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The Strange Fascination Of People Of Turning Catastrophes Into A Media Event

1758 words - 7 pages

The Strange Fascination of People of Turning Catastrophes Into a Media Event

This opinion article tries to outline why the destruction of New York
is presented in films and takes the 11th September terrorist attack as
a case study and it attempts to find reasons why disasters that happen
in real life remain stamped in the imagination of the human psyche.

The destruction of the New York skyline has long been an obsession for
the American film industry. It is depicted a lot in the Planet of the
Apes series when in the first film's memorable closing sequence we see
Charlton Heston finding the Statue of liberty half buried in the sand.
The sequel " Beneath the Planet of the Apes" goes one step further
where it has Charlton Heston and James Franciscus finding a destroyed
subterranean New York City where they witness the tragic ruins of the
New York Public Library, the New York Stock Exchange and the Radio
City Music Hall. The fourth installment "Conquest of the Planet of the
Apes" has the Apes completely destroying New York City and if one goes
back in time to 1933 the Monster Movie that started it all! King Kong
culminated with a battle between this gigantic ape and the American
air force atop the empire state building. Besides the apes destroying
the big apple, New York has had its fair share of variable disasters
such as the criminals that wreak havoc to the city in John Carpenter's
Escape from New York where the US president's plane crashes in
Manhattan that has now been transformed into a dark maximum security
prison. In the 1984 film Ghostbusters, a team of scientists are called
to rid Manhattan of ghosts and poltergeists and end up having to deal
with a ghost that in size resembles King Kong - the 100ft Marshmallow
man!!

From a mad bomber to aliens, what will they come up with next? there
seems to be no limit to Hollywood's obsession with turning the Big
Apple to smithereens in the movies but Life imitated art on the 11th
of September 2001 when terrorists seized control of two American
Airlines Jetliners and crashed them into the two World Trade Center in
New York City.

As these terrorist attacks occurred, a larger -than -life poster for
the film " Collateral Damage" loomed over the Brooklyn Bridge. As
pedestrians fled the crumbling building pouring over the bridge into
Brooklyn, many were caught in an ironic middle ground between
Hollywood that is the billboard image of Schwarzenneger and the
terrorist illuminated by a fiery explosion that contrasted with the
real background that was the horrific sight of the towers in flames.

This phenomenon with disasters having an impact on the mind's of
people is not new, if one goes back in time we find people that were
fascinated and disturbed by the TITANIC tragedy for so much was
written in the newspapers on the British...

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