Yesterday I saw Avatar in 3-D at the MK2 Bibliothèque in Paris. Enjoyed it while it lasted, discussed it for about three minutes with companions, then forgot about it. It’s a sealed package which doesn’t invite audience input; not a lot to mull over and it doesn’t come back to haunt you, though I daresay if you thought fire-bombing sacred trees was a Good Thing, it might give you pause for thought.
Some random thoughts that occurred to me:
1) This is not science fiction. It’s Cowboys and Indians.
2) James Cameron has developed millions of dollars’ worth of technology in order to deliver the message that technology is bad. Crazy guy! Basically, he’s a techno geek who’s emotionally stuck at adolescence. His idea of alien sex is sloppy kissing! It’s alien sex as envisaged by an adolescent male whose role model is Captain Kirk. I’d like to see the Na’vi having slimy sex like David Bowie in The Man who Fell to Earth. Or tree-huggy sex. Whatever. A wasted opportunity.
3) The vegetation is amazing. Would have been happy to dispense with stupid plot and just had botany tour of the planet. Tree-huggy sex with flora like this would have been interesting.
4) The Na’vi don’t do a lot, do they? Cameron and co have gone to all that trouble creating a language for them, but they’re just kind of there when the plot needs them, no sense of their life offscreen. What’s their culture? Their cuisine? Though I do like the Mountain Banshee riders’ ethnic treebark Ray-Bans, as well as the Plug-in Plait of Power. Maybe I should grow my hair.
5) The Plug-in Plait of Power reminded me a little of the phallic growth in Marilyn Chambers’ armpit in Rabid. Hmm, I guess eXistenZ was Cronenberg’s version of Avatar. Do you suppose the Plug-In Plait of Power could be used for evil? If the thing you wanted to plug into wasn’t willing but you went ahead and plugged in anyway, would that be rape?
6) Dances with Wolves. Ferngully. The Matrix. Manga. But Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke and Paprika were all considerably more sophisticated in storytelling terms. Where’s the wisdom in spending half a billion dollars on a live-action manga which is half-animation anyway?
7) Neytiri’s breasts! They’re there, yet not there, and you’re never quite sure if it’s an effect of the beads and the treebark and stuff. Reminds me of Darryl Hannah’s breasts in Splash! It would have been better to get them out in the open, so I could have ignored them.
8) Oh no, don’t bomb the Faraway Tree.
9) Osibisa. Yessongs. Fragile. Roger Dean.
10) Blimey, Stephen Lang is looking buff.
That is all.
Well, our hero does stick his psychic plait into a few animals without their consent. But I don't think we're supposed to think that's rape.
It's true the Mountain Banshee does NOT want to be plugged into… at first. It's like the bestial equivalent of the female character in films who says no! no! no! no….. and then, after the hero has started forcibly kissing her changes it to yes! yes! yes! (Victoria Tennant in The Holcroft Covenant springs to mind)
Filmmaker Mag has linked to this blog, by the way. To judge by the comments, Avatar fans a) can't read properly, and b) have no sense of humour.
ishtok…ignbi sommelier.. he made up the language some frenchrussianspanglish at best and created a “blue movie” that is we say is good for the kids something the teens and tweens will like
With that budget I would have really rocked your cinema world!!! back to creating mind blowing story plots………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Wish I'd taken notes about the Na'vi language, but notetaking not easy with 3-D goggles on and when sandwiched between friends with no elbow room in middle of cinema (as opposed to lounging in the front row).
Further to the Na'vi language:
I'm sorry I came here and gave you the page view. People who don't like something should just be quiet. Why would you disparage someone else's work? I'm sure he has no interest in disparaging yours.
Dear Todd, did you actually read the bit that said I enjoyed the film? Evidently I didn't take Avatar as seriously as you did, but you sound as though you think all opinions of it that don't exactly match your own should be suppressed. Surely the whole point of blogs is to get some sort of discussion going. Why not try to explain why you liked the film so much?