On September 11, 2001, President Vladimir Putin became the first leader of a foreign country to express sympathy to President George W. Bush for what he called “these terrible tragedies of the terrorist attacks.” Soon, however, Putin began moving his country back into the terrorist business. In March 2002, he quietly reinstituted sales of weapons to Iran’s terrorist dictator, Ayatollah Khamenei, and engaged Russia in the construction of a 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor at Bushehr, with a uranium conversion facility able to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. Hundreds of Russian technicians also started helping the government of Iran to develop the Shahab-4 missile, with a range of over 1,250 miles, which can carry a nuclear or germ warhead anywhere in the Middle East and Europe.
Some of these are in one way or another genre films, but there is so much impact and intensity, and such a richness of visual imagination, that they flatter their genres instead of depending on them. The three directors trade actors and technicians, support each other, make new rules, are successful without compromise. Cuaron's 1998 "Great Expectations," set in a Spanish-moss-dripping modern Florida and starring Ethan Hawke , Gwyneth Paltrow and Anne Bancroft (in guess which roles), is a stunning reworking of Dickens and illustrates how all three of these directors can put hands on a project and make it their own.