Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A brief moment in which Steven Spielberg showed courage....

So it's September 7th, and right around this time - when the weather cools off a bit and a clear sky takes on the deepest blues of autumn - that I start to get the ache in my heart, and my eyes look southward, to a place where a set of "Twin Towers" once dominated the landscape.  Towers taken down by barbarians who could never equal the accomplishment of their creation, nor live up to standards which they represented.

Some of us refuse to speak of the dead once passed, others cleave to the deceased, and a few give proper respects.  One of whom was Steven Spielberg, who refused the bizarre idea that took hold shortly after 9/11 that the existence of the Towers should be wiped out of recorded media where they were featured, so as to...what?  It was never quite clear, but once Islamic extremist wiped the Towers off the face of the earth, cultural elitists wanted to wipe them out of recorded history.

So we go to Spielberg's 2001 release, A.I: Artificial Intelligence, in which the world was flooded by "global warming", leaving coastal cities as mere navigation hazards, with only the tops of the tallest buildings still remaining:

Global warming has submerged New York City except for the tops of a few skyscrapers, including what the filmmakers presumed would be left of the World Trade Center.

It's an almost unbearably poignant image. Spielberg wisely refused to go along with suggestions that the WTC be removed from the film, which was released in the U.K. and a number of other countries after 9/11 (the towers were digitally erased from several features released in late 2001 and early 2002). The WTC was also retained for the original DVD -- and twin towers are still a defiantly ghostly presence in the superb-looking 10th anniversary Blu-ray released earlier this summer by Paramount.

Bravo to Speilberg. And boos for Sony Pictures for cutting out the Twin Towers scene in Spiderman (around the 1:00 mark):

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