Friday, January 22, 2010

some delayed musings on 'avatar'

jeff reichert of the film blog reverse shot delivers a belated review of avatar in which he considers the film's impact on the industry and cameron's unique standing as a director. the blog is a great barometer of a movie's worthiness, delivers well-measured reviews and commentary, and covers a ridiculous number of movies...i found this point to be particularly thought-provoking:

"The problem with a movie like this is, of course, that there may be no other filmmaker working who could create anything quite like it. There’s a reluctance to make claims for James Cameron as an auteur in the sense we film critics typically use the word, probably for various reasons: their aim for universal (even bigger than mass) appeal; their often simplistic binary politics; screenplays that, to put it nicely, aren’t exactly models of linguistic cleverness; the emphasis on brawny action set pieces over brainy mise-en-scène. Yet, what other word can we use to describe a filmmaker who has written and directed nearly all of his films, opened his own coffers to ensure creative control over final works, and in his last two features captured the imagination of the moviegoing public by starting out with his own creativity as opposed to market-tested source material?"

read more here


Tom Dolan said...

An interesting piece, and well spotted. I've yet to see the film (I'm still trying to construct an ethical justification for giving Cameron and 20th Century Fox even more of my money), but I almost certainly will over this weekend. In any case, I've recently read two essays that I found particularly apropos to the consideration of Cameron and his work on an artistic level:

The first can be found here:

It's a reasoned but provocative exploration of the idea that "Avatar," like "Dances With Wolves" and many other films, is at its core a fantasy about race, but one "told from the point of view of white people." Fascinating read.

The second predates "Avatar" by a decade or so, but it's absolutely fantastic. It's by the late novelist/all-around genius David Foster Wallace, and it's as funny as it is insightful:

(I'd recommend downloading the .pdf file; there's less scrolling involved, so the reading experience is nearer to seeing it on the physical page)

Anonymous said...

avatar sucks

not even cracks top 50 in terms of attendance. that should be a wider known fact.

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