Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

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Lundse
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Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Lundse » 30 Dec 2009 20:28

Just saw Avatar - here goes...
(Major spoilers, guys - the film is brilliant, so don't read this post before seeing it.)

The Dune/hero journey stuff is obvious:
Female-led semi-heroic/good team paves the way for the Messiah - BG vs. Weaver's team. Both teach, one plants religion, the other a language - both useful to:
Protagonist without a family, who has a special learning ability - Jake is 'an empty cup', Paul has 'learned to learn' (from the BG).
A mother figure guides him on his first steps - Jessica, vs. Weaver again; who babies him re. his legs, teaches him to use the avatar (initiating in semi-mystical ways relevant to his later ritual).
He meets the girl while in danger, she is part of the culture he is to become part of - Chani vs Neytiri, both are heirs to some shaministic mystical power, and have important and dead ancestors (Pardot Kynes and the dragon-rider).
The culture rides the fucking dragons! 'nough said, I hope...
Except riding the dragon is how you gain the treasure - spice (control) and understanding of their 'natural technology' and mysticism. Both earns you a place in the tribe.
Mom dies; or rather becomes part of the bigger mysteries of the tribe, maintaining a mother-figure role where she can still guide, although she is an outsider originally (mom is integrated first, apparently) - Weaver's char 'uploaded' and Jessica becoming a Reverend Mother, both paving the way for the hero's eventual ascension in the same manner and ritual.
The enemies attack with old-school methods and technology, the natives defend using semi-mystical knowledge and more 'primitive' methods - the 'grandmother of a storm' and the animals/planet attacking. If we also count Paul using the spice for leverage (I do), both victories are based on 'understanding the mysteries'.
The hero becomes something new, and lives while dying - Paul and the water of life (not same chronology, I know) and the final ritual, where Jake is uploaded. Note that

Anyway, this is basic hero-myth stuff, and not all that surprising. (But done nicely, if you ask me). The interesting stuff is the cyborgs - the Avatars, the mechs, the uploads, the bio-links.

And then there's The Jesus Incident-stuff:
"Pandora" - obviously. More of a nod and acknowledgement.
Planet of inhospitable wildlife.
One part of the wildlife is causing problems (kelp/Na'vi), but has a link to the greater truth of the world, which is that is it sentient.
Another life-vector of the greater sentience is hovering flyers... (big difference in size, though).
That wildlife can interface with others, using strands of electro+whatever-signal-carrying soft tissue. This is the big one, of course. Basically, the movie is the old hero myth done right, on top of Dances With Wolves, with electro-kelp and some cyborg theory thrown in for good measure :-)
The kelp/life-trees allow 'uploads' of people, a way to live forever - and they [/i]really tie the whole planet together[/i].


Don't get me started on the cyborgs and subjectivity-discussions...

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TheDukester
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby TheDukester » 30 Dec 2009 20:49

Wait, I thought Avatar was based on TheKJA's Saga of Infinite Boredom?
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby lotek » 01 Jan 2010 11:54

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby SandChigger » 01 Jan 2010 22:43

Mmmm ... meh.

Sorry, Lundse, but some of the Dune/Avatar parallels are interesting, others pretty reaching.

And the The Jesus Incident stuff didn't really thrill me when that fuck arnoldo posted them over on FED2K back before Xmas.

:(

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Bijaz » 04 Jan 2010 03:35

They may take yairrrr Frreedom, but they ken nivverrrr take yairrrr Duuuunnne!

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby The_Preacher » 04 Jan 2010 10:22

I was thinking along the same lines as I was watching it. The uber hostile forgeign world where everything has a lethal defence mechanism and is trying to kill you. Not unlike Earth before our species dominated it. Which was really the point.

I'm not one to necessarily Wor'Ship Cameron but Avatar was a brilliant feast for the eyes, a must see in-theatre in 3-D experience, no torrent download here!
If Frank Herbert were alive today he'd be spinning in his grave if he could see what they've done to his legacy.

I bought the very first prequel on Amazon as soon as it was available. God! I wouldn't wipe me arse with that trash! Never again, says I. Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Lundse » 04 Jan 2010 10:57



And a Wired editor to boot... I presume he is thinking more about Dune, though - mentioning the storyline specifically.

Anyways, here's another one who beat me to it:
http://topsy.com/tb/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar_(2009_film)).

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Jan 2010 11:39

Blog about the similarities between Avatar and Dune: http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/200 ... -ugly.html
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby trang » 05 Jan 2010 06:24

hmm I saw it sunday and it seemed little more complicated than the old cowboys vs indians films I watched on saturday afternoons with my dad when I was a kid.

Visually was spectacular (was that the biggest tree on movie screen in history? sheesh), story was pedestrian, at best. Telegraphs the ending half way thru. was 40 minutes to long.

Peel away the preachy Corporate Company is BAAAD (and heavily mechanized) vs Nature Sprirt people GOOD, its pretty basic.

After listening to the Na'vi, they sounded so much like american Indians(not to metion look like).

James!!! Hear me!!! Have McG paid off... take this CGI machine you created... and go salvage the Terminator franchise!! or better yet SAVE DUNE from paramount executive idiots!!!
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby inhuien » 05 Jan 2010 06:46

I've not seen Avatar, but from what you're saying and what I heard it sounds like there's more than a little of the Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind about it.
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Lundse » 05 Jan 2010 07:31

trang wrote:Peel away the preachy Corporate Company is BAAAD (and heavily mechanized) vs Nature Sprirt people GOOD, its pretty basic.


Well, that's where I disagree. The tech/corp vs nature/tribe is simple at first glance, and a such is only the frame for the real story.

Notice the "layers" of avatars (interfaces for your consciousness):
Avatar-body and human in womb-portal.
Na'va interface with other animal/plant/planet interface.
Machine-(glove) and human.

The Na'vi interface with other "individuals" with respect - and are unafraid to do so with something greater than themselves.
The human machine-interface is with a thing, there is no respect and we dare only extend our bodies as long as we maintain control (always an illusion, of course - you perception of the world is different from a battle-mech; eg. allowing you to think you can subjugate a planet).

The same thing is going on, btw, on the relationship with the planet - humans see it as a hostile environment, the Na'vi as an entity/deity. The humans shield themselves, until Jake allows the planet to kill him - accepting that, as a human, he does not belong there.

The avatar-portal interface is humanity's emulation of the Na'vi way - a more natural way of interfacing, though still a complete subjugation. The whole point of the movie may be that something does happen to us, even when we interface with something we subjugate totally. We are changed and become other creatures, when we "change our bodies".

Ultimately, the Na'vi are vastly different from us, as is all Pandoran life (in more or less exactly the same way as in Herbert and Ransoms books). They are not individuals like us, but are always, if not interfaced at the moment, then ready to enter a symbiotic neural relationship with another entity. They are open to each other and their world in a way we are not.
(Of course, humans have this openess too, or the Na'vi would be so alien to us as to render them uninteresting and completely unfathomable - but in science fiction you take an existing trait, phenomenon or problem and write a metaphor for it. Avatar is a great science fiction movie because the metaphor - all the interfaces of the movie - are so efficient at telling the story.)
The Fremen, incidentally, are described as having such an openness towards their planet - Herbert did not use a metaphor to explain this, but the same mechanism which we humans use, in actual fact, to open up to each other and the world.

Anyway, the movie is not about nature vs. tech, or tribe vs. corp. It is about whether one is open towards others, accepting that there are things with as great (or more?) right to live and be heard - even when those things are different from you. This is Jake Sully's triumph - that despite having a lesser interface than the Na'vi, he is able to see this (incidentally, through the actual real-life human/world interface).
The military/corp way of "interfacing" is to subjugate - the mechs, the machines, the planet. It is basically Heidegger all over again - but what isn't? :-)

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby trang » 05 Jan 2010 08:31

If you got all that from Camerons film I can respect that. It didnt come out that deep to me.
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby SadisticCynic » 05 Jan 2010 08:59

Just wanted to ask, does Na'vi mean anything or is it one of those made up movie words?
Ah English, the language where pretty much any word can have any meaning! - A Thing of Eternity

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Ampoliros » 05 Jan 2010 15:38

I thought Avatar was the climactic final battle of Technology v. Plot.
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby 13athroom » 05 Jan 2010 17:33

enough with the hype.
madea goes to jail was a far superior film!

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby SandChigger » 05 Jan 2010 17:51

SadisticCynic wrote:Just wanted to ask, does Na'vi mean anything or is it one of those made up movie words?

I saw somewhere someone suggesting it was from native. ;)

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Lundse » 05 Jan 2010 18:37

13athroom wrote:enough with the hype.
madea goes to jail was a far superior film!


While you are indeed entitled to your opinion, please do not discount mine as hype. Either engage in a discussion or state that you disagree. I do not presume to know why you prefer what you do, mainly because you have not told me any reasons - I think you should not tell me (or anyone else) why my preference lie as they do, especially since I have specifically given a different reason.

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Omphalos » 05 Jan 2010 20:39

13athroom wrote:enough with the hype.
madea goes to jail was a far superior film!


Ha! Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants beats that old cross-dresser any day of the week!

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby SandRider » 05 Jan 2010 22:06

TheDukester wrote:Wait, I thought Avatar was based on TheKJA's Saga of Infinite Boredom?



wow. just when you think Keith can't come off as a bigger asshole ....

I'm in your corner, Duke. The raping of Dune was just the tip of the iceberg.
Keith's the biggest douche-bag on the planet. Glenn Beck should take lessons.

I guess it's Agin The Law now to talk about slapping the taste outta some
shitheel's mouth, even if everybody knows he has it coming, so I guess I'll
just have to challenge Keith J. Anderjacket to a duel.

shotguns at 5 paces.
or samurai swords, his choice.



BTW, sisterhood of the travelling pants made me cry ....
(the good kinda cry, y'know ?)


oh yeah, Avatar - saw it.
Dances with Wolves in Space.

"visually spectacular", sure, and some kind of great cinematographic feat, I'm told;
okayfine, use the 3D cameras for some porn or a NASCAR documentary & I'm there.

or, hell, what the fuck ? come up with a fresh story maybe ?

no?

okay ...
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Tleszer » 05 Jan 2010 22:59

SandRider wrote:BTW, sisterhood of the travelling pants made me cry ....
(the good kinda cry, y'know ?)


Is this the same type of crying you get from watching farm porn?
DUNE, as interpreted by a blue man with a green tushie

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby 13athroom » 05 Jan 2010 23:07

Lundse wrote:
13athroom wrote:enough with the hype.
madea goes to jail was a far superior film!


While you are indeed entitled to your opinion, please do not discount mine as hype. Either engage in a discussion or state that you disagree. I do not presume to know why you prefer what you do, mainly because you have not told me any reasons - I think you should not tell me (or anyone else) why my preference lie as they do, especially since I have specifically given a different reason.


ok
here are 3 good reasons that MADEA GOES TO JAIL is superior to AVATAR.

1. While both screenplays were highly derivative of numerous tales told before them, MADEA GOES TO JAIL made me horny, and i could tell by angle of the dangle that it was GOOD WRITING that was making my pants tight. Avatar? Not so much. though I did get a bit excited when Jake Sully raped his first dragon with his ponytail (spoiler?).

2. AVATAR was filled to brim with CG thundercats and powerloaders who would rather shank you than shoot you, while MADEA GOES TO JAILfeatured the original and highly groundbreaking idea of TYLER PERRY in drag for the thirty-seventh time. This concept has only just recently become approachable by mainstream hollywood, and I hope they keep it up.

3. I looked and looked, but I didnt see Dr Phil once in AVATAR. No walk-on, not a passing background cameo... nobody even had Dr Phil playing on any of those screens in the background. Nada. MADEA GOES TO JAIL however, had a 10 minute long scene set right on the Dr Phil show with Dr Phil Himself hosting that sumbitch. point: MADEA.

also, you guys talking about how much SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELLING PANTS kicks ass... you are right if you are talking about it kicking AVATARS ass. MADEA GOES TO JAIL is a better movie than that too though...

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Ampoliros » 06 Jan 2010 00:39

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Prosecution Rests.
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby trang » 06 Jan 2010 02:45

Ampoliros wrote:Image

Prosecution Rests.


:clap:
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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Lundse » 06 Jan 2010 05:04

I liked the Pocahontas script; funny and with a grain of truth. But my point is that the whole Pocahontas/nature theme is only the tip of the iceberg. Stuff is going on underneath... Or maybe I'm crazy ;-)

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Re: Avatar and The Jesus Incident (tell me I'm not crazy).

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Jan 2010 07:57

SandRider wrote:...a NASCAR documentary ...


And here I was thinking nothing could be more boring than an actual race. :shock:

The Legened of Ricky Bobby was better.
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