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Author Topic: Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?  (Read 7999 times)

RPGPundit

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2009, 09:47:10 PM »
At the end of BSG, the colonists apparently decide to abandon all of their technology, and live on Earth as savages, because of the apparently horrible things their technology and civilization did.  So civilization, in the first place, was deemed a Bad Thing that didn't deserve to go on, and the life of the Noble Savage was deemed superior.
And the series implies directly that all of the Colonists end up dying out, because all modern humans are instead descended from the half-cylon child in the series. So apparently they also didn't deserve to live on as a species.

The series also implies that we (modern humans) are bound to end up making the same mistakes the Colonists did.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2009, 10:23:56 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351807
At the end of BSG, the colonists apparently decide to abandon all of their technology, and live on Earth as savages, because of the apparently horrible things their technology and civilization did.  So civilization, in the first place, was deemed a Bad Thing that didn't deserve to go on, and the life of the Noble Savage was deemed superior.


OK, the Colonists abandoned their technology but unless you equate technology with civilization then you are reaching. I would say that technology is a subset of civilization that may help to define it, but that civilization can exist at extremely low levels of technology because a civilization is primarily social, political, and cultural.

EDIT: I do think that technology must exist for civilization to happen, but the level of technology is very low. The only tool that is needed is language in my estimation.

Quote from: RPGPundit;351807

And the series implies directly that all of the Colonists end up dying out, because all modern humans are instead descended from the half-cylon child in the series. So apparently they also didn't deserve to live on as a species.
This is an incorrect conclusion. The series finale never declared that the Colonists died out except for the human-cylon baby (and that in itself does not make much sense because if the human-cylon baby was the only survivor then who did it breed with to populate the planet?).

Quote from: RPGPundit;351807
The series also implies that we (modern humans) are bound to end up making the same mistakes the Colonists did.


Again, incorrect conclusion. The only thing that the end of the series showed was that the potential was there for the same cycle of creating their own apocalypse via technology. There was an equal potential for them to not create their own demise with their technology.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 02:43:37 AM by jeff37923 »

estar

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2009, 12:47:27 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351807
The series also implies that we (modern humans) are bound to end up making the same mistakes the Colonists did.


I am on your side on this issue. But in the case of Avatar the predictable hamfisted "message" only bumps the film from down to A from an A+. It is swamped by the other elements of the films.

The simple fact is nobody is going to vote to return to the caves despite the last vestiges of 60's idealism being played out on the big screen. Sure it would have been nice to have a plot that explored the idea of a planetary consciousness a little better. Rather than portraying the base folks as corporate tools I would make the situation more complex exploiting the alien nature of the situation on Pandora more. Rather than saying we are total fuck ups and taking what we want. I would make it about  that we need help but we can't just tear apart Pandora to get it.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2009, 03:38:30 PM »
Quote from: estar;351848
I am on your side on this issue. But in the case of Avatar the predictable hamfisted "message" only bumps the film from down to A from an A+. It is swamped by the other elements of the films.


That's my problem: WHAT other elements?
Thus far, the only retort people have been making to these criticisms is "the special effects are awesome"/"the movie is so beautiful"/etc.

What else is there, in the story or themes themselves, that can actually salvage this film?

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2009, 03:40:48 PM »
As for the New Republic, the review I read of Avatar there was this one:

Quote
Yet in presenting the apparently eternal conflict between gentle people with flowers in their hair and technology-crazed meanies, Avatar comes to us by means of the most advanced technology available. Director James Cameron took 14 years to make the movie, inventing a new process for 3-D in order to film it. He took the motion-capture technology that gave us Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and advanced it several major steps forward. This film was not made by folks who live in a giant tree.

And it’s unclear how this plaintive call to live in tune with nature is supposed to be implemented by the viewers who take it to heart. Should we demand that our popcorn be made over a campfire? Then hoof it home in a Fred Flintstone car?

I don’t need to tell you that, at 161 minutes, Avatar is far too long for material this thin. This story has been told plenty of times before, and better. You can also expect that a hectic, noisy battle scene is surely on the way, one that consumes great quantities of film in showing us what looks like a video game.


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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2009, 04:07:33 PM »
Quote
Yet in presenting the apparently eternal conflict between gentle people with flowers in their hair and technology-crazed meanies, Avatar comes to us by means of the most advanced technology available. Director James Cameron took 14 years to make the movie, inventing a new process for 3-D in order to film it. He took the motion-capture technology that gave us Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and advanced it several major steps forward. This film was not made by folks who live in a giant tree.

And it’s unclear how this plaintive call to live in tune with nature is supposed to be implemented by the viewers who take it to heart. Should we demand that our popcorn be made over a campfire? Then hoof it home in a Fred Flintstone car?

I don’t need to tell you that, at 161 minutes, Avatar is far too long for material this thin. This story has been told plenty of times before, and better. You can also expect that a hectic, noisy battle scene is surely on the way, one that consumes great quantities of film in showing us what looks like a video game.


Maybe the real lesson is that we need to push technology to the point where we can all live happily ever after in a virtual-reality techno-fantasy wonderland. I mean, shit, the only reason I plan to see the movie is for the knock-em-dead special effects.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2009, 05:31:52 PM »
I just wanted to see 12 foot tall nekkid smurfettes with tails. Is that so wrong?

Don't you judge me, don't you dare!

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2009, 06:00:09 PM »
Quote from: Spike;351888
I just wanted to see 12 foot tall nekkid smurfettes with tails. Is that so wrong?

Don't you judge me, don't you dare!

:p


Can't judge you on that at all.

You like what you like.


Just answer me this, anybody please:

Is it worth paying a $7.00 price to see it  first run?

$6.00 ??


$5.00 or less?

$4.00 ??

What amount is a fair trade for the entertainment value I will get seeing this movie?


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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2009, 06:08:03 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351880
As for the New Republic, the review I read of Avatar there was this one:



RPGPundit


Here, you might find this interesting :

http://www.ifc.com/news/2009/12/james-cameron.php


Quote
In that sense, the world left at the end of "Avatar" is one completely free of humanity, a potentially unnerving prospect for anyone who worries about a time in the future when movies might be made by entirely by computers without any human actors at all. The impressive advancements made by "Avatar" in the field of performance-captured characters inch us closer to a world where that is possible.
[/I]

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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2009, 06:52:46 PM »
But why would Skynet make movies?
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« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2009, 07:00:31 PM »
If you grok the concept that Miles Bennett Dyson is Cameron's real life Tyler Durden, you would not have to ask that question.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2009, 11:47:54 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351880
As for the New Republic, the review I read of Avatar there was this one:
Again, they are conflating 'technology' with 'civilization', which is the mistake made by most people who complain in this excluded middle format.

Depending upon how you look at it, all this technology has brought us to the beginning of a post-scarcity economy, or the end of our scarcity economy.  And that frightens the hell out of a lot of people; especially the ones in power.

From what I have been reading lately, most people are at a point where they are willing to put 'progress' on autopilot for a while, until we sort out how to keep things moving without killing ourselves in the process.  I think that is the direction many people are headed these days, and the folks with the wealth and power are no less terrified of losing everything to that paradigm.

The message is not one of 'live in caves'.  It's a message of living more in harmony with Nature.  Whether people want to admit it or not, all the progress wrought by technology has at least as much destruction in its wake.  It is almost completely a zero-sum game up to this point in human history, or possibly having a small balance on the 'destructive' side.  Getting rid of that negative balance is the goal, not completely abandoning all technology.

Because all the shiny iPods in the world won't save us in the event of financial collapse, ecological catastrophe, or governmental failure.
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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2009, 01:44:07 AM »
post-scarcity economy depends on moving toward technology, not away from it. One could argue that the primitivist fear of technology is what is really in the vested interest of those seeking to hold onto power.

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David R

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« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2009, 03:19:23 AM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;351931
One could argue that the primitivist fear of technology is what is really in the vested interest of those seeking to hold onto power.

RPGPundit


And this does not have anything to with Cameron or any of the films you mentioned.

Stormbringer has the right of it, IMO.

Regards,
David R
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 05:37:00 AM by David R »

JongWK

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« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2009, 06:25:23 AM »
Quote from: Koltar;351891

What amount is a fair trade for the entertainment value I will get seeing this movie?



How much does it cost to watch it in the biggest 3D screen in your area? Say, IMAX 3D?
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