Friday, February 3, 2023

Avatar: The Way to Water: The controversy it generated, doubts about its box office performance, and James Cameron’s ambitions

The world of James Cameron seems to have no limits. Aliens, robots, ships, everything is big, unusual and bombastic to create the greatest show on Earth. Now Avatar: The Way of Water It is the most expensive production in the history of cinema. Although movie theaters have yet to recover the popular influx from before the pandemic, this sequel seeks a more than near-impossible feat, which would mean, in this context, one of the highest-grossing films in history. The mark that the pandemic has left in cinema is not the only challenge for the work it seeks to overcome in every way: Native Americans called for a boycott of this second part, alleging that it represented stereotyping of tribal cultures to satisfy the fantasy of a “white man savior”.

water way continues the story of Avatar, It stars pre-human Jake Sully as a loving and understanding family man, but also as Che Guevara, a guerrilla fighter who hinders the imperialist pursuit of Earthlings violating Pandora’s natural beauty. Is. Transformed into a hero and spiritual leader by Na’vi, the inhabitants of the magical celestial body, he is forced to leave the refuge of the jungle to take refuge in the civilizations that live near the sea.

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“Europe is equal to Earth. The original inhabitants of the American continent are the Na’vi. I’m not trying to be subtle. Avatar It is science fiction that tells the story of North and South America during colonization. Cameron isn’t lying when he says he doesn’t look subtle. The newer Na’vi, experts at navigation and full of tattoos, appear to have been inspired by the polysene ethnic groups of Oceania, the Maori. They live in brotherhood with a race of giant whales, the Tulkun, who are persecuted by a villain with an Australian accent who is dedicated to hunting. The character evoking the famous novel by Herman Melville uses a harpoon with an inscription in kanji: Japanese Signogram. You don’t have to read between the lines to understand who Cameron is trying to represent.

Although the Tulkuns are more intelligent than humans and larger than the ships that pursue them, they do not fight to protect themselves because they reject violence. In Los Angeles, Yu Bege, one of the hosts of the Indigenous Pride movement, called for a boycott of the film, accusing it of being racist., His request was accompanied by an earlier statement by Cameron: “I can’t help but wonder if the Lakota Sioux community would have seen a future if they had seen their descendants among the highest suicide rates in the country because they were hopeless and Part of a dead-end society, they must have fought harder. That’s what inspired me to write Avatar.”

“Cameron is guilty of playing a foreign race in favor of non-indigenous people based on the cultures he appropriated. This is a racist caricature that mixes cultures indiscriminately,” the complainant said. Some users on Twitter pointed out with complaints that the physical characteristics of the Na’vi (face, tattoos, dreadlocks) refer to the stereotypes with which native cultures of the Americas, Oceania, and Africa were represented. However, most of the actors playing them (Sam Worthington and Stephen Lang among others) are white.

Avatar And its sequel builds on one of the most common narratives in adventure stories: the story of the white man who infiltrates an Aboriginal civilization to destabilize it, but falls under the new community’s charms and transforms into the dominant figure. It happens. To defeat the colonialists. This has been seen a lot in cinema: pocahontas, dance with wolves why last warrior, to name a few. For some critics, these stories are related to positivist ideas that divided humanity into civilization or barbarism. Civilization made up of white Europeans who have to conquer, subdue or exterminate barbarism.

in Avatar, as mentioned in other films, it is the knowledge of the enlightened white man that allows the natives to organize themselves to defeat a more technologically advanced enemy. in water way Another concept appears: that of the imperialist colonizer who also acquires the qualities of the natives and decides to fight them using his own natural resources.

Sigourney Weaver And James Cameron During Filming
Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron during filmingMark Feldman

Cameron was a pioneer in creating action movie heroines. in Linda Hamilton terminator and the Sigourney Weaver Inn aliens They dominated a world full of testosterone. in water way Kate Winslet plays a pregnant Na’vi who fights alongside the men. “Everyone talks about women empowerment, but what is one important part of a woman’s life that we as men don’t experience? Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, wonder women appear but they are not mothers or pregnant when they fight evil”, justified the director of The secret of the abyss.

some may point to Avatar fits into the narrative of male heroism, It doesn’t sound like a movie (nor does it try to be). scared tit which was nominated for an Oscar the same year representing Peru Avatar Compete for the top prize. That story, directed by Claudia Llosa, featured fear, injustice and symbolic violence that had been transmitted between generations of women of tribal descent, with dialogues in Quechua. in Avatar (and its sequel) Although the Na’vi have their own language, what the audience hears is the English language. after all, Avatar This is a Hollywood film. Although the comparison between the two very different works (not only in terms of capital invested in each, but also in narrative style) may seem arbitrary, the two have similar elements that complement them.

Avatar: Water Path, Filled with Western and Eastern religious symbols, it delves into the passion of a filmmaker whose career is marked by the relationship between humans and machines. He himself admits that this franchise (which, he warns, could have five more sequels) is his attempt to repeat what Tolkien did with Lord of the Rings in the literature. It may seem paradoxical that to represent this environmental tale of fairy-like creatures living in harmony with nature, they have turned almost entirely to computer-generated images, even in the past. Even more than the ones. There is almost nothing natural in the images depicting a film of zero and more than 3 hours.

James Cameron Backstage On The Set Of Avatar 2
James Cameron backstage on the set of Avatar 2 Mark Feldman

King Midas of cinema has hardly 9 films in his filmography as a director but almost all of them are blockbusters: the first two terminator, aliens why true lie, in others. When Cameron, a resident of Canada, declared himself the king of the world Titanic Won 11 Oscars. That production also held the title of “highest-grossing film in history worldwide” until it was displaced 13 years later. Avatar.

None of these had a box office opening comparable to those that achieved records in the opening day. since terminator 2, Word of mouth is the key to the success of Cameron’s films: Recommendations or curiosities that motivate viewers to go to (or return to) the cinema. He is a controversial figure who arouses sympathy and skepticism in the world of cinema (and not only).

opinion article in the United States, prior to the premiere of water way He predicted the commercial failure of a film that became successful (he argued) and did not have the “cultural impact” of another., universe of Avatar, Unlike others like Marvel, DC, or Star Wars, it hasn’t built legions of fans who have consumed movie-inspired video games, toys, or TV series over the past 12 years. The highest-grossing film in cinema was also accused of having a simple story with one-dimensional good or bad characters. Other voices argued that the film merely sheltered the complexity of seemingly simple things, like some great historical cinematographic works.

Perhaps Avatar: The Way of Water Achieve the impossible and end your tour of the Hall as one of the most successful ever. But James Cameron’s new plan is even more ambitious: Create an epic saga that’s much bigger than a couple of movies. A compact novel that, for now, appears to be composed of five films. Perhaps the success, narrative complexity, cultural impact and representation of Native peoples can only be assessed when the blue-loving filmmaker completes his most ambitious project yet. But, for that we will have to wait till 2028, when the fifth part of this science fiction and fantasy pentology will be released.

Conocé Trust Project
Nation World News Desk
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