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Old January 3 2010, 11:52 PM   #121
Michael Chris
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Nothing wrong with imperialism that isn't negative.
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Old January 3 2010, 11:56 PM   #122
Locutus of Bored
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
That's the problem - it's part of the overall sledgehammer approach to "social criticism" which I found way, way too obvious and clumsy. Ech.
You were just saying how they should have spent more time demonstrating how MNU was a multinational corporation, and now you're saying the simple offhand mention of its multinational status was an obvious and clumsy sledgehammer. Wouldn't it have been those things if they spent more time during the movie trying to drive home the comparison to real-life multinationals instead of just letting the audience figure it out for themselves?

Anyway, to get back to talking about Avatar, I chuckled at The New Yorker's review, where the reviewer mentioned

...the irony that this anti-technology message is delivered by an example of advanced technology that cost nearly two hundred and fifty million dollars to produce; or that this anti-imperialist spectacle will invade every available theatre in the world.
Hollywood hypocrisy at its finest!
It would only be hypocrisy is 'Avatar' actually was anti-technology, but it's not, and I question how well the reviewer was paying attention if he thinks it was anti-technology considering the name and central plot of the film hinges on a rather spectacular piece of technology in the Avatar Program.

Just because the bad guys of this film were more technologically advanced doesn't mean the tools they used were wrong or evil or anything more than just tools. That's like saying that 'Star Trek' taught us that technology was bad because of the Borg, while ignoring the fact that the Borg were themselves defeated by technology.

The film is anti-destruction of the environment, but that and technological development are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, technology can be used to help the environment just as much as it can be used to destroy it. It's all about how it's used and whether you recycle or replenish what you take away, not that technology itself is inherently bad.

The Na'Vi fully understood the concept of the Avatars and never thought of them as an abomination or something magical. They were simply a tool to help the two sides learn about each other (when in the right hands).

We see no indication of this during the film, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was revealed that Pandora's symbiotic lifeforms and ecosystem were itself a massive biotechnology experiment left to develop on its own. The USB hair, downloadable consciousnesses, and wireless connections between Eywa and all the lifeforms of the planet could essentially be looked at as technology of another form.
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Old January 4 2010, 01:48 AM   #123
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

While the show is based on the hook of the avatar technology, the film ends with some magical mystical "spirit walk" process allows the dude to transcend his body and step into his Na'vi avatar.

Whether their natural abilities is a form of technology might be a conversation to have, but the film as it is presented clearly privileges what we know as "natural" - up to the point where Avatar technology isn't even needed any more.
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Old January 4 2010, 01:51 AM   #124
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
We see no indication of this during the film, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was revealed that Pandora's symbiotic lifeforms and ecosystem were itself a massive biotechnology experiment left to develop on its own. The USB hair, downloadable consciousnesses, and wireless connections between Eywa and all the lifeforms of the planet could essentially be looked at as technology of another form.
I wouldn't be surprised either, technology isn't just one ridged path. It can take a lot of forms and I too will not be surprised to find that when we get to see more, that the Na'vi have the superior technology.

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Old January 4 2010, 02:06 AM   #125
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
While the show is based on the hook of the avatar technology, the film ends with some magical mystical "spirit walk" process allows the dude to transcend his body and step into his Na'vi avatar.

Whether their natural abilities is a form of technology might be a conversation to have, but the film as it is presented clearly privileges what we know as "natural" - up to the point where Avatar technology isn't even needed any more.
Presenting an alternative is still not "anti-technology" though, and the Avatar tech was still needed insofar as it gave Jake a body and a means of jacking into Eywa so his consciousness could be transferred from his human to his Na'vi brain.
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Old January 4 2010, 02:17 AM   #126
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I heard MNU and heard a variety of accents and saw the clips of all the foreigners and promptly forgot that they were mostly supposed to be South Africans. I didn't wonder why Wikus didn't call his parents or didn't call his local paper or call his lawyer because I didn't think of him as being a local. Not knowing Afrikaner accent, I just sort of blended the Afrikaners with miscellaneous white foreigners. Only the very specifically named "Nigerians" seemed to be Africans, but of course they too were foreigners in District 9, which seems to be somewhere near Johannesburg.

In retrospect, they still seem all blended together, so now it seems they were all Afrikaners (aren't there white South Africans who aren't Afrikaners?) I've read that the head was a US national but none of them are distinct in my memory.

I suppose the purpose behind calling it MNU is to distinguish it from the old apartheid regime. (In my case, it worked way too well.) I'm not sure how this contributes. But then, I find the whole thing very confused. Perhaps that's mainly because I got very confused, not the movie. But perhaps it's because the movie's confusion is contagious?
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Old January 4 2010, 02:32 AM   #127
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
firehawk12 wrote: View Post
While the show is based on the hook of the avatar technology, the film ends with some magical mystical "spirit walk" process allows the dude to transcend his body and step into his Na'vi avatar.

Whether their natural abilities is a form of technology might be a conversation to have, but the film as it is presented clearly privileges what we know as "natural" - up to the point where Avatar technology isn't even needed any more.
Presenting an alternative is still not "anti-technology" though, and the Avatar tech was still needed insofar as it gave Jake a body and a means of jacking into Eywa so his consciousness could be transferred from his human to his Na'vi brain.
What about the whole unobtainium thing though? The main motivation for the humans is some need to extract this ore that the Na'vi a perfectly fine ignoring. In fact, it's not even clear that they would even have a use for this extremely rare and somehow useful resource.

I don't know - if the movie ended with Jake remaining in the Avatar machine or the Na'vi keeping some of the technology (space ships, come on...), I might be more inclined to agree. But the message I got was that the only way Jake could be happy is if he gives it all up and embraces nature.

And heck, even if you look at it as Jake being forced to choose between a technological solution to his paralysis - as offered to him by that Colonel guy (or whatever his rank was) and the "mystical" solution offered by the Na'vi, he forgoes "modern" medical treatment for a more natural cure.
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Old January 4 2010, 02:45 AM   #128
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

^^^Jake foregoes the medical cure because he's fallen in love with Neytiri.
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Old January 4 2010, 03:42 AM   #129
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
And heck, even if you look at it as Jake being forced to choose between a technological solution to his paralysis - as offered to him by that Colonel guy (or whatever his rank was) and the "mystical" solution offered by the Na'vi, he forgoes "modern" medical treatment for a more natural cure.
The assumption is that the "cure" for Jake is a natural one, that doesn't mean that it isn't some kind of technology, biological to be sure but still technology.

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Old January 4 2010, 04:05 AM   #130
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

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Principly it has a strong environmental message, a few sly jabs about the Iraq War
I liked Avatar and all, but "sly" is the last word I would use to describe its jabs at the Iraq War.

Incidentally, this was sort of touched on earlier, but I don't know if it's been discussed in depth--the Na'vi are supposed to be really great and all, but would someone like Jake Sully be welcome in their world? A paraplegic?

Of course, the issue may be neatly avoided by Na'vi society, since they no doubt lack the medical technology to keep someone with a spinal injury alive long enough to heal.
Your assuming that Eywa doesn't have a fix for that.
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Old January 4 2010, 04:06 AM   #131
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Brit wrote: View Post
firehawk12 wrote: View Post
And heck, even if you look at it as Jake being forced to choose between a technological solution to his paralysis - as offered to him by that Colonel guy (or whatever his rank was) and the "mystical" solution offered by the Na'vi, he forgoes "modern" medical treatment for a more natural cure.
The assumption is that the "cure" for Jake is a natural one, that doesn't mean that it isn't some kind of technology, biological to be sure but still technology.

Brit

Yes, but given that all we know is what Cameron chose to tell us, I don't think you can be conclusive about the nature of Pandora without making assumptions.
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Old January 4 2010, 04:18 AM   #132
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Lt. Trull wrote: View Post
Myasishchev wrote: View Post
USS KG5 wrote: View Post
Principly it has a strong environmental message, a few sly jabs about the Iraq War
I liked Avatar and all, but "sly" is the last word I would use to describe its jabs at the Iraq War.

Incidentally, this was sort of touched on earlier, but I don't know if it's been discussed in depth--the Na'vi are supposed to be really great and all, but would someone like Jake Sully be welcome in their world? A paraplegic?

Of course, the issue may be neatly avoided by Na'vi society, since they no doubt lack the medical technology to keep someone with a spinal injury alive long enough to heal.
Your assuming that Eywa doesn't have a fix for that.
Oops, I deleted this pending looking at some more of the thread--but yeah, I'm assuming that the bacteria-ridden arboreals aren't able to heal spinal injuries.

True, it's completely possible that Na'vi are able to regrow nervous tissue. That's a human problem.

Although some discussion I was having in another thread about their nanotube skeletons--specifically nanotube cytotoxicity--suggests that a smashed bone might be even more deadly for a Na'vi than a human...
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Old January 4 2010, 12:18 PM   #133
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

firehawk12 wrote: View Post
Brit wrote: View Post
firehawk12 wrote: View Post
And heck, even if you look at it as Jake being forced to choose between a technological solution to his paralysis - as offered to him by that Colonel guy (or whatever his rank was) and the "mystical" solution offered by the Na'vi, he forgoes "modern" medical treatment for a more natural cure.
The assumption is that the "cure" for Jake is a natural one, that doesn't mean that it isn't some kind of technology, biological to be sure but still technology.

Brit

Yes, but given that all we know is what Cameron chose to tell us, I don't think you can be conclusive about the nature of Pandora without making assumptions.
Very true, and we all have to take our assumption's with a grain of salt, because we don't know everything that Cameron does. What I think this does prove is that the plot may seem simple on first glance, it really isn't. We wouldn't have all these questions and extrapolations if it were all that simple.

Brit
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Old January 4 2010, 04:20 PM   #134
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Stupid, stupid honkies.
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Old January 4 2010, 04:23 PM   #135
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I think we all know now that the answer to the thread topic is "when they stop making over a billion dollars."
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