Video montage: The twin towers immortalized in film

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Leave it to the Internet to break your heart.

While television anchors and pastors, executives and politicians do their best to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with thoughtful words and meaningful moments of silence, Dan Meth -- a New York animator and filmmaker who generally works creating humorous videos for the Web -- has put together a deceptively simple, deeply moving tribute to the twin towers by creating a montage of their appearances on film.

Even if you think you’ve hit the 9/11 memorial saturation point, this video is worth watching.


In a phone interview with The Times, Meth said he spent about eight months working, on and off, on the project -- researching films that featured the twin towers and then editing the footage and working carefully to synchronize the images to music.

The 3-minute, 19-second video, which he titled ‘Twin Tower Cameos,’ begins with images from ‘Hot Rock’ (1972) when the towers were not yet complete, and then cuts to the towers alight in all their glory in the 1976 remake of ‘King Kong.’

Meth said the King Kong images are his favorite of the clips he found. ‘It’s not even a movie that people watch anymore, but when the first King Kong was made, the Empire State Building was brand new, and when this remake was made, the Twin Towers were brand new,’ he said. ‘I like the symmetry of that.’

The montage includes scenes of the towers barely visible in the fog in ‘The Killing Fields’ (1984), and bathed in a rosy glow behind Michael J. Fox in ‘Bright Lights Big City’ (1988). Later, we see a young McCauley Culkin staring up in wonder at the towers in ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ (1992) and toward the end of the montage, being swallowed by waves in ‘Deep Impact’ (1998).

‘I definitely want to be clear that the video I made is not a 9/11 video at all,’ Meth said. ‘It’s a twin towers video. I’m not trying to say anything political. I’m just saying, ‘They were there.’'

Meth posted the video on Vimeo, with this note:

From 1969 to 2001, the Twin Towers made countless cameos in Hollywood films. Sometimes featured prominently in the foreground, sometimes lurking in the distance. This montage celebrates the towers’ all-too-short film career with songs that capture the passing decades. Man, I miss them.

We all do.


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