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FILM-PHILOSOPHY  August 2007

FILM-PHILOSOPHY August 2007

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Subject:

AW: dream of perfect surveillance

From:

Stan Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Film-Philosophy Salon <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 01:11:43 +1200

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Dear Evgeni,
Check out Wenders' 'End of Violence'.
Cheers,
Stan

________________________________

Von: Film-Philosophy Salon im Auftrag von Evgeni V. Pavlov
Gesendet: Mi 8/29/2007 2:29
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: dream of perfect surveillance



greetings, i'm new to the list so pardon me if this was already a topic of discussion. i'm more on
the "philosophy" side of the equation, so pardon that as well. i went to see the final installment
of the bourne films - Bourne Ultimatum - which, as i expected, was visually entertaining but
nothing more, a rather banal and paranoid idea but, and here is my main question, i also happened
to watch Das Leben der Anderen (Lives of Others) a day before (it just came out on DVD in the US)
and i found myself wondering about a number of issues related to the representation of
surveillance. in the bourne film we see, as in many other films lately, a kind of a surveillance
paradise where bosses in Virginia are able to track and actually observe the movements of their
agents in London. so here are some questions that i'd be happy to engage with anyone interested
(note that i'm still mulling over these ideas and haven't done any actual research or serious
thinking for that matter):

1. what is the actual state of surveillance compared to that in the films like Bourne Ultimatum?
it seems rather easy to locate anyone of the globe, track their movements, send instant txt
messages to an army of disposable assassins - i wonder if there is a good study of actual
capabilities and a comparison with a kind of imaginary surveillance utopia.

2. while Das Leben der Anderen leaves one (among other things) with a kind of nightmarish feeling
of being watched, even if a hero is partially redeemed in the end, most of American
representations of surveillance function on the bases of a kind of "perverse utilitarianism" - as
long as we are saving OUR lives, it is ok, not very comfortable but for the sake of security - in
fact, the whole premise of Bourne films is this stepping over the line, not the line itself. what
does this dream (if it is as unrealistic as i suspect) tell us about contemporary western society?


evgeni v. pavlov


      
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