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Author Topic: Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?  (Read 8027 times)

jibbajibba

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2009, 07:55:59 AM »
The Film is awesome (even at £11 a ticket = 17 of your yankee dollars)

The plot is thin, more Pocohantas than Dances with Wolves and I, like nearly everyone else, get pissed when the interloper becomes the greatest native and leads then all to the promised land but stories tend to be about exceptional people and the tale of the marine who turned out to be a shit native and couldn't do anything and got killed is a bit too postmodern for a studio stumping up $300M.

There is a strong anti-capitalist, anti-colonial theme which perhaps is meant as a postmodern ironic joke as the film cost as much to produce as the GDP of Tonga and I doubt very much of the expected 2MM profit will go to setting up fresh water pumps in Africa or shoring up the sea defences in Micronesia. I didn't really get the anti-technology anti-civilisation drive as heavily. Yes the natives are less technologically advanced but technology is the tool that enables the Avatars to exist and without a bit of tech the poor Humans wouldn't stand a chance. The civilisation of the Na'vi is probably more advanced if anything as the human are depicted as a race where civilisation has begun to breakdown and individualism rules whereas the Na'vi are more about society as a whole.

What really strikes me about the movie though is how it looks. And since its a movie ... I really think that Cameron has changed movie making. The 3D isn't just about sticking the odd spear into the lens. The whole forest is a 3 dimentional space and you fully engage with it. The creature CGI is also exceptional because they have resolved any lingering issues with the 'face' so the cgi beings have a full range of expression that removes any remaining traces of a barrier between you and the cast. The only doubt is probably caused by the flood of really high quality cgi animated movies because you treat those as cartoons and Avatar does have the same quality so maybe you think of it as a cartoon but when the humans and Na'vis meet ... forget about not seeing the wires you don't even think abotu it for a moment.

I think there will be better films made with this technology but its like the bit in Jurassic Park when you first see the dinosaurs and you just go ... how the fuck did they do that?
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JongWK

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2009, 11:07:21 AM »
From James Cameron:

Quote from: James Cameron

"Our whole goal in making this film was to take you to another world, to make you forget that you're sitting in a movie theater wearing glasses, to have an out-of-body, transformative experience. And you have these moments in movies from time to time, but most movies don't work this way, where our goal is to sort of overwhelm the senses. We set out over two years to design a world so rich and captivating that even if you decide to not follow the story, you should still be able to get swept up in it all.”


In other words: immersion.
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StormBringer

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2009, 01:28:18 PM »
Quote from: David R;351935
Stormbringer has the right of it, IMO.
Thanks!

Quote from: JongWK;351965
From James Cameron:
In other words: immersion.
James Cameron = AD&D

:)
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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2009, 08:10:43 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351471

So is that it? is this movie more of the "Western Civilization and Science are bad, take us Back To the Cave" movement? Matched with a shallow new-agey religion of obliviousness?


I just came back from watching the movie. I must say it's worse than that. It's bonafied anti-human, anti-military, anti-capitalist, pro-racial treason and pro-tribal primitivism to such an extent I don't consider it a movie...it was a nearly 3 hour long animated propaganda reel.

It is not...I repeat not! a science-fiction movie by any possible stretch of the imagination.

Jake Sully is a traitor to humanity...period.

And Col. Miles Quaritch should posthumously be awarded the Earth Federation Medal of Honor, or whatever passes for it in that tree-hugging-usb-porting-sicko universe where this...*gasp* movie takes place.

Someone getting a quarter of a billion dollars to spend on this piece of excrement is one of the reasons I'm an atheist.

The twin turds of Titanic and Avatar have now made me definetively remove James Cameron from my "must see" director's list.
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Machinegun Blue

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« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2009, 09:23:51 PM »
Quote from: Edsan;352042
I just came back from watching the movie. I must say it's worse than that. It's bonafied anti-human, anti-military, anti-capitalist, pro-racial treason and pro-tribal primitivism to such an extent I don't consider it a movie...it was a nearly 3 hour long animated propaganda reel.

It is not...I repeat not! a science-fiction movie by any possible stretch of the imagination.

Jake Sully is a traitor to humanity...period.

And Col. Miles Quaritch should posthumously be awarded the Earth Federation Medal of Honor, or whatever passes for it in that tree-hugging-usb-porting-sicko universe where this...*gasp* movie takes place.

Someone getting a quarter of a billion dollars to spend on this piece of excrement is one of the reasons I'm an atheist.

The twin turds of Titanic and Avatar have now made me definetively remove James Cameron from my "must see" director's list.


This is the most retarded interpretation I've ever read. Some aliens prevented some humans from stealing expensive rocks by destroying their environment and culture and you're cying boo hoo?

Racial treason? Were you dropped on the head as a child?

Machinegun Blue

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« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2009, 09:28:53 PM »
I had to read that post again. It really was that stupid.

Ian Absentia

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2009, 11:02:43 PM »
Quote from: Edsan;352042
Jake Sully is a traitor to humanity...period.

Quote from: Machinegun Blue;352047
Racial treason? Were you dropped on the head as a child?
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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2009, 12:44:30 AM »
I've now been to see this movie, thanks mainly to Jong and The Wench double-teaming me, and I have the following conclusions:  First, I was essentially right; the movie is (as everyone has been saying here over and over again as if it is somehow a defense of the film's overall quality) absolutely visually beautiful and very well made (apart from the note that I think that a lot of the 3-d animation, while amazing at times, tended to end up distracting from scenes as much as it added; so it was a mixed bag that I felt was at times over-used just because its a new toy... that, and I spent the first 20 minutes or so with my eyes severely watering trying to adjust to the damn glasses).

However, "visually stunning" is not a decent rebuttal to the points raised here.  There's a mentality, foremost among nerds, but also in general, to think that because something looks cool or high-tech that also means its good. This is less forgivable among those nerds who actually believe that just being a "geek" makes you smarter than the average person, when very clearly it does not, if you can be fooled (like so many "average people" were apparently also fooled) into thinking that Avatar is a really smart movie just because its visually stunning and sci-fi.  Not all sci-fi is smart, and not all pretty movies are smart.

In the second place: you can judge a film on three different levels: aesthetically for its beauty, in the literary sense for its writing and philosophically for the message it conveys and the depth at which it conveys it.

Aesthetically, on the whole, this is a beautiful film. But in the other two elements, its a horrible movie.

The dialogue is godawful, the characters are pathetically shallow, the whole thing is just putrid melodrama, from a literary standpoint.

And philosophically, Edsan has it right, the thing is a 3-hour propaganda piece. It re-wraps the old "Noble Savage" argument, and in a particularly stupid way.  The problem with the Noble Savage has always been that in fact Savagery is not Noble at all, and those who try to portray the Noble Savage inevitably create a fairy-tale where the "savage" in question is always clean, gentle, handsome, and in touch with the earth. In reality, the Savage is covered in filth, violent, crawling with parasites, and not necessarily an iota more ecologically conscious than we are.  In this movie, on top of that the Alien Noble Savage has the benefit of wearing magic USB-ports, and being Objectively Right because the movie leaves absolutely NO room for doubt that their nebulous earth-goddess/life-force is REAL.  (this also ties into the awfulness of the story as literature, because this particular revelation of absolute rightness for the Navi thrusts the humans into Absolute Wrongness and makes any kind of grey moral-uncertainty impossible).

The ultimate irony of the Noble Savage, and the ultimate irony of the movie, is that had the main character been born a Navi instead of a human, and had the Navi been portrayed in a realistic way, there's NO WAY the main character would have been alive to save all the Navi, because the moment he was crippled he'd have stood no chance of surviving.
The truth of the Savage, and the truth of the "Nature" that the wishy-washy Hollywood pantheists always wax romantic about is that Nature is a First-Class Bitch, and that it is Survival of the Fittest. Rooting for nature means rooting for the power of the strong over the weak, the hunter over the hunted, and that being weak means that you'll be dead.
Believing in Civilization is actually believing that humanity can do better than this, and create a world where the weak are protected.

The anti-human, anti-western anti-civilization Hollywood new-ageism is there just like I predicted; too. So is the White-Guilt complex mixed in with the underlying (ironic?) racism of "only the civilized white man who betrays his own people can actually save us from them, we savages are far too stupid to be able to do anything for ourselves".

Its a beautiful film to watch, but in every other respect, Avatar is a horrible, horrible movie.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2009, 01:42:40 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;352075
I've now been to see this movie, thanks mainly to Jong and The Wench double-teaming me, and I have the following conclusions:  First, I was essentially right;
No fucking way.  That is a complete surprise.  Good thing we abolished confirmation bias globally back in the 18th century.
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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2009, 02:01:48 AM »
Quote from: StormBringer;352089
No fucking way.  That is a complete surprise.  Good thing we abolished confirmation bias globally back in the 18th century.


Hey, I've had plenty of films that have surprised me. I went into the new Star Trek film EXTREMELY cynical about it, and came out massively impressed.

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David R

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #55 on: December 31, 2009, 03:23:28 AM »
I see you managed to sneak in some "anti-western" and geek hate into your rant, not to mention distort the argument of many in this thread or raise some that nobody was making.

:rotfl:

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #56 on: December 31, 2009, 04:44:57 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;352075
The anti-human, anti-western anti-civilization Hollywood new-ageism is there just like I predicted; too. So is the White-Guilt complex mixed in with the underlying (ironic?) racism of "only the civilized white man who betrays his own people can actually save us from them, we savages are far too stupid to be able to do anything for ourselves".
Well, let's take a quick look at this one, then.

After chaining you to a chair, I put my laptop in front of you, and demand that you re-write the operating system from scratch, because my hard drive is blank.  To motivate you further, I will shoot various joints and organs at a rate of one per hour until you finish.

So, all you have to complete this task are your fingers and your skill at programming.  I assume you have the standard number of fingers, but as I recall, your knowledge of computer science starts and ends with a pre-loaded version of Windows.  Hence, without the assistance of someone in possession of a great deal of programming skill and a few programs to get the computer started again, your situation is pretty hopeless.

The more advanced technology always wins.  It's not a matter of the 'savages' being smart or not.  You must have taken some history courses at university.  Who wins: long bow, or crossbow?  Crossbow or muzzleloader? Muzzleloader or breechloader?  Club or sword?  Bronze sword or iron sword?  Iron sword or steel sword?  Cured leather or boiled leather?  Boiled leather or iron rings?  Iron rings or steel plates?

And that isn't even getting into modern times.  The hero doesn't help because they are the Great White Hope.  They help because they have outside knowledge the native group lacks; knowledge they would not gain before being wiped out.

Seriously, you study religious texts.  Look into that confirmation bias thing.
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jibbajibba

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« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2009, 06:32:01 AM »
So the story that Pundit would have like to have seen would have gone... (this might count as a Spoiler )

The Corporation are set up on Pandora. There are a bunch of savage locals nearby who's home happens to rest on the mother-lode of the rarest mineral in the galaxy. The Humans create a gas that knocks out all of the locals. Then they collect them, well most of them, in transporter ships and move them to a re-education centre. The Na'vi then learn the importance of cleanliness and free market economics. They accept Jesus into their hearts and all get jobs in the fast food industry.

Meanwhile on Pandora the Corporation strips out a lot of the vegetation with an Agent Orange style defoliant and strip mines the planet for resources. Any amimals that can be saved are captured and sent to Pandora Safari Park in California.

All is well.
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« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2009, 09:08:49 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;352090
Hey, I've had plenty of films that have surprised me. I went into the new Star Trek film EXTREMELY cynical about it, and came out massively impressed.

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« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2009, 10:47:21 AM »
So, let me see if I understand this. Any movie that has humans do bad things is anti-human?