

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 of 101 John Berggren

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:32 AM

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 of 101 Rusty Ray

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Posted October 29 2001 - 09:54 AM

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

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#7 of 101 Coressel

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Posted October 29 2001 - 10:32 AM

"...but on balance I agree with the decision."

But what exactly is the decision? It isn't exactly clear from these comments.

#8 of 101 MichaelPe

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Posted October 29 2001 - 01:57 PM

Quote:
But what exactly is the decision? It isn't exactly clear from these comments.

Seems pretty clear to me:
Quote:
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE DIGITAL ERASURE OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER FROM THE FILM?
I agree with the decision

I'm sure that this is the reason for the DVD's delay.

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#9 of 101 David Lambert

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Posted October 29 2001 - 02:04 PM

So what ever happenned to this post on this thread:

http://www.hometheat....ML/031708.html


Quote:
Spielberg spokesperson Marvin Levy and DreamWorks DVD publicist Missy Davy both said there are no plans to erase the towers. Levy said that the issue came up just after the September 11 attacks on the buildings, and that a decision to keep them was made quickly after this. Besides, says Levy, "They're seen 2,000 years into the future. Who knows what will be built in the future?" (A.I. was released theatrically by Warner Bros., but DreamWorks has the domestic DVD rights.)

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#10 of 101 Jeffrey Gray

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Posted October 29 2001 - 02:37 PM

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 of 101 SteveGon

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Posted October 29 2001 - 04:00 PM

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 of 101 Matthew Chmiel

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Posted October 29 2001 - 04:12 PM

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 of 101 Michael Reuben

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Posted October 29 2001 - 04:33 PM

Quote:
Should the WTC be removed from every movie that they were seen in? No!
It's a silly question and a meaningless answer, because the suggestion has never been made to remove the towers from "every movie" they were ever seen in. It's only a handful of recent films, and in each reported instance it's the filmmakers themselves considering the issue.

Respecting "artistic integrity" means letting the artists make the decision about what to do. Ben Stiller decided to erase the towers out of a few shots in Zoolander; Cameron Crowe has reportedly decided to leave them prominently in Vanilla Sky. Both decisions deserve respect.

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#14 of 101 Henry Carmona

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Posted October 29 2001 - 07:46 PM

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 of 101 Jeff Adkins

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Posted October 30 2001 - 12:07 AM

Quote:
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.

I agree with you about AICN but this was an interview with Jan Harlan not one of their "rumors" that they normally post. AICN actually made no mention of the comment. I was reading the interview and just happened to catch the phrase "I agree with the decision" and was a bit stunned.

Quote:
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.

Well, Jan Harlan was the Executive Producer of A.I., do you really think he's more out of the loop than a PR person at Dreamworks?

Jeff



#16 of 101 Todd H

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Posted October 30 2001 - 12:30 AM

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 of 101 Coressel

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Posted October 30 2001 - 12:44 AM

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 of 101 Mike_G

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Posted October 30 2001 - 01:02 AM

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.

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#19 of 101 Rich Malloy

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Posted October 30 2001 - 01:17 AM

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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#20 of 101 Matt Perkins

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Posted October 30 2001 - 01:46 AM

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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