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Old December 25 2009, 01:30 AM   #31
David cgc
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Kegg wrote: View Post
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.

But none of that was really due to any kind of super-human badassery. The one was simply because he was the new guy, and didn't have the cultural experience preconceptions that probably kept most Na'vi from even trying, and the other was because he understood that the RDA couldn't be dealt with the same way the Na'vi handled other obstacles in their world, so he knew it would require more cooperation. Remember, the second one wasn't shown to require any real convincing or negotiation.

Arrqh wrote: View Post
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...
Yep. The story was shaped so that it was more of a symbolic (and literal) rebirth than it was "I have to sell myself out to be with the one I love."
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Old December 25 2009, 01:34 AM   #32
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

The mechanics of the plot are more important here than the justification. Of course Jake's action makes sense (due kudos to Cameron, honestly); but it is also a useful way to put the new kid on the top of the food chain.

As far as symbolism goes, I did like the film's suggest that the contrast between the two bodies was that of a sleeper dreaming. It's also a story about a sleeper identifying with his dream and evaporating into it, as surely as a chubby guy and his WoW avatar (...okay, me).

It's not insignificant that one of the first comments in the film is Jake noting the absence of dreaming while in space.
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Old December 25 2009, 01:37 AM   #33
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Seems to me there were some flare ups after the Vulcans landed. Also aren't the Vulcans the "white man" in that first contact senerio?
I'd say they are. Anyway, according to Enterprise, we DID attack the Vulcans and steal their technology in the mirror universe, but I guess that's a little off-topic here...

We'll tell these stories as long as colonization exists. It exists today in a different form: it's done by businessmen in suits instead of soldiers with bayonnets, and we're not settling other people's land, we're strip-mining it or we're hooking their governments on loans they can never hope to repay.

I'd rather see a more nuanced treatment of that that doesn't cast the victims as idyllic, noble savages, but then I'm really not watching Avatar for the story, anyway. This one's pure eye-candy for me, just like Tron when I was a kid (I have no idea what that movie was about, but damn those light cycles were cool).
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Old December 25 2009, 02:01 AM   #34
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

When are whites going to learn that nuking an alien species from orbit and then taking what they want is better than wasting time trying to con them?
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Old December 25 2009, 02:10 AM   #35
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

November 1, 1831.
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Old December 25 2009, 03:03 AM   #36
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Lookingglassman wrote: View Post
When are whites going to learn that nuking an alien species from orbit and then taking what they want is better than wasting time trying to con them?
Radiation poisoning sucks. Makes the value of the stuff you want go down too.
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Old December 25 2009, 03:14 AM   #37
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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.
It reminds me a bit of how Nichelle Nichols & Brock Peters were both very uncomfortable with a lot of the racial themes in Star Trek VI. In fact, Uhura was originally supposed to say the "Guess who's coming to dinner?" line. Nichols vehemently refused and the line was given to Chekov instead.
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Old December 25 2009, 03:33 AM   #38
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Ummmm...

What if the white guys had been, say, Asian? Or Arab? Or black?

Wouldn't there have been accusations of racism then? "Imagine portraying the bad guys as slanty eyed yellow devils" or similar. Sadly, it has to be de ebil whaite maan.
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Old December 25 2009, 03:49 AM   #39
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
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.
It reminds me a bit of how Nichelle Nichols & Brock Peters were both very uncomfortable with a lot of the racial themes in Star Trek VI. In fact, Uhura was originally supposed to say the "Guess who's coming to dinner?" line. Nichols vehemently refused and the line was given to Chekov instead.
I think there was also supposed to be a line where she asked, "Would you let your daughter marry one?" referring to Klingons, and she refused.
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Old December 25 2009, 03:58 AM   #40
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

When the guilt goes away, so never. America is still pulling the same shit, just in the mid east, just like we did in Vietnam and all other times before.
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Old December 25 2009, 05:39 AM   #41
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

When what is considered good and bad are reversed and good entertaining movies are considered bad and crap like Battlefield Earth and Mortal Kombat II is the new "good"?
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Old December 25 2009, 05:49 AM   #42
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

T'Baio wrote: View Post
That's exactly why I've never understood all this "white guilt" poppycock. I haven't done anything. *shrug*
No, but you (and I) benefit from a society built on a lot of bad actions by our ancestors. Personally, that means that I owe it to the people we crapped on to make the whole world a better place.
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Old December 25 2009, 06:10 AM   #43
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Good wrote: View Post
T'Baio wrote: View Post
That's exactly why I've never understood all this "white guilt" poppycock. I haven't done anything. *shrug*
No, but you (and I) benefit from a society built on a lot of bad actions by our ancestors. Personally, that means that I owe it to the people we crapped on to make the whole world a better place.
Nah. I don't owe anything. My ancestors died, their debts are not transferable to me, because those they owed have died, and I do not owe their children a debt I did not create. Also, their children are benefiting from the previous generation's efforts. So either everyone owes everyone, or no one owes anyone.


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Old December 25 2009, 06:30 AM   #44
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Making such movies is a good sign. Pretending that history didn't happen is worse.
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Old December 25 2009, 06:31 AM   #45
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Good wrote: View Post
T'Baio wrote: View Post
That's exactly why I've never understood all this "white guilt" poppycock. I haven't done anything. *shrug*
No, but you (and I) benefit from a society built on a lot of bad actions by our ancestors. Personally, that means that I owe it to the people we crapped on to make the whole world a better place.
My white ancestors were too busy being oppressed by other people's white ancestors. I reject the notion that all the members of any "race" share a common motivation because of their skin color, the reality is far more granular then that and the implication that all white people (or the people of any skin color) represent a monolithic block is offensive. As to people who were crapped on, pretty much every society is built on the bones of others. Certainly we can learn from the mistakes of history and try to do better going forward, but I don't consider that "guilt."
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