in the aftermath of September 11
Peter Bowes in Hollywood
Hollywood stars played a prominent role in helping Americans
focus on life after the September 11 attacks.
took part in high-profile fundraising events while studio bosses
hastily reconsidered their film release schedules for the upcoming
But for many
in the world of showbusiness, that fateful day was distinctly humbling
in its impact.
have an intense impact on my life being the city I grew up in,"
says Friends star Jennifer Aniston.
believes the first anniversary of the attacks was an important milestone.
there are times I feel that the incident is forgotten until the
images come back, and thankfully we are reminded," she says.
The major American
TV networks suspended their regular programmes to make way for continuous
coverage of the anniversary.
Susan Sarandon, it was a hard day to get through.
a hard time," she said. "I'm turning off everything. We're
just going be with the people that need us and with each other."
Grammer lost his close friend and the creator of the Emmy-winning
comedy, David Angell. The respected producer was with his wife Lynn
on one of the planes that ploughed into the World Trade Centre.
that we don't lose the size of that event," says Grammer. "It's
very easy to understand how something like that could be diminished.
But it is in no way a smaller event than Pearl Harbour was."
Williams: "It seemed at first that it had this amazing effect
about really pulling people together. People really did look around
and looked at everyone differently, at a really basic level."
is currently starring in the dark thriller, One Hour Photo, and
Christopher Nolan's Insomnia, has spent much of the past year touring
the US on the stand-up comedy circuit.
says he attempted to make light of America's heightened sense of
security, but he acknowledges that the war on terrorism continues
to test the resilience of the nation.
thing I do see is hope. Even something as horrific as that brought
out, as it always does, sometimes, the best part along with the
In recent weeks,
Mel Gibson has been celebrating the US box office success of Signs,
a thriller about crop circles.
the movie was scheduled to start last year on September 12.
brought with it a mood and sort of drew a pall over the shoot,"
explains Gibson. "The director organised it so that before
we started, we lit candles and said a quiet memorial."
A year on,
Gibson, who was born in the US but grew up in Australia, says he
also has grave concerns about the state of the world.
in dire straits as far as all this aggressive stuff goes,"
to see it evaporate and go away - I'm sure everyone would. Even
the people involved in it would - except they're too full of hatred
to let it go."
Samuel L. Jackson
says Hollywood's initial jitters about tackling sensitive issues
healed in a very interesting sort of way," he says. "There
was a film that I was supposed to do last year, that didn't get
done, because of 9/11, because it was about a bomber."
he has since learned that the film is back in production, although
he is no longer involved.
At a personal
level, many celebrities have struggled with their feelings over
the past year.
watched the second plane go into the World Trade Centre from our
apartment that I grew up in," says Vin Diesel, Hollywood's
latest action star.
out of that experience, I think we all felt the frustration. We
all felt where we are in our lives. No matter what we do, we wished
we could do something."
the Spanish actor who stars in the summer hit, Spy Kids 2, says
he is depressed by the world's response to the attacks.
all untrusting of each other," he says. "All you have
to do is pick up a plane and you see the people looking at each
other. We're creating a situation in which it's very difficult to
In the weeks
following the attacks, much of the boardroom discussion in Hollywood
centred on issues of tone and sensitivity. Several films depicting
graphic violence and based on stories about terrorism have made
it to the big screen over the past year.
reacted by flocking in large numbers to see movies like The Sum
Of All Fears, which stars Ben Affleck.
on movies and television should be disturbing," explains Affleck.
"It shouldn't be done to make a big splash and have people
ooh and aah at countless thousands of deaths.
that may be one of the transitions we've made, that we no longer
look at that in such a flip way."
(Courtesy: BBC News)
here I come
By Aditha Dissanayake
"Earth has not anything to show more fair...,"
wrote Wordsworth standing on Westminster
Bridge. Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thero, wrote about the young damsels
at Konthaganthota in the Salalihini Sandeshaya and immortalised
them. Now, a year after the September 11 disaster, I feel it's my
turn to immortalise our own World Trade Centre, (which is still
standing, Bin Laden permitting).
the grey and pink tiled pavement, I feel as if I am in Singapore.
It is hard to believe Pettah, with its ten-rupee apple vendors,
lottery sellers, and men and women scurrying under the hot sun,
with their faces twisted into grimaces as if they have pieces of
bitter lemon inside their mouths, is only a few feet away.
the revolving door at the entrance with apprehension. I have seen
Charlie Chaplin and Mr. Bean make fools of themselves over such
doors. I do not wish to be their successor. I grab the silver pole
on the door, push once, push twice, let go and, feel triumphant
to find myself inside the building, said to be the tallest in Sri
It takes only
a minute to realise I am standing out like a sore thumb in an alien
milieu. All the men around me are dressed in dark trousers and formal-looking
shirts. The women are either wearing short skirts and coats like
the newsreaders on CNN or saris with jackets with the shortest of
sleeves, resembling the fashions of the 1960s. Of course, everybody
carries a square piece of black plastic somewhere on his or her
anatomy. But strange as it may seem, not once do I hear one of these
devices go teering, teering inside the building.
of the walls, a mixture between strawberry and chocolate ice cream
creates a soothing atmosphere. The silver coloured ornaments hanging
from the roof in different shapes - globes, stars, cylinders - look
like huge cobwebs and remind me of Miss Havisham's room in Great
Expectations. But the characters around me are not fictitious. There
are no Joes or Pumblechooks here. All the men and women around me
seem to be in total control of their lives - they seem to know exactly
what they are doing, where they are going, how, when and why. I
find I am the solitary wanderer - standing aimlessly on the middle
of the ground floor.
I decide to
join the race. I try to walk fast and look like everybody else around
me - worried as though the sky will fall any minute and that there
is not a minute to spare. But having nowhere to go, I decide to
pick someone up and follow him to his destination. My choice is
dressed in an eye-soothing, apple-green shirt. He walks towards
the lifts and disappears into one. Before I can quicken my steps,
the door closes. I sigh in disappointment. But a second later, it
opens in my face. He pops his head out and asks "coming?"
The door closes
on the two of us. I realise he has pressed number 31. I press 32
and keep my eyes on the red digits that keep changing over the door.
We stand side by side. I inhale the smell of the cologne he is wearing.
Before I can gather enough courage to turn my head and look at him
and perhaps, start a conversation, the lift comes to a halt. We
are now on the thirty-first floor. He steps out of the lift and
out of my life.
I get off at
the 32nd floor. Through the glass windows I see the mighty Indian
Ocean; spread out like a massive, worn-out carpet, gray and murky.
be more depressing. "I am on the 32nd floor of the tallest
building in Sri Lanka," I keep reminding myself, but realise
there is nothing sensational in being aware of this fact. I might
as well be standing on the ground floor. I turn towards the lift
once more and bump into a middle-aged man who had been standing
behind me, while I had been gazing out of the window. He gapes at
me as if he has seen a UFO. I disappear into the lift as fast as
When I descend
to the third floor once more, two security officers summon me to
their desk. They are polite. "Why did I go to the 32nd floor?"
they ask me. I shrug my shoulders and hope they will interpret the
gesture in any favourable way they like. (I have a feeling they
would not understand me if I tell them I did so because the man
I was following, got off at the 31st floor). They ask for my National
Identity Card. "Name, date of birth, place of birth...Galle.
Galle, that magic word, my good old hometown that breaks the ice
even in the coldest of situations. Both officers begin to smile,
"We are also from Galle." I give them my Garfield-grin.
They wave me off to ramble around as much as I like.
But the encounter
quenches my thirst for further explorations. I decide to quit this
alien niche and get back to the familiar world outside the glass
walls. The hot dusty city - to have the odour of the Beira in my
nostrils, the sound of loudspeakers in my ears, to trip over the
loose bricks on the pavement.
But I cannot
resist peeping into the cafe on the second floor before I leave.
Could I afford a cup of tea in there? Could I not? No, I decide.
Not now, not today. Some other day in the future... perhaps, when
I become a millionaire writer?
To Kapila - Mr. Cool (R. Royal Kandy A/L 2004)
Congrats on getting the highest marks for Chemistry. You have
been in my heart from the first day I saw you wearing a blue T shirt
(1/06/02 at the Physics class- Sudharshi). You never looked at me
but you looked into my eyes ( 8/09/02 - Sudharmarama) And you didn't
smile. You will be in my eyes for ever. I'm waiting for your reply.
With much love,
Your secret admirer - D
To my one
and only brother Yathes,
Hope your birthday brings you all the happiness you wish for
today and always - Happy Birthday
From your sis - Dharshini
M. K. Sanjaya (Astra - 2004 A/L Matha M. C. G.)
Wishing you a very happy birthday for September 11.
Can you recognise us?
From your secret admirers E and R
To M, (the
model who appeared in the cover of the Mirror Mag)
Just e-mail me through this page, coz I really need to talk
to you - email@example.com
To dear Seewanthi,
hi, how are you keeping? Is your 21st Birthday round the corner?
I would like to keep in touch with you - wish we could break the
barriers and be friends. Please contact me through this page. Or
you know my cool. XXX 89236
From your dinky toy,
First of all, I wish you a happy birthday for September 16.
Nanga U R my life. So darling, always remember that I will love
you forever. Thanks for being my darling sister.
I miss you.
From someone who really loves you (A)