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Old December 24 2009, 04:39 PM   #5
Dusty Ayres
Location: ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Kegg wrote: View Post
By the end of the film you're left wondering why the film needed the Jake Sully character at all. The film could have done just as well by focusing on an actual Na'vi native who comes into contact with crazy humans who have no respect for the environment.
This would be true of any film dealing with a real race. When these comparisons come up, I love to observe (pointlessly, no doubt) that the original idea for Battle of Algiers is that it was going to be about a French paratrooper, played by Paul Newman, who becomes disillusioned with the French occupation and switches sides. Thankfully that didn't come to pass.

The Na'vi, however, have two problems. The first is that being an alien fictive culture they are inherently less relatable than a human character (though the human character of course need not be white, even if he almost always is). We are the outsiders, and we need this culture and its logic explained to us - through a similarly ignorant main character is as good a way as anyway.

The second problem is that they're CGI. The plot device of a real actor slipping into a CGI performance is a way to gently lead us into a film where the protagonist spends whole stretches of the film as a CGI creation.

Anyway, an interesting read. I'd agree that District 9 had a more interesting spin on these tropes than Avatar did, also. Also, can I use this thread to vent once more my long enduring hatred for The Last King of Scotland? Because everything about the McAvoy character in that film is terrible.

As I said here yesterday:

To you Avatar's story is overdone; actually, it's a timeless classic tale that has meaning now in the real world with what's happening in Indonesia to the Penan people and the Sarawak rainforests; the character of Jake Sully can be considered a version of the real life activist Bruno Manser who fought for the Penan people much like Jake does for the Na'vi in the movie.
So what she said is a load of bull.
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