Of course, I don’t mean the whole world; just all New Yorkers. The terrorists’ message would have gotten an auto-reply saying, “Sorry, you missed us. We’re all in Toronto, eh?” Alas, it was not to be.
This year, however, everyone DOES seem to be in Toronto. And they’re all making short films dealing with September 11th. Just look at the list of directors participating in 11’09″01, a collection of 11 shorts put together by a French director, Alain Brigand: Ken Loach, Claude Lelouch, Danis Tanovic, Sean Penn, Amos Gita�, Shohei Imamura, Samira Makhmalbaf, Youssef Chahine, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Mira Nair, and Alejandro Gonz�lez Iҷrritu.
Each film is 11 minutes, 9 seconds and 1 frame long, as if the date were a timecode. Check this description of Sean Penn’s short in a Guardian (UK) review from Venice:
Some avoid the politics completely. Sean Penn’s beautiful and moving short film shows the ordinary early morning of an elderly New York widower. He shaves, he dresses, he talks constantly to his dead wife, tells her the apartment is just too dark. When he wakes up from a mid-morning nap, the room is flooded with sunlight and the dead flowers on the windowsill are blooming: the towers that had blocked out their light have crumbled to nothing.
The loft where we shot the New York scenes of Souvenir November 2001 was actually such a place (minus Ernest Borgnine, of course). The friends who let us shoot there had to cover their 14′ high windows with butcher paper; with the World Trade Center gone, sunlight poured in from the suddenly empty southern view and threatened to damage their art. The films screen in Toronto on Sept. 11 and 12. Since originally writing this entry, an excellent article showed up in the NYTimes.