The long shadow of 11 September 2001 and, in particular, the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, continue to have global ramifi cations in political, military, and ethical terms. It is therefore no surprise that at the 74th Annual Academy Awards (“74th Annual Academy Awards,” 2002), Hollywood and the entertainment industry en masse took great pains to carefully and strategically position themselves in relation to an event in which the number of deaths paled in comparison to the symbolic power of an attack on the city at the very heart of the American Dream. There was no shortage of actors and fi lmmakers willing to speak on the importance of the power of fi lm in such times; Tom Cruise did an evocative job delivering a well-scripted speech which included the lines:
My actor friends said to me, what are we doing? Is it important? What of a night like tonight? Should we celebrate the joy and magic movies bring? Well, dare I say it: more than ever.