Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Avatar

I wasn't particularly interested in seeing the movie because blue cat people and over-the-top special effects and predictable hackneyed roles strike me as mostly boring. But then I read Monbiot's review - and saw that it had the Breakthrough Institute frothing at the mouth with all the petty envy of a teenage Sarah Palin. Once I realized there was some sort of political and environmental and moral subtext, I decided to go see it this afternoon, full throttle - Imax, 3D!
Avatar
What I hadn't anticipated is that it is as much about trees and their beauty and the pulse of life they represent, and what a terrible thing it is when they are destroyed. The invading alien characters - all Americans - have apparently destroyed Earth, where not a green thing grows any longer, and so they are colonizing and exploiting the planet Pandora by - what else? - killing trees.

This may be maudlin Hollywood but it's prophetic. Needless to say I was practically blubbering by the end. Go see it.

The Jersey Central Power & Light Company knows something most people haven't realized yet. They are so busy they have to hire outside contractors who are going mad chopping down branches and trees. The workers with their trucks can be seen scurrying everywhere, like diabolical insects, frantically removing dead wood from any proximity to the power lines, chipping and carting the carcasses off for disposal, or often leaving stacks of logs lining the roads, like discarded cadavers from a war or overwhelming natural disaster.

Kind of reminiscent of this clip, of the Death Collectors, toiling in obscurity:

2 comments:

  1. Passing this along...March 7, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    I have to agree with a commenter in the NYTimes blog:

    coddington.morton
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/the-message-from-planet-jim/

    ...
    As to "Avatar," it's a children's movie wrapped inside a thin luddite wrapper. Like Ray Kurzweil writes: "the technology of the Avatar world of over 100 years from now is also weaker than nature, so the rhinoceros-like creatures are able to defeat the tanks circa 2100." That's the sort of naïve child-like fantasy that makes people feel good that they are "saving the planet" when they say "plastic" instead of "paper" at the supermarket checkout line.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The real test of the Academy Awards is whether anyone speaks up... goes off script. Last year it was pretty tight and very boring...essentially a long commercial for all the movies.

    ReplyDelete

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