Blue Boobs: The Avatar E-Mail Chain

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SS: They are definitely the “other,” and there’s a level of fetishism here to be sure. But in the way Cameron plays it all out, allowing us to experience their way of life and learn to love it more than the drab habitats housing the humans on Pandora – I think he goes a long way towards celebrating them, rather than gawking at them. Does this make any sense? I would have failed anthropology in college for sure –

LG: Yeah, but perpetuating stereotypes, even positive ones, is still totally damaging. It’s like saying Asian kids are good at math. Still not cool.

Whatever. Back to blue boobs. Actually my favorite part is the first time Jake gets dressed up in Na’vi (what does that apostrophe even mean?) clothes, thong included, and you see him try to pick a wedgie. Nice touch.

SS: Lots of nice touches, actually, when it comes to him becoming a member of the Na’vi. I love that he still talks and thinks like a marine in the early moments. He’s crass and gruff. He doesn’t assimilate easily – which I think is a mistake that many other films might make, in making him a member of the clan. He gradually falls in love with this world, and its people, and for me it really worked. The movie never felt overdone, nor rushed….the pacing helped a lot….

AT: I think you’re right about the stereotyping, but like was said last night, it also had a lot things to say about imperialism. I think the tribal characteristics are used as a device to really polarize the sides of the argument. Let’s face it, if the Na’vi had been speeding around in futuristic taxis, chain smoking and littering they could have been bought, making Cameron’s plot unfeasible. (Sidenote: To me, the romance had a very Disney’s Pocahontas feel to it) But I think the message, overall was very positive. I think the Na’vi were depicted in this way because it is so contradictory to the American mindset. If you think about the ultimate battle when it comes to “Americanization,” it’s Cowboys vs. Indians. We’ve been playing it for years, and it doesn’t surprise me that Cameron took this route.

PH: Like I said before, I didn’t think the story was anything special. The FX were batshitf**kingcrazy. And this is totally Cowboys vs. Indians.

LG: Probably we should think about wrapping this up and putting it up.

PH: Yeah, I’m done. Blue boobs. Dances With Wolves.

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