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Old December 24 2009, 07:51 PM   #16
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I wondered if this film was yet another Magic Whitey story, like Forbidden Kingdom, Last Samurai, and the Transformer films, in that the most important heroes in the film aren't the most powerful or the most skilled or the most knowledgeable, but it's a white kid who for some reason has a certain something that Asians or even giant alien Robots don't possess.

However, with Avatar, I think a somewhat legit case could be made against that. Jake Sully still fails to really excel at the Na'vi's culture, skills, and abilities, even by the end. This is in some ways a total reversal to Last Samurai, where somehow Tom Cruise not only adopts the ways of the samurai, but actually improves upon it to the point where he's one of the last surviving characters.

But... it's still kind of disturbing in that in order for Jake to be truly a part of their civilization, he has to switch bodies. There's a concept of Racist Love, in that some people will go to extremes in order to appease their racial fetishes (ie, a white person dating only Asians, an Asian dating only Latinos, etc. etc) and compound that with having a home filled with nothing but an Asian motif, but I'm quite sure there are those with Racist Love who would just love to switch minds with a minority just to be that much closer, a sort of either cultural envy or cultural self-disgust.

Regardless, however, this is a very complex discussion from all sides and I don't think anyone really has a right or wrong answer thus far in the thread.
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Old December 24 2009, 08:01 PM   #17
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

District 9 was a great film, even better than Avatar.
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Old December 24 2009, 08:08 PM   #18
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

^yeah but D9 had its own problems too. MNU were just as OTT & one dimensionally "evil" as the military in Avatar.
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Old December 24 2009, 08:22 PM   #19
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I'm more curious as to when this author might get over herself.


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Old December 24 2009, 08:53 PM   #20
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
It would have been innovative and interesting if James Cameron had made the same film with no white actors. Want to talk about racism? How loud would the screaming have been if the actors had been exclusively East Asia or sub-saharan African? It is doubtful if Cameron could of obtained financing for the film unless he cast whites as the main villians.

It was perfectly fine for Hollywood to cast asians as the evil heavies during the thirties and forties, now it's the turn of the whites. And it's equally racist.
Ironic that you say that, the Cameron film's namesake 'Avatar, the Last Airbender' was a fantasy about 4 Asian "tribes" which were based on Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan and Inuit cultures. The Japanese were war mongers and committed torture and genocide.

To add to the irony, the live action film of Last Airbender is apparently going to use white actors in all the roles.
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Old December 24 2009, 09:10 PM   #21
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Watch V! It's Avatar in reverse. As a bonus, the Sam Worthington role (Ryan) is played by a black guy. The "native girl" he takes up with is also black, or maybe Puerto Rican, so the analogy isn't perfect but then what is? Maybe Ryan can dump her for blonde Erica. The girlfriend is incredibly boring anyway.

To complete the picture, while Avatar contains annoying hand-wringing librul bullshit, V contains annoying right-wing conspiracy zanyness. Nice seeing things balance out like that.
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Old December 24 2009, 09:17 PM   #22
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

They might be constrained to cast white guys as the villains, but we also get a white guy as the hero. It's the story about the guy who has black friends rather than the black guy, in a manner of speaking.

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
However, with Avatar, I think a somewhat legit case could be made against that. Jake Sully still fails to really excel at the Na'vi's culture, skills, and abilities, even by the end.
If you mean he doesn't speak their language... then yeah.

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Old December 24 2009, 09:20 PM   #23
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Whether Avatar is racist is a matter for debate. Regardless of where you come down on that question, it's undeniable that the film - like alien apartheid flick District 9, released earlier this year - is emphatically a fantasy about race. Specifically, it's a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people. Avatar and scifi films like it give us the opportunity to answer the question: What do white people fantasize about when they fantasize about racial identity?
It would have been innovative and interesting if James Cameron had made the same film with no white actors. Want to talk about racism? How loud would the screaming have been if the actors had been exclusively East Asia or sub-saharan African? It is doubtful if Cameron could of obtained financing for the film unless he cast whites as the main villians.

It was perfectly fine for Hollywood to cast asians as the evil heavies during the thirties and forties, now it's the turn of the whites. And it's equally racist.
Apocalypto? That was a period piece though (sort of). I actually liked that movie.
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Old December 24 2009, 10:37 PM   #24
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
But... it's still kind of disturbing in that in order for Jake to be truly a part of their civilization, he has to switch bodies.
The story was basically designed to excuse that... what with the legs and the toxic atmosphere and all. He would have been physically unable to join their society without the use of his avatar. And his main motivation at the start of the movie is to get the use of his legs back, so...
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Old December 24 2009, 11:53 PM   #25
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

As a white person, I don't think I have anything to "feel sorry" for. Yeah, what white people did in the past was terrible and disgusting and I hate it. At the same time I haven't done any of it and neither did any of my direct ancestors. So I've nothing to feel guilty or sorry about.
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Old December 25 2009, 12:31 AM   #26
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

That's exactly why I've never understood all this "white guilt" poppycock. I haven't done anything. *shrug*
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Old December 25 2009, 12:41 AM   #27
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I thought what worthington brought to the Na'vi what that he was a warrior...
he was a United States MARINE...
everything else was gravy.
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Old December 25 2009, 12:56 AM   #28
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

why is that people always look for some racist reason and don't look past it. The same crap was flung at RDM over Battlestar Galatica casting. Directors and producers will look at who turns up for casting and whether they will suit the role.
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Old December 25 2009, 01:12 AM   #29
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

What's the only thing worse than pressuring people to feel "white guilt"?

White people complaining about "white guilt". It's not only colored folks who need to get over it.
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Old December 25 2009, 01:21 AM   #30
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Talosian wrote: View Post
What's the only thing worse than pressuring people to feel "white guilt"?

White people complaining about "white guilt". It's not only colored folks who need to get over it.
I like the quote from the first comment at the page with that article:

Speaking as a Left-Leaning White Guy™, I can't help but feel there's a culture of "white guilt oneupsmanship" in academic criticism these days. It's like a game to see who can be more guilty. "You think YOU'VE pointed the finger at racism? Ha! Watch now as I pwn your ass and prove you're just like all those other racist, imperialist honkeys!"
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