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Tribute in Light

Tribute in Light

Update: 2021-08-31
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When the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001, New York City was changed forever: its skyline, its people, its mood. And its films were changed as well – some more immediately than others, as filmmakers struggled to determine how to deal with the now ghostly presence of the towers in films completed but not released before 9/11.


Some films edited them out, some digitally removed them. But Brooklyn’s own Spike Lee went the opposite direction, adding the tragedy into his film “25th Hour,” which was slated to shoot in the city that fall and winter. In doing so, he ended up crafting what we now consider the definitive post-9/11 New York movie.

We’ll hear archival audio of Lee and star Edward Norton explaining that decision and that process, and we’ll break down the film that resulted, with the help of film critics Roxana Hadadi, Keith Phipps, and Scott Tobias, as well as filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”).

Content warning: From 3:36 to 7:41 , you will hear audio of news reports from 9/11.

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Jason Bailey & Michael Hull