Yes, been advised not to comment ATM RT @Mike_FTW: yep, CNN is now reporting on the IT Crowd / Osama thing. You seeing this @Glinner?
Does anyone have any video or an image of Osama watching The IT Crowd?
UPDATE 09/05/11: Graham Linehan said he got hold of an unaired copy of the videos from the Irish embassy in Washington and has claimed that Osama was actually watching US sitcom The Big Bang Theory and not The IT Crowd.
Films such as Independence Day (1996), Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998) imagined fantastical scenarios where iconic symbols of American power, such as the White House, were spectacularly destroyed by aliens or asteroids.
But by far the most prescient film of this era was The Siege (1998), a drama which imagined a scenario where New York is hit by a wave of terror attacks after an elusive, Islamic radical is captured by the US military.
Directed by Ed Zwick, it explored the dilemas facing an FBI special agent (Denzel Washington), a CIA agent (Annette Benning) and an army general (Bruce Willis) as martial law is declared in a major American city.
A box office failure on its initial release, it also resulted in a wave of protests from organisations, such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who felt that it unfairly demonised Muslims.
Even though Zwick engaged with Arab-Americans early in the production of the film, he opted not to soften the depiction of the terrorists in the film.
One sequence, in which a bus is blown up purely for the TV spectacle it will create, seemed tame in comparison with what actually happened three years later, with the destruction of the Twin Towers beamed live around the globe.
The Siege isn’t by any means a classic film, even in retrospect, but it was made by serious people with their finger firmly on the pulse of dangers posed by radicalised terrorists.
Looking back on it now, it managed to predict a devastating terrorist attack in New York, a disturbing military response, persecution and profiling of people based on their race and the torture of suspects.
Seeing the original posters for the film, it is hard not to feel an eerie twinge with their use of the Twin Towers and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The same chill is evoked when Bruce Willis’ army general gives a speech declaring martial law against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline:
In 2009, I asked Zwick about how he looked back on the film from a post-9/11 perspective and he said that he was just picking up on issues that were in the air:
“I wasn’t being prophetic. I was listening to people whose job is to know those things. I felt there was some inevitability that I was keying in to. But when I look at certain aspects of the film that we imagined – the rounding up of people and interrogations and torture – we were tapping in to something that was there to be mined but no-one else was willing to talk about yet. There were many people, in any number of cultures, that were already quite desperately concerned with [terrorism] but it somehow hadn’t found its way in to the popular imagination”
A major news event like this eventually gets reflected on the big screen, but one story is that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (the Oscar winning team behind The Hurt Locker) were actually working on a film project surrounding the hunt for bin Laden.
Given the raft of non-fiction films that have been made about the war on terror unleashed by the 9/11 attacks (the best among them The Falling Man and Taxi to the Darkside) perhaps some documentary filmmakers are already exploring how can make a film which incorporates the current news story.