International Writers Magazine: Comparative Review
Director - Peter Markle
Screenplay: Nevin Schreiner
Starring - Jeffery Nordling, Brennon Elliott, Kendall Cross, Ty
Olsson, Monnae Michaell, Colin Glazer.
Director - Oliver Stone
Starring - Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Screenplay: Andrea Berloff based on a true story by John McLoughlin
Double Feature Films
A Holly Joy Review
Event films can be touching to an audience, as they are factual
rather than entertaining. This review will consist of two different
films each providing different structures to attract a target audience.
However, the two films have a strong similarity and link between
them as they are both based on the same true story.
The film Flight
93 directed by Peter Markle was the first of the two films to
become released. Before the film even begun the audience will have had
an idea of what the storyline of the film was going to be. This particular
film targets a wide audience all over the world, as the tragic event
9/11 attacks will remain in history forever. The attack filled every
home with live footage and news reports used as a step-by-step guide
of the progress of that particular day.
The majority of the audience understood why there was a separate film
produced called Flight 93 as this was the airplane that
fought against the terrorists to save thousands of innocent people,
resulting in the plane crashing in Pennsylvania. This particular film
did not hold a surprise within the film plot, as the audiences
knowledge of the event is so great. The storyline was based and formed
from the information provided by family members and friends of those
passengers on the flight. Information and facts ranging from what the
passengers were saying on the telephone, their plans, to every item
of clothing they were wearing that specific day.
Emotions are high within this film as it brought back memories of the
tragedy on September 11th 2001.
The range of emotions that run through the characters are touching to
the audience and make the audience feel as though they are there on
the plane themselves. Fear fills not only the character but the viewers
as well; I personally felt the fear that was created by the atmosphere
upon the plan and how the victims heroic decisions changed fear
into determination to save a lot of other people.
Although, the viewers knew what to expect from the film I still found
myself questioning what was going to happen next. Watching the film
brought back the memories of that day but in a greater depth, of loss
and sorrow and the pain that people went through to help others, and
the pain that still remains with the families till this present days.
The second film, which is linked closely to Flight 93
is the new release of World Trade Center Directed
by Oliver Stone. This film differs immensely to Flight 93.
This is because the structure and the narrative of the film changed
to make sure that the film became factual based film of an historical
event rather than a film created for an entertainment purpose.
Trailers were produced for the launch of the film but clippings were
very limited as the films intention is to become a symbol of remembrance
rather than mere entertainment. Many viewers saw the film to pay their
respects to those who lost their lives in the tragedy and to find out
more information into what actually happened that day.
There were many critics circulating the films launch about whether the
world would be ready for a film like this to be released,
as the film would bring back a lot of memories to people across the
world, it would also affect the families that had also lost loved ones
in similar political disasters such as The London Bombings and
The Madrid Bombings. World Trade Center is a very
emotional film from the beginning to the end. The opening sequence is
very tense and the atmosphere is almost uncomfortable to experience.
Shot angles and techniques allow the audience to feel as though they
are involved with the film as point of view shots are used constantly
within the first few scenes.
Non-diegetic sound and music was not necessary throughout the film as
sound could become a distraction and shape misleading emotions that
are unwanted within this particular film.
A breathtaking moment within film was the live footage of news reports
that echoed throughout towns and villages all over the world, which
acted as a flashback in history to the moment that any one viewer in
the audience found out about the disaster. The close-up shots of the
faces of peoples reaction in the live footage almost made my heart
stop; it left a lump in my throat as it brought a memory back to life.
The film focuses on two main characters and their role in society being
police officers that were sent to help at the towers. The audience are
with them every step of the way as they risk their lives to save others,
the audience are then able to witness the stress and devastation that
each family member goes through and how waiting can feel like hours
when no-one knows anything.
The anxiety and hope that is created by the film acted in two ways the
first being a flashback to September 11th and the trauma following the
event until this present day. Secondly, from a personal view, I made
myself forget that I knew what the film was going to consist of and
how it was going to end, as I was so intrigued to find out the outcome
of these two heroic characters and whether their ambitions and determination
could live long enough to become reunited to their families.
Both of these films were very emotional and respectful towards the attack
9/11, as the films were created by the information and raw footage received
by family members and news reporters.
However, there remains a clear difference between the two films even
though they are closely linked because they are both True Events.
I feel as though Flight 93 came across as a story
that a wide audience would be able to relate to because of the media
coverage following the event of the crash. Although, this particular
film still remained a mystery, as the audience do not provide the same
knowledge as they do for the event of The Twin Towers when
watching the film. As the knowledge of the audience was limited of Flight
93 the film had to fill in the gaps that were missing in the
audiences mind of what actually happened that day.
The set up and character arrangement within the two films also differ
to allow the audience to build closer relationships. For example Flight
93 focuses on a number of characters as the audience are introduced
to the majority of the passengers sitting on the plane and we get to
know them as a group. Whereas, World Trade Center
follows two individuals and their battle for survival, which forms a
stronger relationship with the audience. World Trade Center builds
upon the emotions and experiences of the survivors of the attack, which
automatically makes the film factual rather than for entertainment purposes.
Live footage of the publics reaction and the towers crumbling
to the floor eliminates any storyline that exists, as it moves the film
away from a narrative and places the audience back into the past of
September 11th 2001.
© Holly Joy
hjoyz at hotmail.com
Holly is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth
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