Archive for May 2nd, 2010

Guess the pic

A new entry from Jamie Uhler:

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Copyright © 2010 by James Clark

 I’ve introduced this piece, before dealing with “The Elephant Man” and “The Straight Story,” because it provides a look at someone else, besides Lynch, who has become haunted by the energies of French Surrealist artists. Moreover, coming at this point of the retrospective, it moots a precursor to Lynch’s struggles with the production minefield of “Dune.”

      Of all the Paul Auster novels, the title for the text, The Book of Illusions, carries us farthest into the heart of its discernment. Whereas a cursory reading (utterly pointless, when it comes to that most nuanced of projects) would settle upon the “illusions” dished up by a set of films under the auspices of one “Hector Mann,” a more fertile line of initial engagement would twig on to the name of the narrator/protagonist, “David Zimmer.” Zimmer denotes an enclosed space, a room. The Zimmer in question would thereby fall in line with a horde of Auster players the centripetal energies of whom render them, as extirpated from a wide, cogently sensuous dynamic, ascetic (illusory and delusory) figures whose compensatory bids on behalf of carnal frappe sour to the level of bathetic insistence, the interpersonal range of which would tend to hectoring, harassment of others for the sake of bending them to its will. Woven into the illusory exploits, thus structured, of Zimmer, the locked room, and Hector, the loose cannon, is a very familiar motif (chimaeric, illusory in its location as overtone to banal events) drawn from the 1955 film noir, Kiss Me Deadly, namely, Pandora’s Box, a fountain of dynamic power to master or misplay with destructive, and sometimes deadly, consequences. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA/UK 2007 115m) DVD1/2

Operation Blackbriar

p  Frank Marshal, Patrick Crowley, Paul L.Sandberg  d  Paul Greengrass  w  Tony Gilroy, Scott Z.Burns, George Nolfi  novel  Robert Ludlum  ph  Oliver Wood  ed  Christopher Rouse  m  John Powell  art  Peter Wenham

Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), Joan Allen (Pamela Landy), Julia Stiles (Nikki Parsons), David Strathairn (Noah Vosen), Scott Glenn (Ezra Kramer), Paddy Considine (Simon Ross), Albert Finney (Dr Albert Hirsch), Edgar Ramirez (Paz), Tom Gallop (Tom Cronin), Corey Johnson (Wills), Daniel Brühl (Martin Kreutz),

Before beginning this essay something made me look up the film on the IMDb and, when I did so, it was not without a sense of irony that I saw a picture under the title that seemed to have no relation, the smiling face of Jennifer Garner.  It was only a photo taken at the film’s premiere, but the smile was because Garner was subconsciously linked to Bourne.  She never starred in any of the Bourne films, had no direct connection to the franchise, but it was her iconic role as Sydney Bristow in TV’s Alias in the early part of the new millennium that helped make spies, the CIA and espionage all cool for the Generation X, and it was at the same time as that show made it’s first mark that the first Bourne film, The Bourne Identity, made its own mark.

            Identity wasn’t a great film, but it was a solid enough effort, and helped to bring big screen espionage out of the dark ages of James Bond, a franchise whose concurrent Die Another Day had left it dead in the water.  Identity warranted a sequel, and warranted a new, better director, Paul Greengrass, so that The Bourne Supremacy was a better film and warranted its own sequel.  Yet by the time of Ultimatum’s arrival, James Bond had done its own Lazarus act in Casino Royale with Daniel Craig’s rough and rugged 007 dragging that dinosaur into the present and laying down the gauntlet to Greengrass, Damon and the rest to try and top it with Ultimatum.  Could it top its own predecessors and kick Bond back to the back pages?  Well, in the words of Bourne himself, “it gets easier.”  They not only achieved it, but made the most essential action film of the last decade or so, finally dragging that tired genre out of the slow-mo gunfights of the talentless John Woo imitators and into the 21st century. (more…)

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