Some links to mull in the wake of Avatar. I found these ones quite insightful, over many aspects of the film: we start with a couple overall reviews, then move to some tech discussion, and then the film’s political and philosophical themes. Most of these have made some of the rounds already, but they’re worth collecting into one place. It should also go without saying that spoilers abound. Have at it:
Jeffrey Overstreet’s review at IMAGE.
Steven D. Greydanus’ review at Decent Films.
The House Next Door offers three takes.
Jim Emerson on 3D.
Annalee Newitz on Avatar and white guilt. UPDATE: Inside Catholic’s Mark Shea responds. (H/t Overstreet).
Ross Douthat on Cameron and pantheism.
Finally, Devin Faraci takes a very detailed look at Project 880, the original “scriptment” for Avatar. Long, but well worth the read by those who have seen the film. (Thanks to Cedric Y. for posting this on Facebook, and to Hayley G. for bring it to my attention).
EDIT: Also, it might be useful to return to David Foster Wallace’s famous essay, “F/X Porn”, which focuses primarily on James Cameron’s influence on effects-driven filmmaking through Terminator 2. If Wallace had lived to see Avatar…
EDIT 01/11: Rod Dreher chimes in.
EDIT 01/22: More Dreher.
EDIT 01/26: Giovanni Tiso on Avatar and Post-Colonial commentary.
For now all I will say of my experience, is that I think I know how Jim Emerson felt when he decided that he didn’t care so much for The Dark Knight. But I need a second viewing, this time in 2D.
I have a bit of a somewhat related rant waiting in the wings, but that’ll have to wait until I finish up holidays and make the necessary screen captures to supplement it. Keep an eye out over the weekend, though.
Just for fun, a quick look at Avatar and The Last Samurai:
For extra fun, the year 2009 in gun-dominated close-ups:
(In descending order, McG, Mann, Cameron. Any idea as to how these frames tell about their directors?)