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Comments On Headlines: "2-Hour Sept. 11th Special"

Fri Feb 15, 2002 7:40 am

Robert De Niro Will Host 9/11 Special
The Associated Press
Feb 14 2002 4:29PM

NEW YORK (AP) - Robert De Niro will serve as host of a CBS special on the World Trade Center attack, which will include exclusive footage from inside the complex.
The two-hour program, ``9/11,'' will air the night before the attack's six-month anniversary, at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 10. It's built around video shot by French filmmakers Gedeon and Jule Naudet, who were shooting a documentary on firefighters. They captured the only known footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, which was widely seen.

After the second plane hit, they kept shooting - even inside the buildings for a while as the rescue operation was under way. That footage has never been seen publicly.

De Niro is co-founder of the TriBeCa Film Center, located a few blocks from ground zero. The two-time Oscar winner's association with New York was one of the reasons he was selected as host.

``Robert De Niro is a quintessential New Yorker who has been instrumental in building up the TriBeCa neighborhood, in the very area of the city that was devastated by the Sept. 11 attacks,'' said Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor who's helping to produce the project.

Many - especially in my social circles - would respond immediately to the concept of this program with "ugh. That is such a moral atrocity." Their opinion would be that making money or films about such tragedies - especially so soon after they occur - is simply a ghastly thing. I whole-heartedly and completely disagree. I look forward to this program. If it does feature interior footage, we will not see the dreafully awesome spectacles of flame and fire we've seen so much before, nor watch in held-breath wonder as monoliths crumble, but rather see a human side - this will be the tragedy viewed from the intimate, personal, and far less Hollywood'n aspect.
Erstwhile, I shall be interested to see De Niro hosting anything. He's a great actor, but it's hard to fathom him hosting a documentary.

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