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by Fabio de Oliveira Ribeiro
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009 at 12:24 PM
"We didn't produce works of art, we manufactured perishable products! " Words of an American Director for a bored audience.
avatar.jpg, image/jpeg, 595x332
Every time that a new film is published insistently by the media I am curious. When it begins to be projected I am going to the movies to be seen if the film it deserves the critics that it received. I rarely leave of there satisfied with the film, with the critics or with both. In Brazil, unhappily, to do movies critic and film propaganda is already very similar things.
Avatar is worth the price of the entrance. But it is far away from being a classic. This because in the imaginary of James Cameron it seems to be impossible a less early tribal society to win a better army equipped without the help of the own invader. Avatar is the perfect denial of the American experience in Vietnam. After all, for Cameron it would be necessary the General Giap to be student of Westmoreland to defeat the capitalist empire in the jungle.
In Avatar the characters created by Cameron doesn't have own life. They are incorrigible villains or heroes in potential that they develop for perfect heroes. Each character just accomplishes a function, that is to make possible that the history of the winning heroic betrayal is told. Out of the context of the film the characters of Cameron are irrelevant. They don't have literary depth.
The American Movies is today a mixture of a lot of money, graphic computation, propaganda of the nationalism and of the USA Armed Forces (this is not the case of Avatar) and continuous decline of the true art: that it is the creation open characters and with enough depth to count histories with many senses for several generations. This explains why a lot films need to c onstantly be produced to sustain the magic of the American movies. The American films become obsolete because they are conceived in an obsolete way for they be consumed and discarded.
What does transform a character in an immortal character capable to produce thoughts and emotions out of his time and far away from hisown culture? It is his human depth, his mythical verisimilitude (I use the "mythical" word here in the sense that gave him Joseph Campbell). A good character doesn't oscillate between the bestial and the divine, nor it is only bestial or only divine. A character only acquires human depth when it acts as if inside of him the bestial and the divine were condemned to coexist in a conflicting way.
Hundreds, maybe thousands of immortal characters exist that can serve as inspiration for who wants to produce something relevant. Greece produced Iliada and Odyssey, the Arab people The Thousand and One Nights Book, Judéia his Bible, Spain Don Quixote, France Tartufo, Portugal Os Lusiadas, Italy The Divine Comedy, England MacBeth, Germany Fausto and Brazil Macunaíma... the list is too big, therefore, I will be with these examples. What immortal characters have the American film makers been producing? In Avatar, certainly none.
The human societies rise and they decline, but they almost always delegate something for the posterity. When the American Empire to fall and to turn a past thing which his great cultural legacy will be? Just an immense pile of obsolete films?
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