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The film picks up directly where the last installment, the Bourne Ultimatum, left off--with Jason Bourne swimming in a New York river after falling approximately eight miles from a nearby skyscraper. Bourne swims to the shore and sees a building marked "Mrs. Wheeler's Pottery School." He walks inside, as extremely loud, guitar-driven industrial music plays in the background. The camera shakes dramatically as the first of many exhilarating sequences begins. Bourne tries to enroll in the class, but Mrs. Wheeler (Winona Ryder) wants to charge him $20 an hour. He says this is outrageous. As they argue, the camera shakes violently to the point that it is no longer possible to tell what is going on onscreen because it is an incomprehensible blur.
It then moves into the first of several pottery scenes. "Our pottery scenes are 100% real," boasted the director of the film, Doug Liman, "We used no stuntmen or CGI effects, no matter how difficult it made production." As Bourne moves from one pot to another, spinning his pottery wheel and moulding the clay, the cameraman runs around the room, shaking the camera vigorously for dramatic effect. The film then enters what many critics hailed as one of the best chase scenes in the series. Bourne picks up a small slip (a piece of clay mixed with water) to add a finishing touch to one of his urns when he drops it on the ground. He runs after it in a three second chase scene that ends with the slip splitting in two in "One of the most realistic pottery-chase scenes ever filmed."