I saw this story picked up on various newswires, and couldn't believe it. Director Mike Figgis (helmer of TNRLM of all-time favorite and Life Plan 3.2 Leaving Las Vegas) was detained by LAX security officials for over 5 hours, because he told them his reason for being in the city was "I'm here to shoot a pilot."
Surely this is misreported or some kind of urban legend. I mean, it's LA. And it's a director talking. (the first comment in the linked article is priceless -- a classic bit from Pulp Fiction). And would a "terrorist" really answer that straightforwardly to a simple "why are you here" question at a security checkpoint? Without vicious attack dogs? Without waterboarding? Without Jack Bauer using the components of a table lamp or a dry cleaning bag to get more information?
Do they assume there is no other context for that phrase? Do they expect someone to respond: "Oh, you got me. I was going to use a match to light a shoe bomb. Damn you and your harsh interrogation!" Or "I was going to assault the flight crew using a spork." Good thing LAX officials didn't question Jack Shepherd during the "flash forward" of last week's magnificent Lost. "Actually, I was praying that the plane would break into two pieces and crash on a mystical, wacky island to hopefully never be found." Or "I'm here to ensure that most of the passengers on this plane die in a fiery crash, and that the barely surviving pilot gets torn apart by a 'smoke monster.' By the way, there are plenty of tarps and water bottles on this plane, right?"
I feel much safer boarding an airplane now that I know English directors will not be nefariously threatening our skies with their new TV shows.