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Avatar

James Cameron's epic sci-fi fantasy film released in 2009.

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The destruction of the Na'vi Home Tree

  • Jan 30, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

 

By now everyone recognizes that "Avatar" is a blockbuster example of the art of cutting edge film-making. Whether or not they think the story-line brings the movie up to the level of its most obvious competitors, "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" is a matter of personal opinion. But, it's safe to say that there is hardly anyone in North America who hasn't heard about Avatar and who hasn't got some sort of inkling as to what that story-line is.

So I won't rehash that here.

Nor will I dwell on some of the more obvious themes that this extraordinary movie makes comment on ... the lack of recognition accorded to females in military service; the continuing conflict of the nerd vs the in-crowd; the general lack of recognition of the value of scientific endeavour and so on. Other people have done yeoman jobs analysing these particular ideas.

I wanted to comment on something entirely different that I've not seen mentioned in any other review or in any other blog! Am I the ONLY person who went to Avatar that had a horrifying flashback to the destruction of the World Trade Centre when the military forces blew up the Na'vi home tree? Frankly, I thought the comparison was so obvious that I felt the director had just whacked me on the forehead with a 2x4.

Whether or not James Cameron was suggesting that the
USA was guilty of imperialism or aggressive militarism is also a matter of opinion. But there is no doubt in my mind that Cameron was at least reminding his audience that the distinction between justifiable military action and terrorism or unjustified imperialism is almost invariably in the eye of the beholder and in the mind of the person that's writing the history book.

Paul Weiss

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February 26, 2010
You bring up a point I hadn't considered. I'm glad you did.
 
February 04, 2010
I have to say that while you bring up some really good points, I thing personally, you're dead off.  I think females had an uber strong role in this film; from the the Na'vi females to Michelle Rodriguez's character.  I also so no resemblance at all between the WTC attack and the attack of hometree.  I think James Cameron was trying to point out that we as a country always try to take what isn't ours by any means necessary. 
February 04, 2010
But that's exactly what I meant. Taking something that isn't yours by any means necessary would certainly be considered imperialist aggression or indeed terrorism by the victims of the theft. My point about the similarity of the falling tree to the falling Word Trade Center was to suggest that it was perhaps purposeful irony by James Cameron.
 
February 02, 2010
The Destruction of both cultural icons was epic. I suppose you could draw some paralells but I don't think James Cameron made a direct connection in his mind while setting up and directing that particular sequence. To me the destruction of the tree was more like bulldozing a thriving middle and upper class neighborhood. The Trade Center was more just that, a thriving center of trade and commerce, not residential, a slight distinction but diiferent in the primary use of the space.
February 03, 2010
It was more the height of the tree and the visual impact of it falling over after the bombs hit it that struck me! Only James Cameron knows whether he had a direct connection in mind when he filmed the sequence. I'd sure be interested in hearing what he had to say if someone asked him directly.
 
February 01, 2010
True statements, all.
 
February 01, 2010
Very interesting comparison.  I've heard of people comparing the story to current events and events relating to the September 11 attacks, but not directly.  I see it now, though.  Great review, Paul!  I've watched Avatar and thought pretty highly of it, too.
 
January 30, 2010
Not seen it yet but been thinking about it.
 
1
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Paul Weiss ()
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Wiki

Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction epic film written and directed by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. The film is set in the year 2154, when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora, a lush moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi—a sentient humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film's title refers to the genetically engineered Na'vi and human hybrid bodies used by several human characters to interact with the natives of Pandora.


Development on Avatar began in 1994, when Cameron wrote an 80-page scriptment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Cameron's 1997 film Titanic, for a planned release in 1999, but according to Cameron, the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. Work on the language for the film's extraterrestrial beings began in summer 2005, and Cameron began developing the screenplay and fictional universe in early 2006.

Avatar was officially budgeted at US$237 million. Other estimates put the cost between $280 million and $310 million for production, and at $150 million for promotion. The film was released for traditional two-dimensional projectors, as well as in 3-D, using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D and IMAX 3D formats, and also in ...

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Details

Director: James Cameron
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 18, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: James Cameron
Runtime: 162 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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