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I just saw Avatar in 3D. My conclusion on 3D is it’s no big deal – if the industry thinks it will save movies, fergeddaboudit. The movie itself is standard Hollywood slam-bang + standard romantic storyline + standard (incredible) special effects + cardboard characters where no acting ability is required.
But my question to anyone interested in responding is – do you think there is any environmental significance to this flick that might make folks think again about what’s happening here on Ma Earth? Will viewers realize that the lifeforms on Earth are every bit as incredible as what is in the movie? Will they realize that instead of some mystical connection like the movie suggests, all of life on earth is physically part of one family?
Unfortunately, the movie evades the issue of technology in itself enabling domination and instead gives us N’evi = good, Humans = bad. The N’evi can be good because they don’t have the power to become dominant on Pandora…they are more than just a little bit like Stone Age humans; just another species among many. If we never got out of the Stone Age, we’d be able to live like the N’evi and would have a fraction of the population we do.
Remember the movie Silent Running? I wish some movie-maker would give us a similarly thoughtful screenplay with an environmental theme.
I saw Avatar last week and it blew my mind. I left the cinema completely stunned by the feelings the movie had caused me. I mean, yes, I agree that it has no subtlety at all, but that’s not the point of the film. It actually shows a completely extreme example of what connection to nature means, and of what disconnection to nature means. Very extreme examples. Now the point of it is: with which of them do you identify? And with which of them you want to identify the human race, your species?
I can’t express what I feel about this, but I had never felt this way with a movie since American Beauty. It simply touched my soul. It’s not because of the story about the unobtanium or what the humans want to do, it’s the part when they show the Na’vi, that makes me think “I want to be like that. I want that connection, I need it!!”. The concept of “all things in the planet are connected in a network” is simply an exageration of our own planet (I’m a biology student, I study Ecology so I can sure tell you everything is connected with everything on Earth), and yet, to see such an extreme and perfect and beautiful concept….It’s amazing.
So in my opinion, Avatar is not at all fantasy. It’s a real story, or as they say “Based in a true story”, only the true story didn’t end so well so far.
Avatar shows exactly what happened and STILL HAPPENS with thousands of ethnicities all over the world; people were and still are killed, forced to leave their homes, enslaved and treated like the most insensitive and useless beast.
The only part of fantasy in Avatar is the happy ending.
To answer your question…
I don’t know if it will have an effect in people in terms of taking care of the environment, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who left the cinema a bit shocked. I know many who did, though the sad part is that they may not stop to think why they feel that way. I hope they do. Perhaps they simply will asociate those feelings with empathy to those people or animals who lose their homes and that will make them have a better attitude towards the environment. To me, it wasn’t just empathy or to aknowledge that there’s a parallelism between the film and our story; it was to SEE that world, those amazing images… it was pure magic.
I’m watching it again this tuesday :) (In 3D, with glasses that have to be returned and will never, ever get sanitized. Hope I don’t catch anything…)
Here I find myself venting some of my inner thoughts to poor Clif… hmm :)
Lara, I just worry that people who see Avatar will not relate it to our beautiful planet. I have heard about “Avatar depression” where people come out of the theater feeling sad that our planet is not as magical as Pandora.
Here’s part of an opinion piece from the latest Sierra Magazine March/April 2010:
But as my son and I stumbled out of the theater and into a lobby filled with squawking arcade games, I fretted that many of our fellow audience members might never have experienced a real forest and so might be content to engage with pixilated pseudo-nature. And if they truly believe virtual wilderness is an adequate substitute, there’s no good reason for them to gather the gumption to support–or join–our fight.
I worry that more than finding the virtual world an “adequate substitute,” kids might find it a preferable substitute. I’d rather see films of our actual majestic wilderness.
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