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

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

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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 ...

... middle of paper ...

...he problem as to how accidents are
projected on the media and the impact they leave on the viewers. They
should not be glorified by the movie industry/media, nor be used as a
mechanism to spark off a chain of events or message. This is why there
must be responsibility and the need to draw the line and not go
forward with a way of thought of it bleeds, it leads. That is the
problem. We are all in a position to take responsibility to think
about what we're watching and as the repeatedly airing of certain
events can traumatize people and may lead then to act in a certain
way, therefore education and awareness are necessary.

References and Bibliography

The 1997 Virgin Film Guide

Focus Magazine Italia April 2002

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