Immersion and Alienation

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On Thomas’ recommendation, I went and saw The Bourne Ultimatum last night. I now understand there’s been a lot of discussion of it online, with David Bordwell providing a great analysis of especially its “run-and-gun” visual style, as well as commenting further on the claim made by some that it is particularly innovative in this respect.

I agree fully with his analysis, though I still found the action entertaining, and not particularly confusing, to watch. But, since the avowed objective is apparently to create an immersive experience, I find it exceedingly puzzling that such jarring and alienating plot holes as not explaining how Bourne gets into his adversary, the CIA Boss,’ by all appearances highly secured and guarded office to steal his documents, are given free pass. In a movie so concerned with showing us the masterful, two-steps-ahead movements of the protagonist, this kind of thing is close to unforgivable. No amount of “immersive” bouncy handhelds, telephoto close-ups, rapid cutting, swishpans or pounding scoring can conceal such storytelling blunders.

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