Sunday, April 30, 2006

Why I won't be seeing "United 93"

I heard of a news story this week where Mark Felt apparently told a journalist he couldn't remember saying the line "Follow the money" to Bob Woodward.

So far as I know, this account is right, and Felt in fact didn't say it. I've even heard (but cannot verify via Google) that Goldman admitted creating the line for the screenplay.

It isn't in Woodward and Bernstein's book. But it is conventional wisdom that: "This was one of the great phrases uttered by ‘Deep Throat’ to Bob Woodward back in the early 70s when the Watergate scandal was in full swing." Even journalists interviewing Felt seem to think it must be true.

Why? Because Americans get their history from movies. It's why we don't think cowboys rollerskated (one of the alleged "historical crimes" of "Heaven's Gate," althought it was historically accurate) or enjoyed Shakespeare (they did), or that all of Texas looks like either the California desert of the Davis Mountains of the Trans-Pecos region.

And that's why I have no interest in "United 93." Because all you really have to do to understand that film, is to follow the money.

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