The Na'vi: Hot or Not?

So I know they were designed to be appealing to moviegoers. I think one review called them "familiar yet pleasingly exotic." I am not even sure what it means to be pleasingly exotic, but I think that hits the nail on the head. You feel really weird looking at these strange creatures and yet you find yourself strangely drawn in.

Non-sequitur: Why do tribal chiefs ever only seem to have daughters?  Why don't they ever have sons in the movies?

I'm not really sure what does it for me - the super obvious resemblance to Native American and African tribes? The hugely expressive cat-eyes and human-like mouths? The way you can readily recognize the human actors who played them? The sensually exposed blue skin? Their raw physicality? Whatever it is, it's the stuff of dreams.

That said, when I got out of the IMAX theater tonight, I called Garry and said it gave me the creepin' willies to watch avatars make out, let alone have 'avatar sex.' I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with my feeling that such shameless displays of affection are specifically a figment of Western filmmaking, and these creatures seem decidedly non-Western.

9 responses
The Avatars have sex in this movie? Who would have ever known? Not me!
You could probably apply all sorts of cultural 'post-colonialist' analyses to this movie until you're -- hah --- blue in the face. But suffice to say that this movie was pretty much "Dances With Wolves" in space. But beyond Dances with Wolves, Avatar fits neatly into a long string of Hollywood movies where the decadent, technologically-advanced cultures meet the 'primitive', 'savage' indigenous culture.

The chiefs always have a daughter because you always need a romantic interest. This archetypal interaction is repeated throughout such movies like Dances With Wolves, Memoirs of a Geisha, Pocohontas, etc. etc.

@Kimberly well, they don't show full-on avatar sex, just the making out portion that leads to it, but it still gave me the creeping willies.

@Vince it must be 15 years since I saw Dances with Wolves, but I know you're right. At any rate, maybe we should make a movie about a "savage primitive" infiltrating a decadent, technologically advanced culture.

Btw, @Vince James Cameron himself admits that it's 'Dances with Wolves' in space.  I've also been reading a couple reviews that say Avatar is shamefully anti-American and anti-US Marine.  Could be true, as it did manage to get us to cheer for the gruesome deaths of men who were ex-military and Americans all.  (And that's another thing; how were there no international people involved in the exploitation of Pandora?  I think more realistically the Chinese would have gotten there first, and the Na'vi would find themselves facing a Great Leap Forward-style assault from the Communists.
"Brave New World" is pretty much about a 'savage' infiltrating a technologically advanced, decadent world. They might have even made it a movie!

As far as the anti-American subtext, I didn't pick up on it, but my mom did! But there are quotes where James Cameron get preachy about how Avatar is supposed to remind us Americans about the limitations of our military might.

When I saw the movie, I think I just saw the Avatar marines as descended from the space marines in "Aliens," which was really just about arrogance getting pwned. I don't know if that makes it patently anti-American or not.

Side note: in the final fight between the colonel's mecha and Jake, I half expected the colonel to say something along the lines of "Get away from her you bitch!" -- a classic line from Aliens.

Man, Sigourney Weaver really knows how to tear into the word "bitch."  What a badass!
White people taking colored people's land? Pass.
This was a great move. Some people were reacting when they were having sex but I do not know what their reaction meant.
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