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Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Hollywood 'changed forever'
Mike Figgis
Director Mike Figgis saw events unfold on Toronto TV
By entertainment correspondent Tom Brook in Toronto

The terrorist attacks on New York will forever change the workings of Hollywood movies, British director Mike Figgis has said.

Figgis, who is at the Toronto Film Festival to promote his new movie Hotel, said the tragedy will "totally affect the way people think about the use of violent imagery and things like that".

Toronto
Toronto: One of the world's top film festivals
He added: "I think it's going to change the way we think about everything - I really do.

"I think it's a monumental event unlike anything I can think of in my lifetime, and therefore obviously the film industry, which is a secondary factor, of course will change too."

The harrowing events of the past few days have left American movie stars, directors and producers reeling.

Many key Hollywood players are watching the tragedy unfold from Toronto.

Subdued

The festival is trying to stagger on and is scheduled to close on Saturday - but the devastation in New York and at the Pentagon has already prompted officials to shut it down for one day, and led to several key events being cancelled.


It was like watching Independence Day

Leslee Scallon
The mood has become dark and subdued.

David Craig, from Telefilm Canada, a festival sponsor said: "Myself and everybody I have talked to still feels quite stunned."

Many stars have not been able to fly into Canada, film prints have been delayed and some festival goers could not leave because the airports and US border had been closed.

The pace of activity has slowed with quite a few festival participants packing up, determined to leave town.

'Special effect'

Figgis explained how the tragedy initially totally overtook his day, as he sat in his hotel room and watched television news reports almost uninterrupted for 12 hours.

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek stars in Figgis's new film
Figgis speaks for many when says he found the World Trade Center disaster reminded him of Hollywood wizardry: "The thing that I kept thinking was it just looks like a very well done special effect, I seem to have seen this image so many times before in every trailer of every big movie that comes out of Hollywood."

Nearly everyone in the film business has commented on how the devastation resembles big-budget disaster movies.

'Tragedy'

Leslee Scallon, in town to survey Toronto movies for her own festival, said: "It was like watching Independence Day when the aliens had come and they were attacking us.

"It just seemed very well planned. It is such a tragedy."

Independence Day was going to be shown on US TV this weekend but it has been pulled from schedules, as have other several other programmes and films with a disaster or terrorist theme.

It was not until midweek that the movie industry began to really digest the enormity of the devastation, and the loss of human life.

After Tuesday's attack there is a sense that Hollywood will never be the same.

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Showbiz
US showbusiness shuts down
26 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The buzz at Sundance
28 Aug 01 | Film
Venice set for Film Festival
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