Monday, December 17, 2007
When I first saw The Bourne Identity five years ago, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the Robert Ludlum novels which the movies are based on. I was very surprised to discover that Jason Bourne in the novels is really a chauvanistic jerk. He kidnaps Marie from a hotel and forces her to help him at gun point. It's been long enough since I read them that I don't remember if they get together, but I think at the least she helps him of her own free will after that. He is also ruthless and amoral. I recommend the books, because the stories are great, but they are definately different. There is also a Bourne Identity movie made much closer to the time of the books, and it's Bourne is very close to the book Bourne. We didn't enjoy it very much.
However, knowing the books, I laugh everytime I watch the new Bourne movies. It is such a great example of how the cultural expectations for men and relationships leave a lasting imprint on the hero. Far from the macho jerk in the books, Bourne in the movies is a Really Good Guy. He's an assassin, but he only kills the other assassins who are trying to kill him first. He doesn't carry a gun, but rather finds one each time he has to use one. He can speak any language, evade a chase in any tiny vehicle, defend himself with a ballpoint pen or rolled up magazine, yet he is lost without Marie. When it comes time to enlist Marie's help, he offers her a lot of money, and lets her choose. That is so much more appropriate behavior, because women today need to choose their destinies. It isn't until the bad guys kill Marie that he moves from reactive to proactive, and we know it's all because his heart is broken, so we can forgive just about anything. He's a killer we can love. He hardly even swears.
I sit there laughing and pointing out these things as we watch, and I love the films because Bourne is the kind of hero I can empathize with, for all the above reasons. I guess I'm as shaped by the culture I live in as Bourne is.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Then came the Feast of Dedication at
It's interesting that Jesus keeps referring to the miracles He has performed, especially in light of the fact that they were celebrating the miracle God did at the first Feast of Dedication at the time.