The meaning of Avatar: Underlying truths amidst the technological wizardry
by Patrick Pennefather
VANCOUVER — Box-office champ and nine-time Academy Award nominee Avatar has hit a nerve with the public, triggering an outpouring of responses online. A virtual tsunami of reviews, blogs and commentaries on the movie reveal valuable insights into our ideas about storytelling and technology, and the relationship between them in our lives.
The plight of the eight-foot-tall blue Na’vi seems to resonate with the masses like no other underdog has before.
Witnessing the triumph of the Na’vi is far more satisfying to us than contemplating the real-life fate of first cultures, few of which have not been dominated and subdued by governments seeking natural resource treasures, and whose warnings of Mother Earth’s day of reckoning went largely ignored for too long. However, Avatar isn’t just a movie made to assuage culturally inherited guilt. It also gives us an opportunity to examine the film’s significance as a high-tech storytelling vehicle.
Online, a common theme emerges in most opinions of the movie: The story is predictable, but the visuals are amazing. So is it a question of technology versus story, or can technology be used to serve the story?
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