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Showtime Movie on Bush on 9/11 (September 7,DC 9-11:Time of Crisis)
| 11:20am EDT, Friday September 5, 2003
Posted on 09/05/2003 9:40:08 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
On Sunday night, September 7, Showtime will premiere DC 9- 11: Time of Crisis, what I understand will be a "docudrama" with a sympathetic take on President Bush and his top aides in the days after September 11, 2001. So, expect some derisive reviews in newspapers on Saturday and Sunday.
It stars, as George W. Bush, Timothy Bottoms, the same guy who played Bush in the mocking Comedy Central sit-com, That's My Bush.
The Showtime Web site page for the movie promises: "Timothy Bottoms stars as President George W. Bush in this docudrama that traces the nine days after the terrorist attacks on America of September 11, 2001, a week and a half that challenged the government to devise a strategy for pursuing the perpetrators while tending to the wounds of a shattered nation. David Fonteno, Penny Johnson Jerald, Mary Gordon Murray, Lawrence Pressman, Scott Alan Smith and George Takei costar in this riveting original from writer Lionel Chetwynd (Varian's War) and producer Robert Halmi Sr. (The Lion in Winter)."
Nice to see George Takei, "Sulu" I believe from the Star Trek TV series, getting another gig -- playing Norm Mineta.
An excerpt from a press release with more details:
.DC 9/11: TIME OF CRISIS stars an ensemble cast, including: Timothy Bottoms as President George W. Bush, John Cunningham as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, David Fonteno as Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gregory Itzin as Attorney General John Ashcroft, Penny Johnson Jerald as National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Macht as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Mary Gordon Murray as First Lady Laura Bush, Lawrence Pressman as Vice President Dick Cheney, Scott Alan Smith as White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and George Takei as U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
The film is executive produced by Robert Halmi, Sr., produced by Lionel Chetwynd and co-produced by John Vasey. Chetwynd also wrote the film. DC 9/11: TIME OF CRISIS, a Lionel Chetwynd production, is directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith.
DC 9/11: TIME OF CRISIS takes an inside look at the Bush Administration, beginning on the day of the attacks. The film follows the President on board Air Force One, at the White House and during his journey to Ground Zero. It culminates with Bush's now-famous national address nine days later.
The film recounts the tragic events from the moment Bush hears the news of the attacks to significant briefings with advisors, as well as the President's addresses to the nation from Barksdale Air Force Base and the White House. Chronicling national security meetings, which piece together evidence linking Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network, the film uncovers how Bush and his staff dealt with the volatile situation. In addition, DC 9/11: TIME OF CRISIS illustrates the Administration's strategy for responding both to the terrorists and the American people. Eschewing their own feelings and healing process, the President and his team instead tended to the needs of a wounded country.
END of Excerpt
Showtime lists these show times, all both EDT and PDT airings:
- Showtime East 09/07/03 8:00 PM
- Showtime Too East 09/08/03 9:30 PM
- Showtime Showcase East 09/10/03 5:30 PM
- Showtime Showcase East 09/10/03 5:05 AM
- Showtime East 09/11/03 9:00 PM
For Showtime's page on the "docudrama" with a link to a page of pictures of all of the characters (the actress playing Condoleezza Rice was made up to look remarkably like her, complete with properly placed freckles): http://www.sho.com/movies/movies_product.cfm?titleid=119354
TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2ndanniversary; 911; bush; dc911; documentry; movie; showtime; timeofcrisis
posted on 09/05/2003 9:55:34 AM PDT
(Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
Must be pretty good, then, if the VV didn't like it.
posted on 09/05/2003 9:57:16 AM PDT
(Support whirled peas!)
According to Showtime's adds for this, they had the full cooperation, and, access to the White House and staff while making this movie. I must admit, I'm curious enough to watch it.
posted on 09/05/2003 10:04:42 AM PDT
("If you don't read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."...)
Lionel Chetwynd is a pro-military conservative so I suspect this will be good.
posted on 09/05/2003 10:58:14 AM PDT
posted on 09/05/2003 10:59:18 AM PDT
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
The docudrama DC 9/11: TIME OF CRISIS gives an insider's look at the Bush White House on September 11, 2001 and the days that followed, culminating with President George W. Bush's speech to Congress and the nation nine days later.
Writer/Producer Lionel Chetwynd began the project in 2002 shortly after the appearance of several extended press articles and news feature broadcasts, which detailed some of the events that had taken place inside the White House in the days after September 11.
It was becoming apparent that someone was going to do a film on this subject and it was good friend and well-known producer Edgar J. Scherick who approached Chetwynd about throwing their hat into the ring. A deciding factor for Chetwynd was being able to add something new to the debate.
Chetwynd "wanted to do it properly - get a true insider's vision of what went on. Having been a supporter of this campaign and being a supporter of the administration, I hoped to obtain access to people within the administration," he explained. "This could be the great docudrama of our time."
Scherick and Chetwynd sought to create an original and intriguing screenplay that captured a president and his advisers during a critical turning point in history. When Scherick passed away late in 2002, Chetwynd was left as the sole producing partner.
As far as Chetwynd and Scherick knew, no one had ever tried to do a project about a sitting administration before - and been given access. "The problems of writing about a sitting administration were enormously complex, even though I had access to the principal players," Chetwynd said.
He further explained that "the White House had agreed to interviews, but they wanted no role in the film. They were not interested in pushing propaganda and Showtime was not interested in being an instrument of the White House."
In the course of gathering information for the script, Chetwynd spent countless hours interviewing Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James Wilkinson, Chris Hennick, David Frum, Anna Perez, Tori Clark and Phil Strubb, among others. On other occasions, Chetwynd had the opportunity to speak with Condoleezza Rice, Andrew Card, Josh Bolton and Ann Heilengenstein.
In addition to the interviews, Chetwynd also conducted extensive research on the event. Even with all of this information, he says he "still found it enormously difficult to write." Falling behind and feeling the tremendous burden of responsibility of writing about an event that happened to EVERYONE, he approached Karl Rove about arranging a meeting with President George W. Bush. Chetwynd went to Washington and met with the president in the Oval Office. "The 10-minute meeting became almost an hour."
Chetwynd explained to Bush that his problem was in "sorting out three people: there's the President, there's the Commander-in-Chief and there's a man called George W. Bush. He's in his 50s. He has a wife he loves, has children and has feelings and a full set of life experiences...I can't sort those out. And for a film to be effective, it must have a clear understanding of those three people, and how they work together."
When Chetwynd left the Oval Office, he felt he had an excellent grasp on what occurred. Chetwynd commented that the president took him through those nine days and clarified what it was like to be president the moment it happened or "'When the wall came down,' as the president put it."
For director Brian Trenchard-Smith, "DC 9/11" was a dream project. "True stories and historical drama fascinate me
nine days that changed America and the world meticulously researched, lavishly mounted and seen through the eyes of a sitting administration. It was a huge challenge and a great responsibility, and I loved every minute of it," he comments.
It is obviously not possible to recreate every important moment that transpired during those 10 days in a two-hour film. The challenge for the filmmakers was to find a way to dramatize a story that explores the heart, soul and scope of the crisis. The film is a mixture of private and public events.
Chetwynd said, "The difficulty in writing a docudrama is in choosing which public events to animate. The inferences are made from oblique questioning and reading." Based on real-life accounts, the film will interweave actual footage from these haunting events.
The production consulted three political columnists to review the script. The notes of Morton Kondracke of Roll Call, Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post and Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard were incorporated into the script to ensure it portrayed a balanced and accurate account of the events. All three had access to people in the White House and were aware of what went on at that time.
During the post-production process, the columnists also viewed a rough cut of the film to further ensure that it was a fair representation what occurred.
After watching the film, Kondrake commented, "D.C. 9/11:TIME OF CRISIS is as close to a minute-by-minute, decision-by-decision recounting of the Bush administration's response to terrorism as we are likely to get for years. It's an important and riveting story."
Barnes noted, "This is a terrific movie that accurately reflects the events of 9/11 and after. It neither sugarcoats President Bush's awkward and uncertain response initially nor overstates his more forceful leadership in the days that culminated with his powerful speech to Congress and the nation on September 20."
The filmmakers were committed to maintaining an approach to the story that was both accurate and engaging to audiences while remaining faithful to the historical research. All of the departments relied heavily on journalism's vast visual and print record of the events. Footage, for research purposes as well as for use in the film, was obtained from Fox News, CNN, ABC News, CBS News and Streamline Film Archive.
Trenchard-Smith prepared in part by obtaining photographs of each scene depicted in the film. He explains that when possible, he attempted to "shoot from those angles, so that a memory might resonate with the audience and they'll lock into the verisimilitude of the scene."
Production designer Bill Fleming set out to create authentic sets. He relied on books about the White House itself as well as the official White House web site, which offers virtual tours. Press photography, in and around the time the incident took place, was also helpful, as were newsmagazines and stock footage.
"It was a challenge because of the sheer scale of what we were trying to do," Fleming said. "Logistically, this is a story that took place in 70 distinct settings. We had to create them all and do it in a way that suited the shooting schedule. This meant building many sets in the studio, which allowed us to replicate them, thus bringing to the project a greater degree of accuracy," he continued.
Much of the cast does in fact look like their real-life counterparts in some way, but the skill of the actor is ultimately more important. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith said his choices were based upon "some aspect of physical similarity, plus an essence of the personality." Cast devoured books and other written matter about their characters and the administration in order to prepare. Authentic settings helped inspire the actors to feel as if they inhabited these significant spaces.
Timothy Bottoms, who bears a remarkable resemblance to President George W. Bush, tackled piles of written material and watched hour after hour of filmed appearances and speeches. He studied Bush's body language, walk and personality. Bottoms offers that he "had earlier had the opportunity to work at Comedy Central where we used the president as a situation comedy character. I'm not trying to impersonate the president but I am trying to effectively portray a spirit of the individual."
Bottoms explains that what the film hopes to accomplish is to "put a face on the man in situations that the public hasn't seen." For him, it was an opportunity to relay that to the general public. Bottoms also found it "surreal to be playing this character and to actually read the newspapers on a daily basis to see what's going on in the world."
Penny Johnson Jerald, who portrays Condoleezza Rice, began with cosmetic changes - freckles, a gap in her front teeth, wardrobe, and a wig. The wig also made it easier for her to continue her work on "24." She too relied on speeches and articles for her research. Her challenge was to "successfully portray Rice's strength, her passion and what she truly believes in," said Johnson Jerald.
Johnson Jerald notes that these were people "who were in a position to make a decision that was going to affect a lot of people's lives, including my own and my family's, the world. I felt great compassion and understanding for these people as human beings and I just wanted to be a part of it - from the very beginning."
Lawrence Pressman plays Dick Cheney and found him "a very difficult guy to research. There's no biography of him. There were facts but not mindsets." What was fascinating to Pressman about Cheney was his body language. "He's very linear and so I've relied a lot on body language," Pressman explained.
Mary Gordon Murray, who plays Laura Bush, found the project "a fascinating backdrop to where we are now [in 2003]. For people who still mourn, for all of us who nationally mourn, it has a very interesting political insight, but it's also about the humanity that came about at that time and the fact that none of that could have been anticipated."
posted on 09/05/2003 11:00:40 AM PDT
After watching the film, Kondrake commented, "D.C. 9/11:TIME OF CRISIS is as close to a minute-by-minute, decision-by-decision recounting of the Bush administration's response to terrorism as we are likely to get for years. It's an important and riveting story." Barnes noted, "This is a terrific movie that accurately reflects the events of 9/11 and after. It neither sugarcoats President Bush's awkward and uncertain response initially nor overstates his more forceful leadership in the days that culminated with his powerful speech to Congress and the nation on September 20."
posted on 09/05/2003 11:03:16 AM PDT
Can a fine fellow FREEPer kindly videotape this for me? I'd be GLAD to pay for whatever costs are endured for a copy of this show...I don't subscribe to SHOWTIME.
posted on 09/05/2003 11:24:31 AM PDT
(I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
I have cable, but not Showtime. Does anybody know if it's possible to do a pay-per-view kind of arrangement for just this movie? Thanks.
To: vikingchick; Recovering_Democrat
Would be around $8 a month for showtime on directv..I don't have cable in my area. Get one month and drop it or maybe they have a special where you get it for free for a short time. Even better maybe it will come out in the video stores. You might inquire.
bump to the top
To: Anomaly in Illinois
posted on 09/06/2003 6:59:15 PM PDT
by The Wizard
(Saddamocrats are enemies of America, treasonous everytime they speak)
Hi R_D -
Do you still need a copy of DC 9-11? I just found my copy.
posted on 01/02/2004 11:00:18 PM PST
Bless you: I subscribed to Showtime for a month and got to see it! :) Thanks!! rd.
posted on 01/03/2004 1:50:09 AM PST
(I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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