This Is our Village

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Because I can get them for free, I have been reading old spy stories lately on my Kindle. So I was “in the mood” to buy Comcast’s shortened version of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and watch it over the weekend. I never saw the original TV series. The only trouble starting out is that it has been like all these movies nowadays.
Our high school English teacher told us about the literary device called a flashback, but it seems that the movies are carrying flashbacks to great lengths today. Flashbacks are going off like flashbulbs—all over the place.
Different chapters in a book are often about “parallel” action taking place—that’s all right except it seems to me the movies do this to excess.
I don’t find it easy to follow the unraveling of a mystery with all this back-and-forth taking place at lighting speed. I can’t even remember who’s who half the time.
I know it’s partly me, because the person I attend the movies with follows the plots much better than I. “Don’t you remember from the beginning?” she’ll say. “The guy with the scar on his cheek is her love interest in Italy.” But my friend often watches the same movie two or three times, which makes me wonder if THAT isn’t the moviemakers’ angle: to get you coming back.
All I know is, I have a lot of difficulty following the movies nowadays. Do you?
I’ll be giving “Tinker, Tailor” a couple of more tries today and tomorrow.


  1. of course it's not you! My mom says the same thing - you can get lost fast with all the flashbacks - made me crazy when watching shutter island ---flashbacks use up lots of time ----like when watching tv series - csi and spin offs - lots of fill in with shots of equipment and just hands - no need to write dialogue - or actors just adapting a stance or pose ---

  2. The only time I have problems with flash backs is if the film is poorly made. You really need to concentrate.

  3. Well, I finished watching TTSS and don't know much more than when I started. My brother says critics criticized TTSS for lack of clarity. He, like me, has difficulty following many of today's US films. He says foreign films are much better. He says the surtitles, once you get used to them, are helpful, not only for translation, but for general absorption of conversations.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.