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Posts Tagged ‘Avatar’

Steven Shaviro has a very nice post about Kathryn Bigelow following her Best Picture and Best Director wins at the Oscars. Shaviro celebrates her “poetics of vision” and aesthetics of “sensory immersion.” On her earlier film Point Break, he writes: “everything comes out of, and returns back to, the element of water. Bigelow shows us […]

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First, for anyone living in a JonStewartless alternate universe… Stewart (and Samantha Bee) giving Glenn Beck a history lesson (about progressivism) was pretty funny. Beck may be a cheap target, but it’s also a cheap (free) history lesson. Take this country back, Glenn, way back… www.thedailyshow.com Next, Denmark’s new tourist ad campaign by Lars von […]

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It’s been fascinating to watch the unfolding public conversation about Avatar (much of which, come to think of it, my early review had anticipated): environmentalist celebrations of how it portrays the Earth rising up against the megamachine of capitalism and patriarchy; critiques of how the film perpetuates the stereotyping of indigenous people and reiterates tropes of their salvation by white male messiah figures; the Vatican’s and religious right’s denunciations of its pantheism; the film’s advance of technological wizardry into the domain of a virtual hyperreality, like The Matrix but replacing that film’s gnosticism with a pantheistic new age science of networks and neural systems; and debates over the balance struck in the film between good spectacle (the high-tech stuff) and bad narrative (poor writing, flat characterization, stereotypes all over), or between bad spectacle (Spielbergian gee-whiz stuff) and good narrative (such as the film’s allegorization of global capitalism’s destruction of indigenous communities). Film Studies for Free has usefully summarized the various allegorical readings of the film proposed so far, many of which get articulated in conversations and comments by viewers in various blogs, op-ed commentaries, and social networking sites. [more]

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