Friday, September 08, 2006

World Trade Center

I went to a BAFTA screening of World Trade Center last night and, having read a scathing review in The Guardian ("probably the worst film of the year"), was pleasantly surprised to find it engaging, thoughtful and moving.

As the director Oliver Stone pointed out after the screening, this is not a film about the geopolitics of 9/11 - that might come later. Instead he wanted to make a film about what happened on that day to the people of New York.

world trade center Photo: Oliver Stone and Nicholas Cage on the set of World Trade Center

Unusually for Stone he didn't write the screenplay (he often refers to himself as "a dramatist" rather than a director) - that job was done by Andrea Berloff and, surprisingly, it was her first produced feature. There's an interesting piece about her on Variety that explains how she got the job (as ever, her overnight success didn't happen overnight).
"She'd written two biopics, one on Amelia Earhart and one on Harry (Bing) and Caresse Crosby in Paris, and we'd done those (types of films) successfully in the past," Double Features partner Michael Shamberg explains.

"She was not someone we would have fallen for immediately (for the World Trade Center project), but she came back to us having done an enormous amount of research, all on spec, with an enormous amount of enthusiasm, and we said, 'Sure, let's take a chance on Andrea.' "

Shamberg and partner Stacey Sher encouraged Berloff "to take leaps of chance structurally and narratively, but always within the truth. And she just nailed it," Shamberg says.

1 comment:

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