Friday, August 11, 2006

nostalgic about nostalgia

It seems a weird timing thing to be writing posting a blog on the WTC movie (or rather a review of it) on a day when airplanes, explosives and that terror-thing are bobbing up again. But the day will be over soon.
So here is an excerpt from the NYT:
In the Sept. 11 of “World Trade Center,” feeling transcends politics, and the film’s astonishingly faithful re-creation of the emotional reality of the day produces a curious kind of nostalgia. It’s not that anyone would wish to live through such agony again, but rather that the extraordinary upsurge of fellow feeling that the attacks produced seems precious. And also very distant from the present. Mr. Stone has taken a public tragedy and turned it into something at once genuinely stirring and terribly sad. His film offers both a harrowing return to a singular, disastrous episode in the recent past and a refuge from the ugly, depressing realities of its aftermath.
And elsewhere in the same review, the reviewer, A. O. Scott says:
There are many words a critic might use to describe Mr. Stone’s films — maddening, brilliant, irresponsible, provocative, long — but subtle is unlikely to be on the list. Which makes him the right man for the job, since there was nothing subtle about the emotions of 9/11. Later there would be complications, nuances, gray areas, as the event and its aftermath were inevitably pulled into the murky, angry swirl of American politics. But that is territory Mr. Stone, somewhat uncharacteristically, avoids.
In the presence of this overwhelming emotional battering ram, I cannot help, in that nostalgic way, recall my sister's account of her encounter with an elderly lady on the day of the London bombings. Disturbingly, for me, she had been on a train from London to Coventry and justifiably so her compartment, like all others I would suspect, was filled with exhaustion, maybe confusion, panic, fear even. I don't know, since I wasn't there. However, as she got up to get off at her stop, the lady smiled at her, and simply said, "It has been a rough day for all of us, hasn't it, love?". Each n0dded at the other, and I believe that was it. Nothing but, Mr. Scott?

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