Guest / Limited Access /
"It's like a movie." This may have been the most-repeated reaction to last week's memory-scarring television footage of the September 11 attacks. Witnesses, both on the streets of Manhattan and from couches across America, had specific titles in mind when describing the horrors.

After he saw with his own eyes the devastation at the towers, Michael Specter of The New Yorker testifies, "I didn't feel that I was in any danger; I felt like an extra in a movie, waiting for Bruce Willis to come and save the day." "The movie comparisons came thick and fast," wrote Richard Littlejohn in Britain's The Sun. "Deep Impact, Armageddon, Airport, Air Force One, Die Hard, Con Air. Only this time there was no Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis or Nicolas Cage to save the day in the last reel. This was The Day The Earth Caught Fire."

The Chicago Tribune published a list of upcoming releases and television seasons slated for delays or cancellation due to the tragedies. This long but abbreviated list demonstrates a public ravenous for over-the-top violence, terrorism, and conspiracy-theories. It also shows just how central and symbolic New York's towers really were to the world. (Contrary to what previews have already promised, we won't see Spiderman webslinging between the WTC towers next summer.) All of this canceling and revising—Friends may even update its skyline for already-finished episodes—may well just be a momentary rush to save face. It may just be a temporary message that reads: "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please be patient. We will return soon to our regularly scheduled program of hyperviolence and digitally animated devastation." But Greg Killday at The Hollywood Reporter remarks, "There are indications that in the wake ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedHave Muslim-Christian Relations Improved Since 9/11?
Subscriber Access Only Have Muslim-Christian Relations Improved Since 9/11?
Observers weigh in on how interactions between the two religions have changed in recent years.
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
Shock Waves Tear Through a Shock-Value Industry
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.