Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blogging - James Camerons' Avatar

As my readers know, I am not big on hype. I do blog about movies, but infrequently. I have been eagerly anticipating the movie Avatar. Even though I have been struggling with illness again, my best friend and I made the decision to see Avatar. Twice. Yesterday we viewed the 2D version. Today we viewed the 3D version because we wanted a comparison. I feel very privileged to have done so.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Avatar is a cinematic experience of historic proportions, not to be missed. This is a film that will sweep the Oscars, break all records and be talked about in film schools for the next hundred years. The 3D version of this film is miraculous, breathtaking. The film takes place on the planet Pandora which is occupied by one incredible species after another. The music coupled with the flora and fauna are a sensuous delight. The species most human-like are beautiful, agile, lythe beings who live peacefully with nature rather than attempting to dominate her.

The battles scenes are predictably Hollywood in that they drag on too long. I do, however, understand the business reasons for this. The movie was expensive and must generate huge profit, and a lot of people like that shit. I don't understand why, but that's not really the purpose of this post. The movie has enough spirituality for even the most nonviolent of souls, and even though there is a lot of battle, there is so much beauty.

Mr. Cameron's adept writing skills are to be commended. A less skillful writer may have been tempted to create a Utopian, overly didactic film. And while the film has an important and timely sociological perspective, it does not patronize. Without beating us over the head, Mr. Cameron has skillfully shown the atrocities imperialistic societies commit. For too long certain cultures of humans have justified the annihilation of indigenous cultures and the destruction of their land while stealing their resources. And he's done this in a way that is entertaining and enjoyable.

I am reminded of the time I saw Barbra Streisand in an interview. She was asked whether she would consider running for public office. Her reply (I'm paraphrasing) was that she could affect more change for good in one film than she could in years of public service. I think I fully understood the breadth of her words today.

I've said it many times - Art has the power to change the world. I look forward to seeing the change this film will bring about in our world. We are now on the brink of the second decade in the 21st century. We should have set aside our belief in war long ago.

Mr. President, you know I love you and support you. I've professed this love on this blog many times. I jumped up and down when you were awarded the Nobel peace prize. However, your Nobel acceptance speech was disappointing. No one will ever convince me that war is justified. Forgive the digression - see the movie.

Mr. Cameron, I look forward to your Oscar acceptance speech.

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