Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

You Knew It Was Coming: Greengrass to Open Tribeca with 'United 93'

Don’t look now, but Paul Greengrass is preparing “the DNA of our times” to open the Tribeca Film Festival. The real-time 9/11 film United 93, neé Flight 93, will premiere downtown April 25, and if you have not yet viewed the trailer (“From Paul Greengrass, director of Bloody Sunday and The Bourne Supremacy,” natch), you just cannot know what kind of misbegotten treat you are in for.
“But STV, you asshole,” you say. “You have not even seen the film!” True, but I have had to listen to this clown Greengrass soup up the drama of 9/11 to sell his movie for the last seven months, and so far, it looks like a History Channel reenactment: Flight attendants saying they “want to get home to see my babies”; scary, swarthy Muslims; military men barking into headsets; and all the other usual suspects.
And now Greengrass himself is back to leading the publicity charge:

“The events of 9/11 had a massive effect on me, like everyone, and I wanted to use my position as a filmmaker to contribute something so they are not casually forgotten,” stated Greengrass. “United 93 tells one story of that morning and I hope that by showing the film at Tribeca, whose roots and inspiration grew in response to the devastation of 9/11, we will be reminded of the courage of all those on board and also the thousands of men and women who confronted similarly unimaginable scenarios in New York and Washington. By honoring the families who lost those they loved, I hope we can ensure that their sacrifice is remembered and hopefully seek wisdom in the future.”

Yeah, well, check it out, Paul: We have a 16-acre hole in the ground where the World Trade Center used to be. And while we all appreciate you “using your position as a filmmaker” to jog our memories, nobody around here–especially in Tribeca–has “casually forgotten” much of anything about 9/11. Please, for once, let your film roll and just… stop… talking.
UPDATE: Cinematical’s Martha Fischer writes that TFF organizers are playing it verrrrrrrry safe with United 93‘s premiere:

Instead of a traditional red carpet arrival ceremony, complete with a glamorous party following the opening event, the screening will be private, open only to the families of victims, first responders, and festival staff. Press will be accommodated in an overflow room, but will not be allowed into the actual theater. The screening itself will be followed by what is being called a “low-key conversation dinner,” again with limited attendance. In addition, out of respect for the those affected by the events of 9/11, the opening will not be held in the Tribeca (the neighborhood that is home to Ground Zero); negotiations are currently underway to hold it at [a] landmark theater in midtown Manhattan.

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2 Responses to “You Knew It Was Coming: Greengrass to Open Tribeca with 'United 93'”

  1. Jason Okamoto says:

    Come on STV. Being a little unfair, arent we? If anythying you should be upset that the movie is about United 93, and not one of the WTC Flights. Nevertheless, they would all basicaly end the same way. On a personal level I’m upset that they couldnt bet any REAL actors for these roles. I mean Matt Damon as the gay guy would have been great!

  2. jack thunder says:

    United 93 is going to be this year’s The Passion of the Christ. I’ll be surprised if megachurches don’t organize screenings.
    Martyrdom&victimization is their bread&butter.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon