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On 'Avatar'.


I'd always wanted to see a 3D film (when half-way through childhood, I pored over ads for a feature called 'The Bubble', filmed in 'Spacevision': a vision I was too young to be allowed to have). So I made sure to see 'Avatar', whose 3-D technology – which took some 15 years to develop – is supposed to be, pardon my English, the dog's bollocks. At first, to tell the truth, I was put off by the killer rhinos slavering straight into the audience and the jungle bugs buzzing inches from my face, but as the minutes flowed on it dawned on me I was watching one of the most remarkable spectacles ever seen on a screen: waterfall-gashed mountains floating in pink skies, blue humanoids sprinting along fat kilometre-high branches, multi-coloured pterodactyls perching like butterfly colonies on distant crags... And yet. At the service of all this dazzle, the director had put a script so simplistic and over-familiar it might have been written by a pre-teen Friend of the Earth who had just discovered the meaning of the word 'plagiarise'. The storyline: on Alpha Centauri in 2154, an American mining company, seeing that the only thing standing between it and the minerals it craves is a tribe of Yanomami-like aliens, decides to send in a spy to gather strategic information, which is then used to bomb the locals off their land; when he sees the havoc he has helped wreak, the spy, outraged, spies no more and becomes the natives' leader. With his help and that of the local deity – a kind of eco-God - the indigenous people kick the Americans' environment-unfriendly butts back to their blighted world. No brains need racking to remember where we've seen such themes before: 'Dances With Wolves', 'A Man Called Horse', 'The Emerald Forest'... Altogether, then, 'Avatar' is a confusing film: on the one hand, there are those jaw-droppingly stunning images; and on the other, a shoddily cloned script stuffed to the gills with Gaia theory platitudes. It's like having your breath taken way and being preached to by a very tedious hippie at the same time. For three hours. While a hail of undeserved Oscars gathers depressingly in the clouds above.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -