Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shit now and then.

Snowing in Cracow, Poland and only eighth hours a day with light.
And cold too.

An excellent opportunity to go to the movie theatre; an activity that is rarely undertaken.
More so because "Avatar" was playing, the new 3D movie written and directed by James Cameron.

The entrance fee was 28 Polish Zloties, about € 7 or $ 10.
And this included to borrow 3D glasses necessary to see the three-dimensional effects.

There are several things to say about "Avatar" that has cost millions and millions of Dollars to make and comes out of Hollywood, USA.

By itself, the 3D effects have not improved in an important way.
Technically, what the spectator sees is about the same quality of effect as years ago.
And in spite of all the technical sophistication achieved over time, the image is not bright and is not very sharp.
All the colors are a little darkish and dull.
And it looks the camera had a cheap lens.
The quality of the image is far from what one can see of a 2D movie shot on 70 mm film.
Where colors are bright and the image is super sharp.

What is really annoying with "Avatar" though is that because it was made in 3D, much of what is shown is to actually demonstrate the 3D effect.
There are plenty of scenes that have not much to do with the story but that have been put in to have the audience an optimal 3D experience.
Like water spraying towards the camera.
Or tentacles of a monster reaching towards the lens.
Or endless scenes how birds fly around rocks.
This choice of scenes by Cameron is not helping the film very much.
To the contrary, one feels not watching a more or less serious movie but feels like visiting an attraction park.

However, the most appalling issue with "Avatar" is this whole Hollywood approach of the story.
It is once more and like always, the bad guy against the good guy.
And the good guy wins of course and has as a bonus the love of his life: a beautiful female.
This infantile story told too often takes any surprise out of seeing "Avatar".
It is all completely predictable and therefore boring.

It is no surprise, this film coming out of Hollywood, USA, that "Avatar" is loaded to an extreme level with the most horrific violence one can imagine.
Countless are the persons and creatures that are violently killed.
It seems that the makers believe that the audience feels entertained seeing strong violence in large quantities and that this cannot lack in a popular movie.
But this approach downgrades the film even more to a lower level of quality.

Meanwhile, the story of "Avatar" reflects faultlessly the policy of the USA government.
One could even say that James Cameron made an anti-American movie: seriously criticizing how the politicians of his country operate worldwide.
The story is that in the year 2045 on another planet where already creatures live that resemble humans, a precious metal is found that is needed on Earth.
A large group of Earthlings start to explore and mine this metal.
However, for mining the indigenous locals are in the way.
So what is the solution?
Just bomb them out of their homes and destroy their lives and everything they have.
This policy started at the beginning of the USA when the indigenous locals, the Indians, where massacred and dispossessed of their lands.
And as of then, where oil was found or any other valuable material, with force and violence the interests of the USA were guaranteed often at the cost of many lives of indigenous locals.
Time and again this has happened and James Cameron foresees that even in 2045 this policy of the USA will not have changed.
However, in his film he presents a new twist to the thing.
It is not the conquerors, the imperialists, the materialists; in other words, the Americans who win at the end of the movie.
The indigenous people come together and with the help of the different monsters, who suddenly know the difference when to attack and kill a local or a Gringo, they manage to defeat the occupying forces.
Thousands of Americans surrender after their sophisticated helicopters have been brought down by guys equipped with bow and arrow flying by sitting on large birds.
Of course, James Cameron's vision of how conflicts between aggressive and technically sophisticated states and indigenous people equipped only with a primitive knife living close to nature may end with defeat for the aggressor is a totally false and unrealistic illusion.
Cameron's vision offers the audience a perspective that is giving hope.
But it is a completely false and unrealistic hope.
Another way to please and make the audience feel good for the material gains of the movie.

Two last remarks about the film "Avatar".

Although the film plays in the year 2045, the mining operation on the far away planet is executed by Americans only.
Also the army and air force are Americans only.
If that will be the situation in 2045, we wish the world good luck because they will need it.

Second remark is about the language used in "Avatar".
In the year 2045, according to James Cameron, people still use words like "shit" and "goddammit".



Anonymous said...

Sorry but the movie takes place in 2154. This fact may further support your conclusions or destroy them...I am not sure.

Dawn Pier said...

Americans are not the only ones who have a history of conquering other peoples. I am afraid to say that it is a long history shared by the entire human race. I would not be a Canadian were it not for the "nobelmen" of Scotland expelling my forebeers from the lands they farmed for generations beforehand. Sadly, violence & greed are what we seem to do "best."

Anonymous said...

You say, a ticket for a show cost 7 Euro or 10 $. I always thought the income and therefore the prices in Poland are less than half of the German income. But in Germany a ticket for the movies is around 7 € as well.
The same with your ticket for the new years party. With 50 € it seems steep for Germany, let alone for Poland.
Who can afford these Prices. Give us an insight on that, please.