thomascrown1 - The Attempted Rebirth of Cool in The Thomas...

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The Attempted Rebirth of Cool in The Thomas Crown Affair Today’s postmodern culture, among other things, embraces and idolizes hip culture and nostalgia to such an extreme that actors of old who defined cool – Clint Eastwood, James Dean, and Steve McQueen to name a few – are given an iconic status by both the young and old. Few actors in the postmodern era have the ultracool persona that made Eastwood, Dean, and McQueen so popular in their films – this is due to many actors taking on a variety of parts and star turns, where they disobey their celebrity persona. One such postmodern actor with an ultracool persona – Pierce Bronsan - occupies it mainly because of a part, that of superspy James Bond. Bronsan’s persona is that of a classy rich Brit whose charming exterior can seduce nearly any woman into bed. This doesn’t fit into the lone wolf roles that were embraced in the past. Thus, Bronsan remade a particular McQueen movie – The Thomas Crown Affair – in which McQueen played a millionaire - in an effort to hopefully solidify his position as the suave, sophisticated icon. The principal concern with the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is that it wants to be a nostalgic reminder of cool icons past, however, it nonetheless falls into the high tech style that is common for big budget pictures in Hollywood. This is most evident in the character of Thomas Crown, who relies on the exploitation of Bronsan’s persona, the wild showoff nature of special effects (especially in regard to money and setting) and the episodic structure of the plot to give us a full view of Thomas Crown, as opposed to simply Bronsan’s performance. Thomas Crown can represent the entire film, as it tries to be a hybrid of classical Hollywood style and postmodern high tech style.
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Thomas Crown’s character is first and foremost defined by the actor who portrays him. In this case, Pierce Bronsan creates the character before he is even on screen, as audiences know of him before they go see the movie. Pierce Bronsan’s fame was established during the television show Remington Steele , however his true persona was solidified when he portrayed James Bond in four films. Bronsan’s postmodern Bond (his first film debuted in 1995) spoke mostly using short quips, very often engaging in witty conversations (consisting mostly of puns) with sexual undertones. Although many high concept postmodern movies use dialogue comprised mostly of quips and maxims, Bronsan truly embraces this method speaking. The short quips used in
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  • Spring '08
  • Casper
  • CROWN, Steve McQueen, Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Thomas Crown

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