Sunday, 24 January 2010

Avator 3-D

Glenn and I went to see the film 'Avatar' in 3-D on 23rd January. Glenn and Alex had already been to see it and thought it was amazing and very moving and that I would also probably enjoy it. Glenn was even moved to tears, he said, as the film symbolised the power and domination of greed and money. Alex said that quite a lot of people came out of the cinema depressed because of the stark message in the film. Glenn related the film to the ways in which things of beauty and hope are being destroyed today, partly as a result of the current crisis of capital, but also, sadly, because these things are no longer valued sufficiently. As Glenn said "The Institute of Contemporary Arts and Senate House Library are under threat, some universities may have to close according to press reports and aspects of our way of life and culture will increasingly be sacrificed at the alter of capital or spurious arguments regarding the need to 'modernise'".

'Avatar 3-D' is a science fiction film that is written and directed by James Cameron and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang.

So, I went along to see the film full of hope, but it has to be said, that I was somewhat disappointed. The 3-D experience was incredible - it was the first time that we'd seen a 3-D film, and there were many very beautiful shots of the Na'vi, a race of indigenous humanoids, flying through the air, riding on horses etc. It was all very colourful and rather wonderful. In fact, the film is seen to be a breakthrough in terms of film making technology. It was certainly very expensive to make apparently as well.

However, overall I found that there was just too much action in it. James Cameron is repeating his style of directorship here, leading on from 'The Titanic', which he also directed. I did enjoy watching 'The Titanic' actually, but I thought it was very much full of emotional overload. I felt very drained when I had finished watching it, and would not be in a hurry to repeat the experience! I also thought there was too much violence in 'Avator' , not enough dialogue, and that not enough time had been spent on developing the characters (which I found really rather confusing). Also, on a basic level, I find that my capacity to deal with the many horrors that are taking place today are really now quite limited - I find that, just for my own sanity and survival I have to block much out and/or at least deal with it in a different way. People today seem just so intent and determined today to destroy just so much that is worthwhile, beautiful and of value.
So be it.

In terms of the plot, the film is set in the year 2154, on Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri star system. Humans are mining Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral called unobtanium, which threatens the Na'vi and the Pandoran ecosystem. The Na'vis live in harmony with nature. Wanting to improve relations with the natives, humans grow Na'vi bodies modified with human DNA. These are called avators and are controlled by genetically matched, mentally linked human operators - the avators only work when the humans are in the machine.

In the film, we witness the attempt to destroy this beautiful civilisation and its way of life for material gain.

N.B. The next day, though, we experienced another problem - our eyes. Glenn found he couldn't read for a short period (which was very scary) and my eyes felt very sore. We did a google search and found that 3-Dimensional films can cause various health problems - including sickness and migraines. The eyes have to work very hard when watching a 3-D film apparently. I also discovered to my surprise that 3-Ds have been around for years, but obviously today they are far more sophisticated. And now more films are being made in 3-D and computer games are starting to be made in 3-D. Our health just can't stand all this technology, the fast pace of it all, I am sure. I think that in the future, as the pressure grows for humans to be more and more closely connected with computers, that some humans will become very ill and some will die - only the fittest will survive (Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'). Then, and only then, will society wake up to the fact that this all needs to be looked at and researched into in a lot more depth. This is, kind of, the 'natural' process of evolution, one could argue. But it would be nice to think that we were more advanced than that today; that we could find a way to avoid such a dramatic situation, but the signs are not looking good!

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