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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December, 2004, 11:24 GMT
'Landmark movies' of 2004 hailed
The Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was accused on anti-semitism
US film professionals have declared Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Passion of the Christ as two of the most significant cultural milestones of 2004.

The American Film Institute (AFI) hailed Mel Gibson's biblical epic and Michael Moore's political documentary as inspiring national debate.

It claimed both film-makers "tossed Hollywood convention out the window".

The Institute also cited the death of actor Marlon Brando and the changing landscape of TV news in the US.

In referring to Marlon Brando's death on 1 July at the age of 80, the 13-strong AFI jury concluded "the art of screen acting has two chapters - 'Before Brando' and 'After Brando'.

The Godfather
Don Corleone in The Godfather was probably Brando's most famous role

It credited the screen legend's "raw hypnotic energy" and his ability to create characters like Stanley Kowalski and Terry Malloy "that will live forever in the annals of film history".

The list also acknowledges key influences and trends in the world of film and broadcasting.

Among current trends, it highlighted the final broadcasts of veteran newscasters Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters and the impending retirement of CBS news anchor Dan Rather.

It its place, the AFI fears, is a news landscape where "newscasters are more personalities than journalists" and balance and integrity are increasingly ignored.

'Wardrobe malfunction'

The AFI also questioned "the long-term viability of evening news broadcasts", in the light of 24-hour news channels and the internet.

The list also draws attention to the growing influence of US broadcasting regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Janet Jackson's exposure prompted caution among US TV stations

The institute concluded the threat of regulation, which went into freefall following Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' during a live Super Bowl performance in February, "had a profound effect on television".

"Unsure of how the FCC will rule on an issue, the creative community has begun to self-censor their shows, a disturbing trend in a country founded on free expression," the AFI jury declared.

To illustrate their point, the AFI cited ABC affiliates refusal to air Steven Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan in an unedited form over fears of possible fines.


FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Business World Gibson, Moore, Brando feature on list of 2004 significant events - 17 hrs ago
Asian Age Brando, Moore faces of culture circuit in '04 - 29 hrs ago
CNN Moore, 'Passion' top AFI 'Moments' - 64 hrs ago
MSNBC AFI cites 'Passion,' among 2004 'Moments' - 67 hrs ago
Reuters AFI Cites 'Passion,' '9/11' Among 2004's 'Moments' - 21 Dec 2004
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SEE ALSO:
Passion is worldwide cinema hit
06 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Screen legend Brando dies at 80
03 Jul 04 |  Entertainment
Moore film tops $100m mark in US
26 Jul 04 |  Entertainment
$550,000 fine for Janet exposure
23 Sep 04 |  Entertainment
Is Hollywood embracing morality?
16 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
US news anchor Tom Brokaw retires
02 Dec 04 |  Entertainment


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