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These pages show how thinking about Bruce Willis movies can lead to reflection on many aspects of filmmaking and film watching.
Other essays are still in the word processor: on In Country, Color of Night, Die Hard II/III, the way we see film stars etc.

For references, see Sources and acknowledgements in the About this site section.
For reviews of individual films, see IMDb and Amazon links at the bottom of this page.

[General spoiler alert: The movies discussed are considered known.
To avoid spoilers, do not read the essay if you haven't seen the film.]

The Swiss Cheese Factor
Credibility of the unreal in 12 Monkeys and The Sixth Sense
Films that venture beyond the scope of physical reality can't avoid a certain quantity of plot holes. This essay explores how disruptive such holes are in an unambiguous narrative as compared to an open-ended one.
Read essay >>

Die Hard: A Classic in Action
"Die Hard" is often said to be a classic of the action movie, a film that created its own genre: the blue-collar action hero. But apart from providing the blueprint for pretty much an entire branch of the movie industry, the original "Die Hard" is a classic in a formal sense, through many of the factors that make it a good entertainment product. The film has various clearly recognizable traits that it shares with theatrical styles generally referred to as "classical".
Read essay >>

The Kid: Respect Yourself
To Say Nothing of The Dog
Film critics have to be particularly conscious of their own and the film's cultural background.
They run a risk of confusing culture-specific values and connotations with universal ones.
A Swedish review of "Disney's The Kid" is a case in point.
Read essay >>

McCarthy Revisited
The review discussed on these pages was published in a regional paper in Southern Sweden (Sydsvenska Dagbladet) when Disney's The Kid opened in February 2001.
The critic objects to the film because of it being a vehicle for Bruce Willis' "arch-conservative Republican world view". But, in a democracy, what relevance does an actor's political affiliation have in judging the quality of a movie? Should only actors deemed politically correct by the media be permitted to work??? This line of reasoning smacks of Stalinism, or of McCarthy in reverse.
Read essay >>

Disneyfying Death
A discussion of the amazing public and critical success of M Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense. Written for Modern American Film, a summer course held at Lund University in June-July 2002 by Olof Hedling, PhD.
Read essay >>

IMDb reviews:
  Talent's Labour's Lost (The Sixth Sense, long)
  Watch Space Cowboys instead! (Armageddon)
Amazon review:
  "Whaddaya think I am - stoopid???" (The Sixth Sense, short)

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