Skip to main content

3 Days to Kill



3 Days to Kill

Kevin Costner's character, Ethan Renner, is in a dangerous situation. One, he's dying -- months to live. Second, he's in one of those occupations we're "reforming" to think of more in proletariat, working-stiff, terms. He's a superb CIA operative who does the dirty work better than anyone else can. This must have floated him twenty years plus of being a bit shot -- James Bond-like, big shot. But just like how even the current James Bond could be casually insulted by being dandyied the most sparse of supplies -- and by a new young Q who can hardly be daunted by the legend of James Bond owing, evidently, to how much credit geniuses like him are now being routinely given over even top agents -- Ethan's precariously close to having all sense of him as a star being drifted out of him, leaving him an aging, dispensable, workhorse agent, who on his own is going to have to take care of the feeble-pensioned rest of his life. 

But he's not there yet. His wife and his daughter, who are meshed in in an affluent, thriving world in Paris, absent, in their feeling occasioned to the times, much doubt, any sense of themselves as about to become society's prole junk, are "things" still open to be touched into wrapping themselves around him into their world, their story. 

Some sense of the drastic importance of this course of survival explains why he really does have no interest in the hot, vixen, new top super-agent, Vivi Delay. Also, she fails in being a tease, because being her seems to require a lot of work. All the attention required to keeping each facet perfect, feels straining, like it'll wear her out in a few years, leaving her looking spent at 30 -- no one that young is going to be able to beat what the world will be non-stop inflicting them over the next while.  She's got to make a perfect shell out of herself because her life is going to about the non-stop, necessarily every time persuasively perfect -- so to dissuade all the innumerable other onlooking predators -- dextrous dealing with outside assaulting shocks. He might once upon a time have had to do the same, but in a 70s "Dirty Harry" era, where there was still so much more time for the languid and slow-paced --  he'd have been able to press through the intermittently present tense to ease comfortably out to the exterior extensions of his body, so he'd know what it is to fully breathe. An acquisition that would never leave him, and give him assurance to drive into his family's story in this later part of his life. 

So I felt sorry for her, for feeling her precarious millenialness. But truth be told, a lot of what I was doing while watching this film was enjoying Ethan beginning to assess the world around him in a more open way. People, things, he'd quarantined a certain way -- a death-focused, agent's way --  he allows to open up to show him more of what they also are -- a dandy Italian accountant working for the villainous "Wolf" can readily be opened into just an Italian possessed of a well-developed life course -- a store of human resources, not just incriminating data; a person. He's seeing the domestic possibilities, the human possibilities, in each situation, which would make killing a very hard thing to do because everyone has something else they contribute to the world other than whatever unfortunate aspects that lend to caricatures. There's a few just-villains kept in place -- some disposable bald guy with a limp, plus some Nazi "Wolf" -- but before Ethan slips from his previous occupation, it looks like he'd made most everyone between the most bad and the most pure-grunt sort of like sweet innards of human contact and sustenance -- ingredients of a collective, evolving, human story. 

Crocodile Dundee-like, I suppose, but something only granted to him once he was willing, after a few loud last applauds of Pittsburgh / working class culture -- Go Steelers! -- to forgo the cowboy to slip into refined dress his family would recognize as fitting in -- and how! --  with their more truly activated life. Just barely, he made the first-class train he yet held a ticket to. Now over time he can relax into his new preened, absolutely perfect, silver-bullet life shell, with, it turns out, a good bulk of his life yet left to heft into it (an experimental drug -- normally only available to the 1% -- proves a cure-all).  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Too late -- WE SAW your boobs

I think we're mostly familiar with ceremonies where we do anointing. Certainly, if we can imagine a context where humiliation would prove most devastating it'd probably be at a ceremony where someone thought themselves due an honor -- "Carrie," "Good Fellas." "We labored long to adore you, only so to prime your hope, your exposure … and then rather than a ladder up we descended the slops, and hoped, being smitten, you'd judged yourself worthless protoplasm -- a nothing, for letting yourselves hope you might actually be something -- due to be chuted into Hades or Hell." Ostensibly, nothing of the sort occurred during Oscars 2013, where the host, Seth Macfarlane, did a number featuring all the gorgeous Oscar-winning actresses in attendance who sometime in their careers went topless, and pointed this out to them. And it didn't -- not quite. Macarlane would claim that all obscenity would be directed back at him, for being the geek so pathetic …

Discussion over the fate of Jolenta, at the Gene Wolfe facebook appreciation site

Patrick McEvoy-Halston November 28 at 10:36 AM Why does Severian make almost no effort to develop sustained empathy for Jolenta -- no interest in her roots, what made her who she was -- even as she features so much in the first part of the narrative? Her fate at the end is one sustained gross happenstance after another... Severian has repeated sex with her while she lay half drugged, an act he argues later he imagines she wanted -- even as he admits it could appear to some, bald "rape" -- but which certainly followed his discussion of her as someone whom he could hate so much it invited his desire to destroy her; Severian abandons her to Dr. Talus, who had threatened to kill her if she insisted on clinging to him; Baldanders robs her of her money; she's sucked at by blood bats, and, finally, left at death revealed discombobulated of all beauty... a hunk of junk, like that the Saltus citizens keep heaped away from their village for it ruining their preferred sense of themse…

It might not have been worth it, Lupita

This is how Lupita Nhyong'o describes the shooting of the whipping scene in "12 Years a Slave":  And being there was more then enough to handle. "The reality of the day was that I was stripped naked in front of lots of people," Nyong'o said. "It was impossible to make that a closed set. In fact, I didn't even as for it to be a closed set, because at the end of the day, that was a privilege not granted to Patsey, you know? It really took me there. It was devastating to experiencing that, and to be tied to a post and whipped. Of course, I couldn't possible be really whipped. But just hearing the crack of that thing behind me, and having to react with my body, and with each whip, get weaker and weaker …" She grew quiet, and sighed. "I mean, it was -- I didn't practice it. It was just -- it was an exercise of imagination and surrender." Lupita was trying to become as close as she could to the actual Patsey, out of fidelity, apprec…