As of last Tuesday, I still owed Film Threat some movie reviews. But after the destruction of the World Trade Center and what looks to be the death of at least five thousand New Yorkers, it suddenly seemed as if the world wasn’t exactly holding its breath for my thoughts. So I stopped writing. My other creative pursuits, such as they are, have languishing as I invited myself over to houses of my ever-tolerant friends, spent hours talking on the phone, and otherwise evaded my various creative duties.
I’m upset but, at a certain point, my creative languor starts to feel like laziness. I’m watching a lot of TV and not all of it’s CNN. Do I have an excuse? Chris Gore writes that, right now, he’s too upset to enjoy movies (or anything else). He has a point. And the question has to be asked: In the present state of things, what are sites like Film Threat for? What are movies for? Because, the truth is, movies – all movies – are inconsequential.
They’re made up stories. Lies. Worse, we 21st century Americans are without a doubt the most over-entertained people who’ve ever lived. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are being entertained. A groundling during Shakespeare’s time might see several plays a year, might play a few tunes on a lute, and that was about it for entertainment.
I tend to go to sleep with the television on; I work with the radio going; I’m almost constitutionally unable to eat dinner without a Simpsons or Law & Order rerun. My week tends to be based on what movies I’m seeing. No doubt, like most of us, I waste countless, excessive hours numbing myself with the drug of entertainment.
Since Tuesday morning, that has, for a time, changed. When I turned on the television and saw an image that even Jerry Bruckheimer would have hesitated to bankroll, entertainment briefly ceased to be part of life. Watching television may still have been a waste of time a time (you could learn just a great deal more about the events by waiting 18 hours and reading the paper), but it was, somehow, necessary to watch. It sure didn’t feel like entertainment.
Read the whole story in part two of WHY WE STILL NEED MOVIES>>>
Posted on September 19, 2001 in Features by Bob Westal
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