The New Swans Gazette, issue 12

Issue 10, 2016-07-28


Jason Bourne, movie review
Short Story


An evolution of revolution and one man rule

There have been many uprisings in the world, in its history, and most of them have just exchanged one man rule for another. I am not dismissing the women, they have also had their hands in the cookie jar, Indira Gandhi in the late 70s comes to mind. She however got elected later on so she does not really fit in this article. I suppose they just haven’t had the opportunity so far, but we are looking forward to their participating in the future.

Revolutions, we have seen quite a lot of them in the past and in the present, and usually it does not really end well if you like democracy. If you don’t like democracy and like some spilling of blood, they have been rather successfull.

Lets take the Russian revolution to start with, the big one. Overthrowing a despotic ruler by the name of Nicholas II. Today he seems like a gentle breeze compared to what would come, but a dictator nonetheless. During his rain he had the secret police, the Okhrana, to do his bidding. In 1905, a peaceful demonstration, by all accounts, were shoot at by the military killing 92. So after some revolutions that failed, in 1917 they made it, touch down you might say. After a struggle for power Mr Stalin came out on top, killing many more, how many we will never know.
Grey turned to black and kiss your freedom goodbye.

Spain, the year is 1936. A turbulent past had enriched the soil to grow a revolution, this time from the right. A minority government on the left managed to get elected, we have some unrest and “Bobs your uncle” a revolution. The Spanish army and the Spanish right did not like this kind of an election, so they started a revolution, seems only fair. It took some time but in the end General Franco came out ahead of the pack. Now how many he killed, not personally of course, they never seem to do, is not really known, but probably between 50,000 and 150,000 people. It could be more but probably not less. It took until the late 70s before Spain were back on the path of democracy.A side not is that I watched Francos funeral on TV at the young age of 3. At 3 I also did a drawing for a nurse, all kids had to do one back then, and I drew Francos coffin. Seems already at that young age I knew the proper place for any dictator, 6 feet under.

Now lets jump forward to 2016 and we end up in Turkey. A revolution gone wrong and now a counter revolution ongoing, doing much better by all accounts. Many arrests, the death penalty might do a comeback and journalists imprisoned by the handful. It looks like a country on a path that so many other countries have take before. Is it a one man rule? A democracy only as deep as the paper it is printed on? The answer seems to lean against the affirmative but time will tell in more details. For me it seems like a scary story I do not really want to read even though I have to.


Movie review

Jason Bourne 2016

This is a poster for Jason Bourne (film). The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. Used as Fair use.

Director Paul Greengrass is back, teaming up with Matt Damon to make another instalment of the Bourne saga.

In this movie Bourne is making “a living” as a bare knuckle fighter, totally off the grid and living as unhappy as he can be. Meanwhile at the CIA, a new program have been started called Ironhand, and what that program is about is a bit vague in the beginning of the movie, but don’t worry all will be revealed in the end. Lets say social media will come and haunt you, or maybe it already is.

Of course someone wants to expose the evil doings of the agency, presented by a familiar face from a couple of the older movies. She drags Bourne out of his unhappy retirement, CIA spot him and the “hide and seek” dance begins. A movie filled with car chases and quick fight scenes together quick cutting between many different cameras to keep the tempo going.

The movie has some good actors, and as a swede it is always nice to see Alicia Vikander pop-up in a big blockbuster movie. Except for Matt Damon they have also thrown in Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel for good measure. The director has done some nice Bourne movies before and the budget of 120 million dollars should have produced something better than what they managed to do. The weak point, and it is a major weak point, is the plot. The story is thin and the character development, well it just is not there. You can throw in all the car chases you want and quick cuts between cameras to give tempo, but without some kind of story to carry the visual niceties, it falls a bit flat.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not like I left the cinema hating the movie, but I did leave the warm glow of the movie screen with a feeling of “Well, could have been worse I suppose”.

The Bourne character does not develop at all and maybe that is OK for this kind of a movie, so I can live with that. The problem is the story in itself. Why Bourne is back and how others react to that, it just is no believable. A production with a lot of money but lacking that most needed thing, a good story that feels believable inside the confine of the movie screen.

Ok so it is nicely filmed, have a good tempo and nice effects, and that carries the movie pretty far by itself. The lack of a really good story stops it from reaching any higher grades from me.
Maybe a 6 would b fair grade from me, a rather weak 6, but a 6 nonetheless.

Watch it, but don’t have to high expectations. Enjoy the car chases and when the end credits roll by before your eyes you will feel, or at least I did, that it was almost all about nothing, but the car chases they were good.


Short Story

Pondering and imagination

He was sitting beside a lake, even though lake was to grand a name for this small mosquito infested part of Kolyma. It was puddle, a swamp that slowly sucked the water away to some unseen destination. The buzzing sound kept hitting his eardrums, one sound ball after another, like a grease gun spitting out bullets far more dangerous than the lead kind.
Looking out over the water, his gaze blocked by the trees and those organic, biting specks he fed weather he wanted to or not.
“What lies beyond those trees,” he thought.
He scratched his hand ferociously, ending a couple of life’s in the process.
Closing his eyes, he travels with a speed no physics can measure. Over the might, melancholic tundra, speeding across scattered cities and countries that blurred beneath his outstretched imagination. The North sea passed under him, waves striking that old sea, a song played in his head, and then it was gone, as was the sea beneath him.
He returned to the lake, to his home, travelling and yet never leaving.
“What are you doing, come inside,” Olek, the ever present shadow, mumbled to him. He looked around but his shadow had gone inside. Looking up he sees the sun covered by a cloud, grey and dirty, unwashed for millennia as far as he knew.
Looking down, a mosquito feeding on him with a frenzy, a full one course meal, everything you need.
“A genius,” he exclaimed with a shout to no one in particular, or maybe it was directed to Olek.
“It eats, plays, fornicates, creates something unique in the same old way it always have, and it never looks beyond the trees.