?

Log in

Avatar: The Last Racefailure (oh, we can wish, can't we?) - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Avatar: The Last Racefailure (oh, we can wish, can't we?) [Dec. 12th, 2009|12:29 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]

Okay, so this seems to be the week to predict how awesome James Cameron's Avatar will be.

I predict it will be pretty, and awesome to look at. And that will not stop me from being bugged all to shit by the story.

How many times have we seen the "white culture mindlessly destroying indigenous culture until One (White) Man Understands And Fights Back" plot? And gee, how many problems can we find in that plot?

1. Indigenous culture is only legitimated by A White Man understanding it
2. Indigenous culture is helpless against white culture until A White Man shows it how to fight back
3. A White Man is the default savior of such cultures
4. The myriad issues of A White Man entering a sexual relationship with an indigenous female (and don't tell me this isn't an issue when Cameron is quoted as stating that even though they aren't human, the females had to have "titties")
5. White culture is naturally the leading culture in the future (and I mean WHITE - go to the IMDb cast page for this movie and notice how the only named-character African American actors in the film are playing members of the indigenous culture; among the humans the only POC representative is Michelle Rodriguez)

I'm sure there are more - these are just the ones that were immediately obvious to me while watching the trailer.

The reported budget on the film was half a billion dollars. Half. A billion. Actual expenditure seems to be in the $250 million dollar range, but still. Don't you think for that kind of money they could have bought themselves a less-cliched script?

Maybe movies with Avatar in their title are destined to Racefail....
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-12-12 05:39 pm (UTC)
Completely agree. Also, it really bothers me when people design aliens and find it impossible to not give any race that's even remotely humanoid large mammary glands. XP Another example. A cephalopod with boobs. Really? x.x But yes, I am going to see it for the special effects and the prettiness, and try to ignore the fail in the story.

Speaking of racefail, I really want someone to blog about The Princess and the Frog. Because I went and saw that yesterday, and while it's cute and there isn't any really obvious (to me) racefail, I felt like it was there and my privilege was blocking my view of it. There were some posts a few months ago, but none so far from people who actually went to see it, at least not among the blogs I read. I'm sure it'll show up soon, since it just came out yesterday.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 06:32 pm (UTC)
Anthropomorphism at its finest.

I want to see The Princess and the Frog because I've been told that it's good, but I have your same reservations.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: funwithrage
2009-12-12 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, and yes. Also, for the record? A man who uses the word "titties" is a man who should never get his hands on 'em. Ewwww.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 06:39 pm (UTC)
Can't disagree with you there.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kudilu
2009-12-13 12:07 am (UTC)
completely disagree. the BF uses that word, and many others to refer to my breasts. i don't have a problem with it - it's no different than having a preference to how you refer to HIS bits.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2009-12-12 06:03 pm (UTC)
I was told that James Cameron's "Avatar" is not the same movie as M. Night Shamamamamama's; "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

But I could be wrong.

I'm not planning on watching either.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kibbles
2009-12-12 06:27 pm (UTC)
It's not.

I do want to see the last Airbender though because I watched the whole series and I just WANT to know what they're doing to it.

I'm like that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 06:28 pm (UTC)
No, they are two different movies. Both suffering from Racefail. I simply used the "last airbender" rhythm to tie the two together in an attempt at humor.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: shadesong
2009-12-12 06:50 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 07:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, and yes, you did find even more reasons to object to it. I knew there were - couldn't quite put my finger on the wheelchair one, but it was buzzing around my head.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: evaleastaristev
2009-12-12 06:53 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with all of your points. It's cliched and very unPC.

This is why I enjoy the fact that I can turn my brain off and just enjoy the pretty. I did it in 2012 (where I think I bothered people in the theater with my cackling when the world was going boom), and I'll do it again for Avatar.

The only movie I haven't been able to do that with was District 9.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 07:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, we were definitely cackling our way through 2/3 of 2012. (The stoopid in the "Poseidon Adventure" segment of it was too stoopid for much more than outrage - that many big doors on the side of the thing and NO backup plan in case of failure? Please.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2009-12-12 07:28 pm (UTC)
No I disagree on 2. Indigenous culture is helpless against white culture until A White Man shows it how to fight back Its only helpless if it doesn't have equal or better weapons...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 08:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, true.

Then it is EVIL and wants to DESTROY US.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2009-12-12 09:33 pm (UTC)
I'm a white male between the ages of 18 and 40, and I approve of this post.

Edited at 2009-12-12 09:33 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2009-12-12 10:54 pm (UTC)
I suspect you may be right but none of us have seen the film yet. We've only seen the marketing efforts of the film.

I've seen many, many films where the trailers and other marketing stuff ended up having nothing to do with the actual film that ended up on the screen (Inglorious Bastards being a good example) so I'm wary of anyone judging this until someone has seen in.

Case it point, back in the day based on the trailers I thought True Lies would suck - but it ended up being excellent.

Sometimes marketing has a disconnect from the actual film.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-12 11:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, no doubt. My favorite example was the trailer for Galaxy Quest, which was awful enough that we only went the second weekend on the basis of reviews and word-of-mouth.

This is just my speculation from the trailers, since everyone else seems to be weighing in.

Edited at 2009-12-12 11:08 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2009-12-12 11:11 pm (UTC)
Ha. I had similar skepticism about the plot when I heard about this movie. For me it was more along the lines of "wow this storyline sounds so cliche". I mean Cameron hasn't directed a movie in 12 years and this is what he came up with?

But it looks gorgeous and I'm sure I'll see it and be impressed by the visuals.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 12:06 am (UTC)
Cliche and fail. You can't beat it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lordindra
2009-12-12 11:43 pm (UTC)
Well, at least this one didn't actively whitewash an existing story where racial differences were important to the plot.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 12:08 am (UTC)
Not exactly a big win in my mind.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2009-12-15 10:32 am (UTC)
1. Indigenous culture is only legitimated by A White Man understanding it
2. Indigenous culture is helpless against white culture until A White Man shows it how to fight back
3. A White Man is the default savior of such cultures


I think you're jumping to conclusions with all three of these. They're possibly true, but none of these are _in_ the trailers I've seen. I didn't see a helpless native culture, a white man saving the culture or an indigenous culture being considered illegitimate.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-15 04:39 pm (UTC)
Really? We must have seen different trailers.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2009-12-16 12:28 am (UTC)
Just saw it. The previews lie.

It's much closer to Narnia than to any "White man saves indigenous people thing."

Unless you consider Narnia that kind of story.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-16 01:16 am (UTC)
Oh, glad to hear! I want it to be good.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)