Friday, January 06, 2006

I'm sorry. It's too soon.

I am actually quite amazed at my reaction to the trailer of the upcoming film about Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. I read this introduction on Sullivan's site and thought, "Sure..., yeah, whatever":
When you see this trailer, you'll either start choking up, or think that Hollywood's exploitation of tragedy has finally gone too far. I choked up.
So I foolishly watched the trailer. There's not much to it actually; it's mostly just voiceovers. Yet suddenly, I want to crawl into a corner and cry...just cry. I'm sorry, but it's much too soon.

15 Comments:

Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Good call. Can't wait to avoid the Twin Towers flick also. You know all of it's going to be wretchedly realistic, too, no shadow play, no cutting away at the last moment, never mind that real people went through the horror of it all.

I'll be staying away in droves, all by myself.

1/07/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Anonymous jc said...

I know what you mean. I won't watch the trailer, and certainly not the film. Since September 11 I am hyper-sensitive to this stuff--I go right back into that dark place we all entered on that day and slowly crawled out of. Maybe for some of us it will always be too soon.

1/07/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Mountain Man said...

I couldn't agree more with all of these sentiments. I watched the trailer, tears welled up, and then I felt angry. I will not see the movies either. It's all too real, too horrible, and it takes the smallest things to take me and many other people back there - that hypersensitivity - a movie about it seems vulgar at this point. Definitely too soon.

1/07/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

It seems 2006 is going to be a year of catharsis. The Village Voice previews a whole slate of coming attractions. You may as well start preparing for it.

Immediately after 9/11, a parade of articles asked why artists weren't creating any works in response to the attacks yet. It took a few years, but here they are.

Of course the artistic response to Abu Graib, Guantanamo and the Patriot Act have been swift, sustained, sweeping, severe and ubiquitous. I wonder whether "too soon" in this context actually means "too patriotic," and whether it's simply too difficult to accept works which portray the US (and Israel, for that matter) with sympathy.

I await the reaction to the upcoming Oliver Stone movie among those who say Flight 93 is "too soon."

1/07/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ashes77 said...

Ugh, dreadful, I haven't seen nor do I plan to see this trailer nor any of this type of dreck until the truth comes, and that, I believe will take 50 years.

1/07/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I wonder whether "too soon" in this context actually means "too patriotic," and whether it's simply too difficult to accept works which portray the US (and Israel, for that matter) with sympathy.

Where did that come from? It's precisely because I feel very patriotic about 9/11 that I find the idea of reliving via film (which is a hyperengrossing medium)
that day painful. And how Israel entered the eqauation is unclear.

In the end there are many stories that could be told about 9/11. The first one we're being told is one of heroism, which makes sense, but their fate was still / is still unbearable...for me at least.

1/07/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Henry said:
Immediately after 9/11, a parade of articles asked why artists weren't creating any works in response to the attacks yet. It took a few years, but here they are.
Of course the artistic response to Abu Graib, Guantanamo and the Patriot Act have been swift, sustained, sweeping, severe and ubiquitous....


This is incorrect propaganda. There were a lot of works made by artists, immediatly after 911, I don't know anyone who didn't try and seek some resolution for the emotions generated by the event. There have been exhibitions, starting in a makeshift gallery Prince in Sept 2001 and continuing in other venues.

I don't believe that the artistic comments on the other subjects, Abu Graib, Guantanamo and the Patriot Act, were as pervasive as you suggest. Maybe it's just that they touch a nerve for you in a different way. Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

1/07/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

For the life of me, I can’t think of a single Abu Graib or Gitmo show.

And wouldn’t shows that address issues of human rights and torture be coming from a position of patriotism, a belief that the American government should be held to the highest standard?

Frankly, most overtly political art falls flat for me. I imagine it would be incredibly difficult (and audacious) for any artist to tackle something as big as 9-11 head-on and hope to communicate some larger understanding of the event. Even that last Gober show (which got raves) I thought was pretty dreadful.

The best “political” art for me might be the late work of Guston…

Maybe the trailer is effective because it relies almost exclusively on the simple visual devise of the traffic control screen. I worry that the film itself might simply be milking our emotions for all we’ve got.

1/08/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Political art for me is a balancing act between esthetic skill and eloquence. Too often it falls flat from a weakness of one or both.

1/08/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Mitch,
Gerald Laing at Spike Gallery Of course he's British, what do they know?

1/08/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

Good Lord...

I've met British people that seem to know quite a bit. Thankfully, Mr. Laing isn't one of them (Brillo boxes?...)

1/08/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous jc said...

I imagine it would be incredibly difficult (and audacious) for any artist to tackle something as big as 9-11 head-on and hope to communicate some larger understanding of the event.

Yes, many artists (myself included) needed to make work about Sept. 11, but needed to do so in a private way. The work wasn't necessarily meant to be shown, make a point, sold, etc.; it was more to work through the tragedy and try to honor those who were lost and those who suffered the aftermath.

By the way, apologies if this post appears twice. I sent it once and it seems to havedisappeared in transit.

1/08/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

it was more to work through the tragedy and try to honor those who were lost and those who suffered the aftermath.

I heard that a lot in the studio visits I did for about a year after 9/11....that and that artists were doing work they had to do (that wasn't necessarily going to be shown) just to find someway that made sense after 9/11 to just keep making art at all.

1/08/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Mitch: Gerald Laing was one of original 1960's British Pop artists, I happened to know about the linked exhibition by chance and his work did attempt to respond to Abu Graib. I tend to agree that most political art falls short of the mark. In particular, the image from Abu Graib are so iconic I think (now that Warhol is gone) they they are hard to use in an artwork. On the other hand, I would agree with Ed that most of the artists who lived in NYC made some kind of work which attempted to deal with 911 in a personal way, not necessarily as a political comment or as an object of commerce.

1/09/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

I think we're in agreement, George.
And I stand corrected that there were no A.G. shows, though they were certainly not "swift, sustained, sweeping, severe and ubiquitous" as Henry suggests.

1/09/2006 10:53:00 AM  

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