Friday, January 15, 2010

Avatar - What we have in common, and who sets themselves apart.

Avatar (2009 film)Image via Wikipedia

The recent adoration of pretentious, slow-moving, heady films has become detrimental to the film industry. Before, it seemed that film snobs were judged simply by the number of names they could rattle off. Naming obscurities within any group of snobs is a time-honored tradition. But these faux-indie films have turned the mass public into snobs. Their taste somehow above the Hollywood status quo. And these people seem to believe that the status quo includes Avatar.

Avatar is a ground-breaking movie, visually. It cost a LOT of money to make. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. As soon as these at-home critics catch the sight of those sorts of numbers their immediate reaction is judgement. Which in most cases is understandable. Studios spend a lot of money on big action movies with huge explosions and hole-ridden plots. Avatar is not one of those movies.

James Cameron built an entire world for this film. Much of the money went towards new and revolutionary production techniques to bring that world to life. The film is an epic, and an instant classic. The story is one that has arguably been told before, but that argument can be made about every single film to come out in the history of film. All based around specific stories or classic dramatic arcs, with reference to a multitude of recent and historic events, and to pass judgment on it for that is absurdly idiotic.

The Rolling Stones album coverImage via Wikipedia

The people that stand in judgement of this film are ignorant and insecure. They want to appear to be intelligent by putting down what is commonly considered to be great. Common was once used more often as an insult. But common is what we share. Common is The Beatles and The Rolling Stones; common is crotch kicks and fart jokes; common is Christmas Vacation and Silence of the Lambs; common is Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. These are our shared experiences, brought together by art.

The ever more growing population of snobs are simply standing out for the sake of standing out. They are the High School goth kids of the film world. They are insecure and selfish; in order to control how they are judged, to save their feelings, they make themselves entirely unlikable or unapproachable except by each other, their "peers". Pretentiousness is not a show of intelligence, but rather an admission of insecurity. The pretentious have something to prove and I refuse to give them the satisfaction by stroking their ego.
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