Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 28, 2020

The Bureau

Filed under: Counterpunch,television — louisproyect @ 3:39 pm

COUNTERPUNCH, FEBRUARY 28, 2020

A while back, I noticed a brief reference in the N.Y. Times to a French spy thriller titled “The Bureau” that sounded intriguing. The Times reviewer described it as “a workplace drama with an arthouse aesthetic, set at an unusually exciting office: the D.G.S.E. (France’s equivalent of the C.I.A.).” It added that you might want to pass on it if you’re looking for James Bond-style chase scenes or can’t stand being confused.

Now that I have begun Season Two of “The Bureau” on Amazon via a $7.99 per month Sundance Channel subscription, I can report that this is on the same level as the 1965 film version of “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.” Like John le Carré, the creative team behind “The Bureau” are far more interested in the psychological aspects of the spy trade that involve wholesale deception. Like the actors who portray the characters in “The Bureau,” spies must lie for a living. Or, to use a less judgmental term, pretend.

Unlike the typical spy movie that features men and women with extraordinary powers, those in “The Bureau” are all too human. You never see them in a spectacular knife fight like Matt Damon in his very first Jason Bourne role. Instead, they are mostly sitting at desks staring at computer monitors as I did in my 44-year programming career. Instead of debugging Cobol programs, however, they are typically monitoring the movements of their targets through G.P.S.

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1 Comment »

  1. Oh my God. When I read the title of this piece, I read it as “boo-ROH”. I was like, what is that?

    Did you ever watch “Bojack Horseman”? It’s on Netflix. You should review that, if you haven’t.

    Comment by Victoria Woodhull — March 1, 2020 @ 2:47 pm


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