Yeah, I know. I am not the first person to say that Avatar is going to revolutionise the way we watch movies. It is the future of cinema. I mean visually. But at the same time, the direction to which it points is a little scary for me. Somehow it appears that form is going to dominate the content in this format.

Look at Avatar. Let aside all the parallels and metaphors of colonisation and imperialism. What remains is a very basic story line. May be it was intentional from the side of James Cameron. If you have to penetrate into all the nooks and corners of the world with your cinema, you will have to remain elemental in your story. That is a lesson he might have learned with Titanic. Now the problem is that is that there is no point in telling the story of ‘Forrest Gump’ or ‘American beauty’ with 3D. With all the expensive expertise it is going to be tough to collect the revenue globally. So until a time when 3D becomes cheap like 2D, it is going to be all about explosions and arrows rushing past you. I have no problem with that. You can push the envelope in an action film too in terms of ideas and plotting. ‘Dark Knight’ did do that. Look at District 9. It had original content because it never tried to be a ‘big’ movie.

What really is going to be troublesome is the global outlook. When you try to cater to all at the same time, you will have to remove everything that may not work with any subgroup and satisfy yourself with the bare essentials in terms of story.


7 thoughts on “Avatar

  1. Exactly my thoughts! But you know what..I was thinking that technology dominating form is nothing new..I mean people like Lucas and Spielberg did that to a large extent decades earlier..but story telling has still survived.
    As for your last para concerning trying to cater to all at the same time, well, that’s something which has been there since Aristotle and will always be there. Lets face it: when you have to cater to everybody, only bare storytelling will work most of the times.
    A Jim Jarmusch or Todd Solidonz or Bergman can never appeal to everybody, perhaps a Kubrick could..but then there arent/wont be many like him..

    1. My concern was never that story telling will not survive. My worry is that the 3D version of films (which is going to be the norm soon for most films)will have difficulty in pushing content especially when they are made for a global audience.
      And again I dont agree that Spielberg and Lucas used technology to dominate content. Look at Jurassic park (forget the sequels). It used technology to bring into life a high concept idea. Star wars was an original cult film when it came out first. In ET, its never about the technology but about the story. Even look at Cameron films before Titanic. The antagonist of Terminator 2 is a good example of a high concept idea brought to life by technology. So its not that if one uses technology one will have to push down content. Real villain is the global market.
      I dont feel that catering to a global audience has been there since Aristotle. Its a product of our information age. Aristotle or Dante or Shakespeare didnt have to worry about whether their art will sell in a remote village in India. So they could be true to themselves and inturn produced work that transcended time and space. Now what irritates me is the extreme business mentality which interferes into the creative process in every step.

  2. I’m sick since a week, so I have no idea what I’m reading and what I’m writing. 🙂
    I think I was not clear enough in my comment earlier and am too tired now to explain it better. But I agree again with all which you wrote now, except that 3d version becoming norm, well, iam not sure of that yet.

  3. Regular cold and stuff..but better now. Actually, that’s the reason could not finish the formatting and send you my script. Plus, very very busy at work and to top it, long India trip is round the corner.
    No plans to cancel the trip though. I will be reaching delhi on 26th and will be there till 30th before I fly to south india. Will call you/email you very soon.

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