It’s official…  The holiday season is over.  The Christmas crunch and post-Christmas crash retail season of selling cheap crap from China is over for at least seven and a half months.

Now is the time for us peons who work the retail sales floor to get some hard earned R & R.

Tina, my honey, love of my life and I have been committed to see Avatar at the local IMax 3D  theater since it opened some two weeks back.

Well…  This afternoon we took the plunge.

This is perhaps the most visually stunning film I have ever seen.  The glasses for the viewing were magenta and green rather than the red and blue of yesteryear suggesting  a refinement in the process for producing the 3D imagery.  It is gorgeously real instead of cheesy.

The story like many of the better works of science fiction and fantasy uses an alien setting to explore themes of current political and social import.

Corporate greed, imperialism, the genocide of native peoples, environmental destruction for the sake of financial reward obtained by the mining of a rare mineral, referred to as “unobtainium”.

It is reminiscent of “Dances with Wolves” The badly wounded soldier rediscovers life from the very people he was sent to control and oppress.  In the process he comes to see his own people as the oppressors and like John Brown commits totally to the struggle of the people he was sent to oppress.  Like the character portrayed by Kevin Costner in “Dances with Wolves” he joins the native people in their fight against the genocide being committed against them by his people of birth.

Some right wing critics have slammed this movie for numerous reasons.  I suspect showing the military as genocidal maniacs in support of corporate greed is but one reason.  The painful analogy to the US losing wars to people with vastly inferior military forces tweeks them.

I loved it because the John Wayne type brutal white guy gets killed by a Na-vi woman.  The same Na-vi woman who has become the mate of the hero who has become one of the Na-vi.

I suppose that if I weren’t so tired I could add that I enjoyed the manner in which the hero assimilated and became one with the Na-vi.

It has been years since I went back to see a film a day or two later but Avatar is so visually rich (I compared it to tripping on acid) and so multi textural that I really want to see it again while it is still 3D and at the IMax.

I am an atheist yet I relate to the Gaia concept of oneness with the universe and an interconnectedness. Of how we are a part of nature and how by destroying nature with over population and the destruction of the oceans and rain forests we are committing the supreme sin against ourselves.  The Na-vi have that same sort of godless spirituality that places them in relationship to all their world both plant and other animals that live in their world.

There war is against the invaders who have come to destroy their world and with it their Gaia.  It requires us to ask of ourselves if profits are worth the destruction of our world.

3 Responses to “Avatar”

  1. Véronique Says:

    My partner and I loved it (in 3D, but not IMAX). I felt like I was inside Second Life. Some of the CGI was so beautiful I teared up, and of course we cried plenty toward the end. And both felt totally in love with Netyri. 🙂

    • Suzan Says:

      The more I think about the film the more I see it as an environmentalist vs corporate plunderer allegory. At one point the Na-vi actually stand in front of a bull dozer in a way that reminds me of the anti-logging/save the old growth forests movement in Northern California. Netyri as Butterfly, the tree sitter? The Na-vi as Earth Liberation Front? It works for me.

  2. tinagrrl Says:

    The total immersion into the movie absolutely thrilled me. I was 17 again, young and nimble, running through the world.

    I found it amazing. Given my immense critical skills, and my expressive vocabulary, I was able to articulate some truly meaningful statements right after seeing the movie — “Wow!”, “wow”, “WOW!!”, etc.

    In other words — I was speechless.

    Absolutely amazing. Beautiful. Awesome.

    The 3-D worked with the film. The effects were just sensational. The characters were well drawn. The story well thought out.

    Instead of the hero being a superior white guy riding to the rescue (as has been the accusation of some), he was a backward, limited, white guy (his Na-vi nickname was “moron”) who was allowed to discover truth and beauty — a connectedness with the world.

    After helping destroy the invaders he stepped down as one of their leaders, since there was no longer any need for his specific skills. Very Citizen Soldier, American (and early Roman) Republic, sort of thing.

    Most definitely not the “white man riding to the rescue” as has been said by some.

    This movie just totally blew me away — I laughed, cried, cringed — I wanted to reach out and touch some of the beautiful plants / seeds floating down — those connected to the overall planetary consciousness, the Earth (World) Godess.

    If you can, go see this thing in IMAX 3-D — you may not want to come back.

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