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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Oliver's hijacking: Par shuts down WTC art project


The Smoking Gun headlines pages from the public filing of a lawsuit, “Paramount Sues Over Hijacked WTC Film.” The filing, in which we find Movie City Indie cited, states “The film… the first theatrical motion picture to deal with the bombing of the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the heroic efforts of countless rescue workers and regular citizens… is being directed by renowned director Oliver Stone and will star, among others, Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal.” Smoking Gun writes: “Paramount Pictures is suing a… D.C. filmmaker for copyright infringement, claiming that the man used a “bootleg script” to create a knockoff version of director Oliver Stone’s upcoming film on the September 11 attacks. The studio contends in a federal lawsuit that Chris Moukarbel, 28… obtained a copy of the screenplay for World Trade Center and used the script as the basis for a 12-minute film that mirrors “a significant portion” of Stone’s work…. Paramount’s June 16 complaint, a copy of which you’ll find [at the link], charges that Moukarbel’s film, like Stone’s production, centers around a pair of rescue workers trapped in debris following the collapse of the towers. Included… are nine pages from the World Trade Center screenplay that Paramount contends were used by Moukarbel for his unnamed work, which he posted online (but has since removed)… The Paramount complaint… seeks a permanent injunction barring Moukarbel from distributing his film. [Movie City Indie, which has no connection to and has had no contact with Mourkarbel, is cited in evidence, in having linked to the downed site, as having helped “the Infringing Picture” be “distributed to the public.” The illustration is from the side-by-side comparisons in the public filing of the lawsuit; the left side is Mourkarbel, the right is StoneParViacom.]

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~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant