Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Bourne-Moby-Voldemort Identity

Just saw The Bourne Ultimatum yesterday.

On the plus-side: A fun, action-packed summertime popcorn thriller ... with a moral:
Never volunteer to be a remorseless, unquestioning killer for the State.
In the minus column: Gratuitous overuse of the "shaky-cam." You want to communicate to your viewers the chaos and disorientation that attend (I imagine) a man-to-man fight-to-the-death with an equally-trained and even more remorseless killer? Okay, fine. Shake away.

But in a quiet, subdued, face-to-face meeting in a café between a newspaper reporter and his mysterious insider source? C'mon ...

But I digress.

Each of the three films ends with the same song, "Extreme Ways," by a fellow named Moby. Since I'm a certified "credidiot" (one of those people you see in theatres sitting all the way through the final credits), I tried to pay attention to the lyrics this time. What I heard intrigued me, so I looked 'em up on-line.

Wow. In the context of the Bourne films, Moby's lyrics sure seem to express the lament of a remorseless, unquestioning killer for the State.

"So, just who is this Moby?" I wondered. So I went to his website. Where I read the following post in his journal:
i was just in washington dc for a day, and while there i was wearing my 'republicans for voldemort' t-shirt.

granted it's a fairly subtle literary reference (as the harry potter books have only sold, i believe, 300 million copies, and the movies have only been seen by a billion people or so), but i'm still surprised at how many people respond to the t-shirt as if i were really endorsing a republican candidate named voldemort.

every now and then someone will stop me and say 'your t-shirt is very funny, where'd you get it?', but more often than not i get dirty looks from democrats ('boo, hiss, dirty republican') and approving looks from republicans ('yahoo! another member of the cabal!').

but this isn't about politics, it's about my excellent t-shirt (and no, i don't remember where it came from. i think that someone might've given it to me in a bar?) and how surprising it is that the vast majority of americans seem to be unfamiliar with the central antagonist in the most successful book franchise of all time.

isn't that surprising?

i think it's surprising.

maybe if the t-shirt didn't look so authentic. ...
What a hoot! Pulling one over (quite unintentionally) on both Republicans and Dems, both sides thinking he's supporting a GOP candidate named Voldemort!


dwight towers said...

On the IMDB discussion thread, someone has suggested startng a "Paul Greengrss Tripod Fund".

And my girlfriend tells me that the voldemort shirts are available from


Frank said...


A Paul Greengrass tripod fund!

Took me a second to get it — but then, it's only 3 a.m. and I just woke up for work ...

Matt said...

Tripod fund? That's hilarious!

Actually, the camera work didn't bother me, really. I loved the movie and I was amazed that it was just as good or possibly better than the first two films. That doesn't happen too often.

And, yes, Extreme Ways is a very good song. I bought it on iTunes. There was actually a different version of the song after Ultimatum. It's slightly different and I liked it better, but you have to buy the whole soundtrack to get it.

Pieter said...

Really enjoyed this latest Bourne movie, particularly the message wrapped inside the action. As for Greengrass, I found his filming style MUCH more appropriate for one of my favorite movies, "Bloody Sunday." But "Ultimatum" was still a great film.

I bought "Extreme Ways" off iTunes after seeing "Ultimatum" and listened to it on repeat several times. Excellent song.