My 9/11 movie.

I was unfamiliar with the phrase “my 9/11 movie” until my screenwriting teacher used it in reference to “Amelie,” and I learned the definition was “the movie that brought you out of your 9/11 funk.” We were all that way, weren’t we? Dazed and frightened and confused and angry and depressed, convinced we’d just stepped off the cliff and were plummeting toward a pile of rocks and shit at the bottom, just waiting for the landing. And then, at some point, we were rescued by art. Maybe your 9/11 movie was a painting or a symphony or a two-and-a-half-minute single, but for me it was a movie: “Citizen Ruth.” This ferocious satire of the culture wars slapped me across the face and gave me hope. If we can make movies like this, I thought, we’re better than they are, because they can’t.

Turns out A.O. Scott loves it too, and tells us why in this fine video appreciation.

Posted at 1:35 pm in Uncategorized |

24 responses to “My 9/11 movie.”

  1. caliban said on October 7, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    John McCain rictus:

    The likeness is remarkable n’est ce pas?

    107 chars

  2. indybot said on October 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Had to! Had to! Had to respond (read like a dog panting- not huffing)! “Citizen Ruth”, Laura Dern et al what a work on so many levels! Saw it at Cinema Center, one of the Fort’s gems. I do love that film.

    209 chars

  3. caliban said on October 7, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    And ya know, goshdarnit, if Palin’s a hockey mom, her favorite player is Claude Lemieux:

    I grew up with Gordie, a truly dirty cheater, but a piker compared with Lemieux and Ulf Samuelson. Cowards.

    243 chars

  4. Cathy D. said on October 7, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    And for sports fans, many people were rescued by baseball–remember the first game at Yankee Stadium?

    101 chars

  5. Julie Robinson said on October 7, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Letterman. Close to weeping, he personified the defiance of New Yorkers. Then he made us laugh again.

    103 chars

  6. derwood said on October 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Have to go with Julie on this one. Letterman did it for me.

    We also flew out of Indy to Pensacola 4 days after 9/11 to scatter my wifes father’s ashes. Sounds strange but it was actually good to fly and do something that wasn’t related to watching CNN. Lyle had lived in our garage for nine years so it was good to release him. We even found time to Parasail…or at least I did.


    391 chars

  7. Dexter said on October 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    CathyD: Yep. That was the first time since my jaded outlook, post-Vietnam tour, that I embraced Old Glory and felt patriotic to any degree. I’ll never forget the announcer saying “while just blocks away Lower Manhattan is still smoldering…” I even got into Dr.Ronan Tynan’s long tenor version of “G.B.America”…it was the art form that is baseball that was my “9-11 moment”. The Yankees lost the World Series that year to Arizona, and baseball moved on. Of all the 9-11 happenings, I still think about the restaurateur who set up a tent and fed rescue workers gourmet food, for free, for weeks.
    We saw the good side of New Yorkers, the most maligned Americans.

    669 chars

  8. LAMary said on October 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t think I had one. The kids and I had been in NYC the week before and on our last night there, took the Circle Line boat around the island. My good friend Jim took a photo of us with the towers behind us, and he emailed it to me a few weeks after the attack, and that started a whole new sense of horror.

    310 chars

  9. Hank Stuever said on October 7, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    “Waking Life” by Richard Linklater. Maybe just the gorgeous soundtrack. Saw it in another city, Oct ’01, my first trip on a plane after.

    136 chars

  10. whitebeard said on October 7, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    I didn’t get a chance to be “dazed and frightened and confused and angry and depressed” because I watched the first tower fall on TV where my wife and I were having breakfast and I rushed to get my car to drive to work at my newspaper and worked there straight out for almost 14 hours. Connecticut’s southwestern corner is a bedroom community to Manhattan and the home to many victims of the attacks on the towers.
    It’s not a case of news people being immune to the effects of a tragedy (I volunteered to talk to the wife of a friend after her little boy strangled to death when his scarf got caught in the outdoor clothesline) but we deal with it on a different level. Still, it took me years before I could go to the site in lower Manhattan.

    745 chars

  11. caliban said on October 7, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Having lived through the assassinations in short order, I was numb to the WTC. Somebody that died might have made a difference. Actually, everybody that died would have made a difference, Families, history, who knows.

    If Bobby had been president emeritus, the USA might be a shining city on a hill instead of a pariah state that operates a gulag cum torture. Boffy would robably would have talked about ‘death be not proud’. Needing leaders but get gamblers instead.

    It’s incomprehensible that Americans don’t see this as logical comeuppance, and the grandiosity of American exceptionalism was the cause of the tragedy. We export democracy, brutally, and ignore or hold hands with Saudi Arabia and Wahabbism. We don ‘t put Cheney in jail, we coddle a pretzledent that was warned in no uncertain, hell, hair on fire, terms this was going to happen, we support Shock and Awe.

    WTC is what the Project for the New American Century wanted to happen. Venal idiots in charge of the government. These aholes believe bunkers will save them, and they’ll go to Sitka in the sky. They’re better than we are, and if these jerks are better than I am at anything other than stealing Cuyahoba County in 2004, I’d say wipe it and start over. If we’re a democracy, we need to think about the Rosenbergs railroaded and J. Robert Oppenheimer:

    If there’s an artistic punctuation point, I guess it’s ‘O, Brother, Where Art Thou’.

    The 9/11 message: Dumbasses should have voted for the war hero and not the idiot that can’t tell a cow from a bull:

    1719 chars

  12. Jolene said on October 7, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Lowercase mark: I answered your question on the previous thread.

    And, yes, Letterman for me too. I thought the way he came back was exceedingly graceful.

    158 chars

  13. Bill said on October 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    We were in Athens on 9/11 and I’ll always remember the kindness of the Greek people toward Americans. We could not come home so we made do with faxes to and from our grown children to make sure they were OK. We watched from afar as stories of kindness, courage and sadness came to us via CNN.

    294 chars

  14. caliban said on October 7, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Actually, there’s a movie that could dispel bad feelings, that is roundly ridiculed, and stars Scout’s dad, who could be president in a perfect world. Amazing Grace and Chuck. Plots sort of silly. Utopian? Sports star and a statesman president. The believable part is a Little Leaguer that doesn’t think people and countries ought to be in the business of blowing anybody up.

    This movie stars Alex English. He went to a school that couldn’t spell basketball if you spotted them everything but the ultimate l, and he played nba for a bunch of bad teams. In the ’80s, he scored more points than J or Larry or Michael.

    Like J and Larry and Magic, he was a consummate team player, and never got the absurd benefit of dogass refs the way Jordan did.

    Anyway, if Sarah is anything but a masturbatory right-wing totem, and a transgender hero(ine), peace on earth might come to mind when she can’t speak English and the questions are too specific for her notes.

    It’s a strange brand of Chrisitianity that dwellls on endtimes and identifying the saved as Alaskan separatists. If intelligent theology involves hope, where does that leave the theological elitists?

    I just finished (and highly recommend, along with Kavalier Klay) The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, so I betcha, I know everything about Alaska. Delaware 870thou, Alaska 670. Snide dumbass Spiro wannabe, accomplished at local graft and bullying, not quite as clever.

    The election is a referendum on the stupidity and gullibility of American voters. Anybody that believes McCain suspended his campaign should be disenfranchised for being a moron. As far as Michigan is concerned, Fait accompli, and they forgot to tell Ulf Samuelson. Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin–blue, blue, blue.

    Milhous hated John Kerry. So do Republicans in general. Had Kerry been elected, would the economy reached dire streaits, would Osama roam, not bloody likely. And Americans were so fucking stupid they allowed Ken Blackwell to rob the election, and pretend W didn’t bail for a couple of lines.

    There’s a great Christmas tune by ELP. About believing and being disabused of belief. It holds true. The Christmas we get we deserve. Contract ON America. Know what we want and get it good and hard. McCain, incompetent asshole:

    More than anything, McCain was a target of Karl Rove. Black love child. Now the shitheel embraces the architects and the authors of that campaign to produce bullcrap against Obama. It’s like W;s Vietnam record. Lying sack-o-shit.

    Died-in-the-wool conservatives? Vote for Ron Paul. McCain is devoid of principles, personality, humor, judgement, template for a new Cheney, if that’s who you want running the country. Cheney started the Century by ensuring his Halliburton nestegg and insisting on no oversight. Palin> Same old.

    I don’t know. Is there somebody so beknighted they think drill baby drill has anything to do with energy indepemdence?

    The argument is much like the Weyerhaouser consideration. Renewable. Like scrub pine planted in rows replaces hardwood forests. But Palin thinks there were dinosaurs and giant ferns 5000 years ago, and God put them here, and will do it again, to provide gas for snow machines. She actually has said so. And W made the OClub safe for democracy.

    Past is cetainly prologue.

    3545 chars

  15. basset said on October 7, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    >>Dazed and frightened and confused and angry and depressed, convinced we’d just stepped off the cliff and were plummeting toward a pile of rocks and shit at the bottom, just waiting for the landing.

    you mean like we are right now?

    me, I don’t watch movies much and have never been to NYC… but my mother survived the London blitz of WWII as a young girl and she never got over 9/11.

    398 chars

  16. moe99 said on October 7, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Seen in San Fran on a tee shirt:

    “Because I want sex with Palin doesn’t mean that I want to be fuc*** by McCain”

    115 chars

  17. caliban said on October 7, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    “That one”??? Sounds like the little brown one. Look, the guy is beholden to the mob and wants to hang this on Ayres. Who did not bomb the Pentagon, aside what Freepers might say. Actually, Ayres was only ewver accused of anything to try to force him to implicate Bernardine Dohrn, who he was in love with. Evidence? Well, none whatsoever. Other than Cointelpro agents testimony. Biggest liars until the Bush administration.

    Anybody buying this is an idiot. Kinda like calling Obama Boy. Incontinent, closet racist (this close to saying boy vs. thoughtful and gracious. Is America comfortable with a closet racist?

    Who understands foreign policy? The surge is hilarious. Surge means increase and decrease.

    Palin says troop numbers are lower when it’s plus 17,000. And anubody that wants to talk about the surge wants to ignore the millions paid with no oversight to the Awakening. W’s stated margin of victory for the surge is Political stability. Yeah, ypu idiots, right. They don’t understand to this day the pure-D influence of Iran. They do not understand the popular support for Turkistan. They don’t seem to understand anything to do with politics in Iraq.

    Mainstream media? Supposedly it’s a wash on lying. Not in a million years. This shit started with Swiftboat pure bullshit being played off against W and his Guard Duty. W ditched to avoid a positive coke test. Kerry was pulling a wounded buddy out of the Mekong.

    McCain economic message: pay those 300 to 1 golden parachutes and make sure those poor damaged CEOs don’t have to suffer paying taxes. That is his plan and he can’t get around it.

    1623 chars

  18. Catherine said on October 7, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I’m not sure I’m over my 9/11 funk yet. From this time and place, it feels like the prologue to a seven-year nightmare, or a play written by Tony Kushner.

    155 chars

  19. caliban said on October 8, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Maybe McCain isn’t a total scumbag. He knows for a fact that negative crap is crap.He doesn’t seem willing to go with the Hussein garbage. Bill Ayres is a bagatelle.

    On the economy, McCain couldn’t actually say his only choice is Phil fucking Graham, who thinks Americans are whiners, It’s entirely likely that Gramm’s riches have elevated right alongside Cheney’s, and McCain trust is profiting. You betcha. Grotesque wink, wink.

    If people are so stupid they elect McCain, Puil Gramm is the Treasury Secretary, and we’re all screwed.Earmarls? Vast majority are reasonable expenditures. It is worth considering that Alaska ate that shit alive and built the road to the bridge to nowhere. What are these nitwits talking about? Thanks but no thanks? Has that woman ever told the truth about anything? No.

    811 chars

  20. Dorothy said on October 8, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I still have the videotape of Letterman’s first show post 9-1-1. he was the personification of grace in the face of such awfulness in NYC. His chin quivers, and I lose it. I just can’t help myself. (He did the same thing when he came back after his bypass surgery.)

    268 chars

  21. Emma said on October 8, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I should be ashamed, but… “Spy Kids II.” Saw it on an airplane, coming home from Las Vegas. I cried. (Cried! At “Spy Kids II!”)

    129 chars

  22. caliban said on October 27, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    AOScott sure isn’t somebody reliable. Roger Ebert likes the same movies I like. He has good taste, and that pompous movie critic shit, well, Blade Runner is the best movie anybody ever made. And Chainatown is certainly second.

    Scariest movie? When things go a little to long in Poltergeist.

    294 chars

  23. caliban said on October 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Look, you dumbasses. A man’s life is at sake. He didn’t kill anybody. The evidence is overwhelmimg. You believe Scalia or you belivee the facts. Look. Swift Boat was the most outrageous lie in servivr of a chickenshit draft dodger. McCain? Only what he said. Kerry, he was a hero. . In the senate, McCain sort of japped on Kerry. What a jerk.

    343 chars

  24. caliban said on October 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    McCain was a liNr. Kerry was a hero. Fact, jack. McCain claimed he dealt with Viet Namese. Bullshit. Kerry did, McCain lied.

    124 chars