Thursday, April 08, 2010


I just saw the movie in 2-D, since that is what is available now. More than anything else, it reminds me of Miyazaki. The floating mountains are like the floating island in Laputa. The forest is like the forest is Nausica. The amazing flying warships are like the warships in Laputa and Howl's Moving Castle. The amazing flying animals are like Kiki on her broom and the dragon in Spirited Away. Saving the environment is a key theme for Miyazaki.

And it reminds me of Star Wars, though in Avatar the cool military high technology is brutal and ugly and a failure.

It reminds me of Iraq.

It reminds a lot of people of Dances with Wolves, a movie I have never seen. James Cameron has said Avatar shares themes with Wolves and that the ending is an homage of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke.

What interests me is the difference between the way it's discussed in this country, and the way the rest of the world sees it. The discussions here are about technical problems: how the movie works as a movie or as science fiction. The rest of the world seems entranced by the message, which is -- as Gilad Atzmon and Evo Morales point out -- about capitalism and imperialism and saving the planet.


Blogger Therem said...

Hi Eleanor! The discussion of Avatar among movie critics and science fiction fans may largely avoid the environmental message (or dismiss it as trite), but that message was received loud and clear by American conservatives, who reacted with a lot of anger against what they considered the "anti-American" tone of the film. There's an L.A. Times article about it here.

Personally, I loved that environmental message, and I've been touched by the stories of people around the globe who see their own struggles reflected in the film. And now the film's director has gotten more directly involved in at least one of these struggles: the fight to keep the Brazilian government from building an enormous dam in the Amazon rain forest. Today's N.Y. Times had an article about it.

9:02 PM  

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