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January 28, 2006


So why does the film make the implicit -- and facile -- comparison? Spielberg told Time that he had to show the World Trade Center because it was still standing during the period portrayed in the movie, but the camera lingers on the towers in a closing shot that was obviously meant to have some larger meaning. Denying it now won't change that fact.

Actually, it's completely plausible that Spielberg was simply going for that final classic NYC shot. The Towers appeared in literally hundreds of movies. It was the quintensensial shot, especially for intros and outs.

As a filmmaker, I can tell you that period films such as Munich consider such shots in pre-production. The Squid and the Whale for example, was affected by the loss of the Towers, since the film took place in the 80's.

Spielberg though has the budget to put the Towers into his shots if he wishes. Whether the shot in Munich is an effect or stock, I do not know. But, you make a mistake in simply assuming that by putting the Towers into Munich that Spielberg was making a statement.

It was a period piece, and as such, if you want to shoot from Brooklyn (where they shot Munich) looking at that classic Manhattan skyline, if the movie takes place in the 70's, you will either have to avoid that shot, or include the Towers.

You can't avoid the "symbolism" inherent in simply seeing the Towers.

Every time they pop up in a movie, it has a strong political meaning. there is no escaping it. I was watching "Three Days of the Condor" the other night, and the Towers appear a number of times. The lobby and offices are used as well. And, it changes the entire meaning of the scenes in the film. It is hard to escape.

I guarantee that the farther away we get from 9/11, we will be seeing more and more new films made that are period films that put the Towers in for artistic and visual references.

It's inevitable.

I can also guarantee that not all of those appearances of the Towers will have a message behind them.

I was on a shoot just a few months ago in the Village on LaGuardia Place that was suppossed to be a dream sequence from the 80's. And, everyone was totally aware of the loss of the Twin Towers, not dominating that southern view. It affected not only the shot, but the ability to convey that the scene was in the 80's.

Not everyone has the money to do such a thing as placing the Towers into a film. But, would they put the Towers in a shot if they could?


I think you're reading to far into it Brendan. Keep up the good bloggin' though.

If you analyze the placement of the Twin Towers in the last frame, and also consider the timing of the "Ultimately, nine out of eleven..." when Anver lines up with the Twin Towers vertically, there's clear significance on the Twin Towers. Spielberg could have chosen another place (millions of places) for Avner and Ephraim to have this discussion, which would have said, "This scene takes place in NYC." Spielberg could have phrased in other ways, such as "As of 2006, all but two..." but the text is "nine out of eleven..." Either Spielberg carefully chose the location, camera language, and text, or he didn't. If he didn't choose/approve them intentionally, then...this great filmmaker is completely unaware of what his film is saying? That also seems unlikely.

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