Monday, August 07, 2006


Oliver Stone's new movie "The World Trade Center" has received two reviews from conservative quarters so far. Both recognize that Stone plays it straight and doesn't engage in speculative conspiracy theories. However, the reviews differ after that.

First, Jonathan Last from the Weekly Standard recognizes the Christian themes in the movie, and ultimately endorses it by concluding that it "feels right."

I wondered from reading his piece, however, whether Stone's particular emphasis on religion strangely allowed him to avoid the political causes of 9/11. Last argues that Stone has made a full-blown Jesus movie, and it doesn't seem to me that a movie about 9/11 should be a Jesus movie. Also, the movie's official website seems to indicate that the movie is about how people reacted to a disaster, not the political cause of this particular disaster.

Therefore, I think Brian Carney of the WSJ probably gets the movie correct, when he complains that "there are no villains in Mr. Stone's movie" and that "9/11 was not an act of God or nature." I was an inch away from writing Last a note about what I suspected was Stone's apolitical posture, so I got a kind of weird thrill when I read Carney's piece.

I haven't seen the movie yet (since it hasn't officially been released), and it may be the very definition of prejudice to come to any conclusions about it beforehand. But judging from the website's clips and Last's emphasis on Jesus (which I don't doubt is correct), I think it's a good bet that Carney's got it right.

Incidentally, a great book that traces the decline of the political in pop culture over the last few generations and especially since the end of the Cold War is Paul Cantor's Gilligan Unbound.


Post a Comment

<< Home