The Twin Towers in Film

A Cinematic History of New York’s World Trade Center

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About the Book

For thirty years, the twin towers of the World Trade Center soared above the New York City skyline, eventually becoming one of the most conspicuous symbolic structures in the world. They appeared in hundreds of films, from Godspell and Death Wish to Trading Places, Ghostbusters and The Usual Suspects.
The politicians, architects and engineers who developed the towers sought to imbue them with a powerful visual presence. The resulting buildings provided filmmakers with imposing set pieces capable of conveying a range of moods and associations, from the sublime and triumphal to the sinister and paranoid.
While they stood, they captured the imagination of the world with their enigmatic symbolism. In their dramatic destruction, they became icons of a history that is still being written. Here viewed in the context of popular cinema, the twin towers are emblematic of how architecture, film and narrative interact to express cultural aspirations and anxieties.

About the Author(s)

Randy Laist is a professor of English at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of two other books and has published numerous articles on literature, popular culture, and pedagogy.

Bibliographic Details

Randy Laist

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 303
Bibliographic Info: 80 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7885-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3841-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: Looking at the Twin Towers 1
1. The Ultimate Disneyland Fairytale Blockbuster 15
2. Towering Infernos, Smoldering Anxieties 34
3. Rehabilitating the Image of the Twin Towers 66
4. Fantastic Towers 85
5. Fantasies of Wealth 108
6. Fantasies of Destruction and Survival 132
7. At Play Around the Twin Towers 167
8. Postmodern Paranoia 201
9. Images of Absence 223
10. Twin Towers Forever 241
Postscript 275
Filmography 279
Works Cited 285
Index 289