This was 10 years, 8 months, 9 days ago

"It is precisely because Gamer is an action-oriented exploitation flick, rather than one that expresses the psychological interiority of its characters, that it is able to provide us with something like a cognitive mapping of the contemporary world system. The movie is somewhere between an allegory, and a concrete exemplification, of the way that, today, value is extracted from circulation (especially media circulation) as well as from direct production.

Steven Shaviro on the movie Gamer (2009)

deliberate simplification and nuance-less-ness of the characters enables the movie to operate as a diagram/mapping of reality. there is no nuance in the bar graph, no subtleties in the diagrams. difference is indicated through simplifying broad, bold, and direct gestures. the movie is a performance that informs, generates, analyzes and shows. then, seemingly paradoxically, it's productive to think of a movie as 'mindless' as an action flick as being instrumental/explanatory, precisely because it operates as an instrument by unitizing figures as objects. the movement of discrete characters within a field as itself important: not the characters but their interconnected play as the valuable dynamic.

discrete is separate from flat; one could have discrete, yet complex characters. the appeal of the bourne identity trilogy, or the specific method in which they operate (in what would be initially thought of as a typical spy/action movie) is perhaps that while the movie is driven by the complex interconnected relations between bourne (the spy-with-amnesia), the government, his romantic interest, his enemies, etc. etc --- the driving force is illustrated to be bourne's own desire for freedom/information/discovery stemming from his own insecurities about his identity. in other words, the micro-dynamics within the individual are convincingly illustrated to drive the macro-dynamics of the system. bourne's yearning for 'wanting to know who he is' sets a series of balls into play, yes.

but the overarching logic that really drives the entire system, I would argue, is the way in which bourne (and every other character) is a discrete entity, in which the boundaries between him and other characters do not blur, that you can trust bourne to be ruthlessly good at what he will do, and so that the trust in bourne's machine-like efficiency transitively carries over to a trust that encases bourne as a discrete, independent entity that acts alone, with influence, but alone. ball A hits ball B, which then glances off ball D, which in turn was pushed by ball C, and so on and so forth, etc.