If only these events could remain within the cells of our films, and not have any way of crossing over into the real world.
Sadly, there’s no way of really stopping such horrible tragedies as the one in Boston today from happening – seems to be almost a part of the norm in today’s society, and, deplorably, almost alarmingly, we’re all in acceptance of that. Does it make it any easier? No it doesn’t. It hurts us all. The world mourns yet again.
The only good thing – and there really is only one good thing – to come out of an event like today’s bombing in Boston is the reminder that we, as a race, will support and rally to each other when in need. We will help our fellow man, we will do anything we can to protect them, and we – like most of us have been doing for the past few hours – will pray for them, too.
When a bomb goes off in a movie – like say “Olympus has Fallen” – in which terrorists attack the White House – or a “Die Hard” (the third in the series comes to mind, namely because of the bomb blast that opens the picture) – nobody gets hurt – actors walk away with tainted t-shirts and blown squibs… that’s it. And we, the cinemagoer, sit there in our cushy, ‘safe’ seats and enjoy watching the spectacle. But watching the same sort of event unfold via live YouTube footage or camcorder footage uploaded to Twitter, like we did today with the Boston marathon bombing, when it’s real? No sir, that’s not something anyone – even those not there – can walk away unscathed and undeterred by. I don’t care who you are, your day has been ruined by another reminder that something’s wrong with our world, and that poor, innocent people have been affected by an unnecessary action that belonged only in a Roland Emmerich or Len Wiseman movie.
My words may suggest it, but really, Hollywood isn’t to blame for these events – so enough of the art imitates life defense – people are to blame… bad people. Movies are entertainment, escapism (and we need that now more than ever, just as we did with 911), and something to take away the worries. I’m simply saying, something like this – something that plays out like a scene from a “Die Hard” movie, but leaves lasting effects on the spectator – simply makes you realize, the grand special-effects sequences of life are becoming all too recurrent and all too disturbing and both film and life are starting to frighteningly cross-over and blur into one.
Before someone suggests we need to take movies with graphic violence away (and they will), I say this, let’s first try take the people responsible away – we’re lessening the effect of their actions already by showing the world what a brave face, and what a loyal breed we are, in these times. It’s a good start, believe me. That’s our defense. That’s the most lethal weapon we have. That must hurt them, these terrorists – OK, not as much as they’ve hurt us, but it still has to hurt. So stay strong [particularly Boston], band together, and let’s remind ourselves that when it comes to heroes, Bruce Willis has nothing on the guy next door, the fireman up the road, and the red cross nurse on the scene.
President Obama held a press conference not long ago to address the events in Boston; the underlying note from the speech was that while they don’t have all the answers, they’ll get them and we, the people, will prevail by sticking together.
“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. We don’t yet have all the answers. But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon. I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.
“I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats — we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.
“Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak. It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances. And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.
“We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
“Today is a holiday in Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day. It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition. Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.
“You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings. We’re still in the investigation stage at this point. But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.”
As for how today’s bombing will affect the entertainment industry, it’s hard to say. Some films will likely be modified and rewritten, if they’ve similar moments in or planned for them (“Olympus has Fallen”, which features a couple of graphic bombing moments, is due to open in Australia this week. It’s doubtful it’s release will be pushed back or pulled at this late stage) and broadcast channels may amend their schedules to reflect more appropriate content for the now. The LAPD will up security at tonight’s Dodgers game, where Harrison Ford (promoting “42”) is set to throw the first pitch, and security will likely be upped in other areas too, but as yet nothing has been confirmed. Film productions in Massachusetts, like David O.Russell’s “American Hustle” (formerly untitled) starring Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Amy Adams, will continue to push on as normal.
There’ll likely be more updates over the coming days, so stay tuned.
Even with clear eyes and full hearts we can lose…
Prayers with everyone in Boston, and those affected by the tragedy, today.
Empire Strikes Back
St. Elmo's Fire
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Breakfast Club