PE, I do want to mention that I also went to and enjoyed Avatar, but it was over-hyped and should have been a 45 minute film for kids. I completely understand about letting go at the end of the day, but Avatar was taken far too seriously and is far too respected as an imaginative advance in artistic film-making.
I also understand it was a world-wide hit. Unfortunately, the juvenilization of mass media has not stopped at our borders. For me, what it touched in people was our immature desire to be soothed by a fake-sincere story about saving natives.
No disrespect to anyone who liked the movie. Let's see it for what it is.
All I will say about Avatar is that I couldn't help but thinking that I was watching our generation's "Wizard of Oz", which I really think it was.
I think it was pretty clear that this wasn't going to be a deep movie. The general message of it was that big corporations and national interests are evil and disregard more important human concerns, like culture. I'm fond of that message frankly, and it's exactly analogous to the colonization of the Americas and "white man's" absolute disregard and dismissal of the existing cultures; cultures that we could have learned a lot from.
So, if some 6 year old kid can take that message away from Avatar, even subconsciously, that's awesome. I'm not that offended or surprised by its lack of 'artistic merit'.
That being said, it's not on my top 25 list of movies, but I enjoyed seeing it in the theatre for the first time.
There is nothing wrong with an archetypal story retold over and over again so long as the audience engages and appreciates each time with all the subtle, profound, or sublime changes of the message or the medium.
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Avatar is The Wizard of OZ? You meant to say Pocahontas or Othello or something like that?
I'm referring to the revolutionary aspect of the Wizard of Oz's use of color, and Avatar's 3D. Sure 3D has been around for a long time (longer than color), but the modern variant is a revolution and exposed a whole new generation to something phenomenally novel.
Originally Posted by bblhed
I don't feel like Avatar was an archetypal story, in the sense of a story told to demonstrate a deep-seated truth about us all. The true archetypal story is more like: natives doin okay, white man come, white man kill, natives gone. For me, Avatar is a lie told by liars in a dishonest way to make money.
Originally Posted by Aristophanes
My main point, though, is that digital photography marketing now involves a similar lie -- about quality, convenience and inexpensiveness over film -- told to make money, by hooking people on the lies and on the treadmill of upgrade. I would not care if it didn't threaten the medim I love, film. I also would not care about Avatar's success if I thought that didn't mean it will supplant other, more honest, and more valuable tales told by non-liars (even if for money).
I fully respect others' appreciation of such films, but I do disagree about its merits as story, as art, as craft.
...as told by a big, multinational corporation with evil interests which disregard important human concerns like culture.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
There might be some irony there, somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it. :blink:
Well, you know, the producers and directors/writers rarely see eye to eye. Whatever... let's talk about something else.. ;)
The archetype of this story is really the Tarzan series if you go back to basics.
And, as I said earlier, if you see the extended cut fully, you see that the wimpy business man rejected his military assistant's plans and was imprisoned for his "change". His final words in that movie to the commander were "you are SO fired!".
BTW, there are about 30 books in the Tarzan series and about 30 books in the OZ series. Tarzan continues to be brought back in films, but OZ has not. Wonder why? Is it the generic Avatar type story line? Hmmmm.
My comment is pointed toward Hollywood than any person, you included.
All of Hollywood is one, big B.S. fantasy land. Nothing is real, not even the fake stuff.
James Cameron or anybody else talking about how great 3-D movies or 48fps. movies or anything else is nothing more than hype, hyperbole and bull$#it.
You can count the number of good movies that come out in a given year on one hand and you can count the number of really GREAT movies that come out in a decade on one hand. The rest is claptrap and bull crap.
There was a saying, several years ago: "I could eat a can of Kodak and PUKE a better movie!"
95% of everything that Hollywood pumps out is hype and hyperbole designed to sell the same warmed-over porridge again and again in a slightly reorganized and repackaged format. 3-D movies, 48fps. movies or even 1,048fps movies aren't going to make the stories better. All Cameron does is wow people with smoke and mirrors. He doesn't make great movies. It's just that he's plugged into the Hollywood P.R. machine and he gets all the hype. Nothing more.
Saying James Cameron is a great director/producer is like saying Jessica Simpson is a great actress.
At least Pia Zadora had the guts to admit that she f***ed her way to the top!