‘Bourne’ again

David Bordwell has yet another interesting essay on The Bourne Ultimatum, this time looking at the connection between the final scene in Supremacy and that same scene in the more recent film, and how changing contexts cause us to re-evaluate what we experience. Cool stuff . . . and I’m glad someone’s out there to notice this kind of "avant garde" filmmaking in populist cinema and bring it to everyone’s attention.

My point: I believe people subconsciously register sophistication and excellence in so-called "mindless" action movies as a few of the qualities that make those films "good," yet sometimes unfairly dismiss older and/or foreign films for exhibiting those exact same traits. It pays to broaden one’s horizons once in a while; one might find that other movies are not as stuffy and pretentious as previously thought.

The link: I broke everything new again

Bonus track: Bordwell also has an interesting essay called Anatomy of the Action Picture, where he uses as a case study (surprise!) Mission: Impossible III. Yes, I was somewhat surprised by that choice too, but it’s actually a pretty good fit.

The only disadvantage I can think of to reading this piece is that after becoming aware of how various narrative devices are used to tell a story, you become especially annoyed when you watch a movie where they’re employed badly. Fortunately, movie lovers have invented a way to derive enjoyment from these silly moments – hence Roger Ebert’s Little Movie Glossary, packed with priceless gems like the ones below.

"Tell Me Where You Are And I’ll Come And Get You."
Telltale line that finally makes obvious to everyone (except the hero) that the hero’s trusted friend or supervisor has gone over to the bad guys. JIM LEE, Cary, North N.C.

Bad Guy Credentials Demo
In any movie where the villain is a really, really bad guy, whose dysfunction and malice transcend that of the ordinary evildoer, he establishes that fact early in the film by coldly killing one of his own men. (See Darth Vader, many Bond villains, Russian Mafia leader in "The Jackal," etc.) DIRK KNEMEYER, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Bloody Fingertip Rule
If a character sees anything looking like blood, he must put his finger in it and hold it up before realizing that it is blood. Corollary: If the substance is not blood, the character must smell it or taste it before realizing what it is. GERALD FITZGERALD, Dallas, TX.

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