Form and Meaning with a focus on symptomatic meaning


In reference to the movie “The Bourne Identity” of which I enjoyed all of them, not only the movie but I also enjoyed the books the movies were based off. The events of the movies, in my opinion, run right alongside of the current events and the way society acts and thinks today. The movie is full of action from beginning to end. The type of action is usually violence. For example the first movie starts out with Jason waking up on a fishing boat after having been shot and left for dead. Jason is the main character that essentially is the one running around killing people but the film makes the audience like and roots for him. Society today is all about guns, violence, with the premise of protecting one’s self. Today many people seem to just want to take justice into their own hands. In the movie Jason is an agent who at one time was brainwashed by our government to not know who he really is or where he came from.  The injury Jason received (gunshot) triggered something that made him click and start to remember vague things about his past. Many people today in society tend to believe that the government in this country or any country has people on their payroll similar to the character in the movie. There was an article in Time magazine 10/8/1951, written about brainwashing, psychological warfare, emotional conditioning, indoctrination, communism, socialism & youth. This article although written many years ago still seems to “fit” into some of what we see today.

In this article, which written about China and Communism, talks about “washing the brain” to essentially get people to think and act the way the government requires. In the Bourne movies much of the same methods are described or shown in some of the characters sporadic flashes of memory. Once enrolled in the process and I don’t believe that in China or in the movie the candidate really knew exactly what the enrollment for sense of duty or serving their country really meant.  What actually happen the candidates experienced sleep deprivation, starvation and torture. The candidates ended up conforming to the requirements just to survive. They came out the other side and new and different person.


Society today tends to enjoy these types of stories whether it is a book, TV show, or as in the case of the “Bourne Identity” a movie.  There is violence everywhere which seems to be socially accepted as part of the “norm” in today’s world. Is it okay for governments to have secrets so deep that even the secrets have secrets? Yes, I enjoyed the action packed, thriller movie about Jason Bourne. I ended up on Jason’s side. How could we allow this type of thing to happen to anyone? It does happen. Society accepts that it happens. Society pretends to be outraged but yet it is a way of life just as in China many years ago. Same thing, different tactics, different titles, different weapons, and same violence against humanity. Oh well, just lock your doors, buy a weapon and move on. Movies such as “The Bourne Identity” are very entertaining but at the same time promote violence, brain washing, and weapons of all kinds to our society. Much of today’s society tends to believe everything they read, see and hear. Movies such as this explicitly make government appear to be the enemy.[1]


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Genre Analysis

The genre analysis I chose was action/disaster films. What I can pull from just choosing this genre is that all action films that I have ever seen have a hero and a villain. Most of the time, the hero is battling the villain through-out the entire film. The films have a bunch of physical activities going on as well, explosions, gun fights, car chases, I mean name it action films in my eyes have the whole package when it comes to a certain genre. A great example of this is “Terminator 2 Judgment Day” Arnold Schwarzenegger plays as a cyborg robot “the hero” that is sent back in time to protect John Connor (main character) from being killed by the T-1000 (the villain) that was also sent back to kill him. Another cool thing to notice is that mostly all of the main-stream action films in today’s society have a decent budget to work with. Then, is creating a more visually stimulating experience for the audience so in my opinion action movies are awesome! Action films also I noticed the main character who is the hero of the film is usually a male actor which I find really interesting. So I decided to look up a film that’s classified as action where a female is the hero. “The article focuses on Pixar movie studio’s success with computer-animated films and on the making of “Brave” which features the company’s first female protagonist. Pixar’s 13th feature film “Brave” is a fairy tale and action film about a medieval Scottish princess and rebellious heroine named Merida.” The setting of action films can be anywhere it seems like. I have noticed though that a ton of action movies use sky scrapers as props because maybe the bigger things are the better the experience is for everyone. In action films the imagery is displayed by the hero as being a hard working individual who is surrounded by people that look up to him and or support him. Whereas the villain usually has people working for them because they want nothing more than destruction for the other party or to ultimately reach their goal which unenviably leads to failure. At its root action films are mainly aimed at a more boy to young man audience I remember reviewing that stat in class throughout school. The underlying factor is throughout the film selections that I have seen in the past the action film genre puts off a sense of power that the producers have when it comes to what they exactly want to show their audiences. I will always be attracted to action films because they give not only me the courage to see and feel stuff I have never experienced before. other people as a whole that are similarly attracted  as well will make the genre of action films thrive and keep thriving until people run out of ideas or run out of a budget because no one is interested anymore. There is probably more to action films I just felt I should cover the main basic things I have noticed.

Stein, Joel (2012, March 5) Vol. 179 Issue 9, p36-41, 6p, 4 Color Photographs. Retrieved from:

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