Saturday, January 9, 2010
Avatar and Philosophy
A couple of days ago I turned in my next arts column for The Philosopher's Magazine, a review of the movie Avatar. The very same day, I received an alert that there is to be an Avatar and Philosophy volume in Blackwell's Philosophy and Pop Culture series. So that tells you the movie gets the philosophical juices flowing...a bit. But does it, really? On the face of it, the movie is about indigenous rights, the value of nature, and the like--good stuff! Unfortunately, James Cameron treats all these things in such a Disneyfied way that one's brain is not exactly put in overdrive.
But come on, it was gorgeous and it was fun! Er... I have to admit (don't tell anyone) that I fell asleep for a minute or two in the first 20 minutes. I think that was because I had a sinking feeling I knew exactly how the plot was going to unfold for the rest of the movie (and I was right). Plus, that wondrously green and holistic world of Pandora did have a soothing effect...zzzzzz....as amazingly wrought and beautiful as it was (especially through 3D glasses).
Evidently the smart people at Blackwell think the movie could inspire a pile of philosophical essays but I can't quite see it. What would they be about?