Sunday, January 24, 2010

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Around Simulation-simulation and everyday life

On Jan 23, 2010, at 9:37 AM, Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) wrote:
> Concerning the quotes of visitors of Avatar as described on the CNN
> link, it is indeed impressive how the movie has psychologically
> affected them. But could you elaborate more about how you think the
> technology in the movie Avatar has contributed to this? What exactly
> is different from emotions experienced by movies made with other
> technologies and methods. Movies made with puppets, models, etc.
> Whay has this movie had such an emotional impact? Is it different
> from other movies? If yes, why?

(a clever identification and convergence of major stereotypical
I don't think that people can be affected by one specific factor.
rather, a series of aspects play significant roles in influencing the
perception and in this case the emotions of various people. certainly
the mastery of visual effects, interpreted as transparency of the
medium (as someone in another posting has pointed out, evoking Bolter
and Grusin's notion of "remediation") seems to be a major factor,
proposing an immersive experience to which the spectator is attracted
and has the sensation of belonging (and let's consider that this was
all played in 3D).
as far as the narrative goes, despite its emptiness, it is extremely
comforting. it has all the elements that touch people's imagination
and desires: the happy ending, the punishment of the bad, greedy guy,
and even the overcoming of disabilities (I find this element extremely
problematic from an ethical perspective, I can hear "able-ness"
screaming very loud, but let's keep this for another moment) thanks
to the triumph of advanced technologies and nature finally playing
together (nature and technology! isn't that the impossible becoming
possible?). who would not be captured by such narrative? I must admit
that I was amazed to see how narrative, visual effects and music were
very cleverly entangled. probably the success of this movie could be
attributed to the concerted intertwining of all those aspects. I would
also add here that Cameron here seems to have taken all the successful
strategies he had used in his other award-winning movies and played
them all together. Finally, yes, the movie is filled with a number of
animal/floral/geographical elements that are only apparently
unfamiliar. in reality, they have enough elements that remind the real
world to encourage the spectator to embrace it and even long for it.

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