“A glorified South America” was one of the odder dismissive takes on Pandora, the alien world of the Na’vi in James Cameron’s Avatar, that I heard when the movie was in theaters. After all, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see a glorified South America?
There is a sense in which “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is for my children in part what Star Wars was for my generation: a new and enthralling mythology about a young hero with a mysterious power slowly learning to channel that power to fight against a tyrannical empire.
Last week Peter Chattaway blogged an essay on Avatar and religion originally written for Anglican Planet (which is an awesome name for an Anglican periodical on so many levels, although I know nothing else about it).
A priest friend, frustrated by dodgy media coverage, recently sent me his own translation of the entire L’Osservatore Romano review, as well as of a segment that ran of Vatican Radio.
See my latest at NCRegister.com on “Avatar, the Golden Globes … and the Vatican.” (I’ll be blogging more here at Decent Films starting next week … I’m still emerging from the New Year crunch!)
Was I wrong to contend, as I did recently in a response to a reader, that “Unlike Star Wars and The Matrix, Avatar doesn’t strike me as a film likely to burrow deep into the collective consciousness”? A recent story at CNN.com, “Audiences Experience ‘Avatar’ Blues,” at least raises questions about that assessment.
James Cameron’s Avatar is a virtual apotheosis of Hollywood mythopoeia. It is the whole worldview and memory of contemporary Hollywood, given shape in a narrative and pictoral form that is stunning in its finality and grandeur. It is like everything and there is nothing like it.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.