Thursday, January 14, 2010

Avatar: Space Cowboys vs. Indians

My initial questions directly after seeing Avatar:  What is the intended message James Cameron intends the general public to perceive?  Beyond that, what is the outcome (consequence) of the message actually taken from this movie? 

Avatar's breathtaking technology has certainly opened the doors for a new genre, and also for a new market in entertainment.  This advanced technology is a tool that has the power to elevate the art form of digital cinematography- in Avatar, however, it is used as a platform for creating a plot that, throughout the movie,  fills in the empty blanks of a flat storyline by the changing of relativistic viewpoints.  The context and use of the climax by Cameron is unoriginal and singularly confusing to the average viewer- we begin on the side of the trigger-happy, aggressive characters and end sympathizing with the Na'vi, who are referred to as "blue monkeys", and whose religion is belittled and reduced to pagan rituals.

Imagine a movie using the same science and techniques that presses towards a new expression of aesthetic pleasure and entertainment- art in a fresh and stimulating format.  Instead, here we find a film that negatively stereotypes those in the armed forces, and where both sides in the conflict are objectified and satirically used, it seems, simply for the studio to break even (in this case, that point was reportedly around $300,000,000).  Indeed, we were yawning at the xenophobic implications that force the viewer to identify with a decidedly chauvinistic perspective.  "When you want something someone else has, you make them your enemy to justify taking it," is not, to me, an acceptable or enjoyable mindset with which to leave a theater.

That's all folks.  If you need me, I'll be washing out my brain watching a Tim Burton movie (aka fantasy done right).

1 comment:

wallanut said...

I have to say, for some reason I had it in my head that you liked this movie? I now see that I read the first line of that review and not the rest. Interesting is what I have to say. I do want to see the movie but more for the video effects that I am hearing so much about.

Thank you!