Every age produces its own sort of fables, and our age seems to have produced The White Messiah fable.
TTHHEE SSOOUUNNDD OOFF DDRRUUMMSS,, ffrroomm aa ggrreeaatt ddiissttaannccee,, ggrroowwiinngg lloouuddeerr..
WWEE AARREE FFLLYYIINNGG tthhrroouugghh mmiisstt,, aa ddiimmllyy gglliimmppsseedd ffoorreesstt bbeellooww..
WWhheenn II wwaass llyyiinngg tthheerree iinn tthhee VVAA
hhoossppiittaall,, wwiitthh aa bbiigg hhoollee bblloowwnn tthhrroouugghh
tthhee mmiiddddllee ooff mmyy lliiffee,, II ssttaarrtteedd hhaavviinngg
tthheessee ddrreeaammss ooff ffllyyiinngg..
WWee aarree vveerryy llooww oovveerr tthhee ffoorreesstt nnooww,, gglliiddiinngg ffaasstt,, tthhee ddrruummss
BBUUIILLDDIINNGG ttoo aa PPEEAAKK ----
SSoooonneerr oorr llaatteerr tthhoouugghh,, yyoouu aallwwaayyss hhaavvee
ttoo wwaakkee uupp......
^ ROBOT pulls a knife from its BELT and tosses it from hand to hand like it's in WEST SIDE STORY
posted by naju at 12:45 PM on January 11 [+] [!]
Touchy, touchy. Don't spill your Mountain Dew just because some of us found flaws with the script. What is particularly sad is that this could have been a truly amazing movie with a bit more backstory, more complex characters, more logical drama - all of which were apparently in the original script and sadly excised.
I'm of the belief that films like this have to be interpreted only in the context of what the director chooses to show us on screen. I don't know what Project 880 is or if there is additional backstory on Avatar's official website. To me, it doesn't count. The work of art in question is the film. So I'm "reading" the film and the film alone.
Jura Wnxr vf gnyxvat gb Rljn gb nfx sbe uryc, ur zragvbaf gung gurer vf ab 'terra' ba Rnegu nal zber
Ng gur raq bs gur svyz, Wnxr aneengrf: 'Naq fb gur nyvraf jrer frag onpx gb gurve qlvat jbeyq'
At its core, movies are about dissolution: we forget about ourselves and become one with the giant projected characters on the screen. In other words, they become our temporary avatars, so that we're inseparable from their story. (This is one of the reasons why the Avatar plot is so effective: it's really a metaphor for the act of movie-watching.*) And for a mind that's so relentlessly self-aware, I'd argue that 100 minutes of self-forgetting (as indicated by a quieting of the prefrontal cortex) is a pretty nice cognitive vacation. And Avatar, through a variety of technical mechanisms - from the astonishing special effects to the straightforward story to the use of 3-D imagery - manages to induce those "synchronized spatiotemporal patterns" to an unprecedented degree. That is what the movies are all about, and that is what Avatar delivers.
Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi...
It's a bit subtler than that. The "racist" argument isn't saying it's "racist" in the terms of "this specific race is worse than that one." It's more a thing about the "noble savage" stereotype -- how there are these "primitive" people that are somehow more "spiritual" because they shun technology and are "closer to nature" or something like that. Lurking behind all of that is the whole subtext that "of course, WE know better, but aren't they happy in their ignorance, bless 'em."
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