Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Everything Under the Sun: Enjoying 'Avatar', the Movie

Enjoying 'Avatar', the Movie

     Last month, my family--my husband and my daughter--and me trooped to Alabang Town Center Cinema to watch the highly-promoted movie, "Avatar". It was a great 3D experience that filled me with wonder on how it was created and was an awesome creative fiction and  action-packed story that had it's own way of sharing the importance of spirituality and righteousness.

     According to the New York Time's website, 20th Century Fox film studios has generated US $600 million at the North American box office and more the US $6 billion worldwide, making this film the highest grossing movie to date. Recently, the movie also won Best Picture in the Golden Globe Awards. And so, let me share with you this film and some details regarding it which I got from Wikipedia.

    These images came form wildaboutmovies.com website

     'Avatar' is a science-fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, according to  the Wikipedia website on the film. Set in the year 2154, human RDA corporation are mining the lush earth-like moon Pandora of the planet Polyphemus for the precious mineral 'unobtanium' (to me, so funny because the tanium  is unobtainable). In order to obtain these precious minerals, they needed to interact with the inhabitant tribe, the Na'vi--10-foot tall, blue-skinned species of sapient humanoid who live in harmony with nature, worshiping their mother goddess called 'Eywa'. The paraplegic Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) becomes an avatar--genetically-engineered Na'vi bodies used by several human characters to interact with the natives. The humans sleep while their 'consciousness' is placed inside the avatar's bodies. Together with a group of scientists who've become avatars, they went into the Pandora jungles where Jake was lost and left behind, rescued from a wild animal by Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana), a female Na'vi who took him to Hometree, their habitat. The clan's spiritual leader, Mo'at (played by C.C. H. Ponder), Neytiri's mother, shows interest in the 'warrior dreamwalker' and instructs her daughter to teach Jake's ways. The avatar Jake, not only falls in love with the tribe but with Neytiri and defends the clan from the RDA corporation's military invasion and uprooting of Hometree, and eventually leads other clans to defend their territory from the vicious attacks of the RDA military. The highlight of the movie's spiritual journey is when it seems that their battle is hopeless, Pandora's wildlife joins the attack on the corporation's forces, overwhelming them, and interpreted by Neytiri as Eywa's answer to the tribe's prayers. In the end, RDA lost and the clan performs the ritual that permanently transfers Jake from his paraplegic human body into his Na'vi warrior avatar. The good always wins. Happy ending!

     Wikipedia added that Cameron made use of his 'virtual camera system'--a new way of directing motion-capture film making. The system displays an augmented reality on a monitor, placing actor's virtual counterparts into their digital surroundings in real time, allowing the director to adjust and direct scenes just as if shooting live action. Using a 'simulcam', the computer-generated images captured by the virtual camera are superimposed over the live action images and shown on a small monitor, allowing the director to instruct actors how to relate to the virtual material in the scene.

     Whew! What genius!What creative thinking! What marvelous scenes and wonderful imaginative wild animals and forest plants perceived to be of the future! I believe James Cameron has placed film making in another level. Although Wikipedia says he based the looks of the Na'vi's to one of the Hindu gods, he definitely wants to impart that 'imperialism' never wins against righteousness. 


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