Wednesday, 17 November 2010


This film is Avatar directed by James Cameron and the plot is based around the ideas used in Pocahontas of modern man meeting a tribe and falling in love with the cheif's daughter who teachings the man their ways of loving and respecting nature. He later appreciates these values and fights alongside the Navi to protect the beautiful world from the humans who want to destroy it for the natural resources. A range of creatures that really suited the world and made use of scale and camera positions to describe the space they inhabit, the Ikran and Toruk are good example as they gather high in the moutains and fly over the forest so that the world can be appreciated from a different viewpoint and angle. "The start of Avatar is breathtaking, as James Horner’s tribal music rises over a 3-D planet seen from above, all mist and tree tops. Like George Lucas with the Star Wars universe, Cameron and his designers have imagined all the flora, fauna, creatures and tribal cultures of Pandora, which glows iridescent at night, much like the deep oceans Cameron has explored in his 3D science docs. It’s hard to believe that this world is entirely CG. "(Anne Thompson, This means that the detail laid into the CG design immediately draws the audience in because of the stunning spaces that set the stage for all the characters and plantlife is a believable world display organic beauty.

The Navi and their culture is the main focus of this film as they represent a primitve culture that can still be found in some of the remote places on earth today, they are a peaceful race taught to love the space, energy and living creatures around them. This is also the belief of tribes today because they feel that if you respect nature than it will offer you rewards for your service. The Navi are able to access and react with the space around them through the use of the tree of souls that contain information and memories, this was a good concept because it is later discovered that these trees are connected by a global network with more connections than the human brain. The humans are seen as tyrants destroying the beautiful planet in search of a new natural resource, links are made with how they have destroyed the natural beauty of their planet and stripped it all down for fuel. This is a shadow of what Pandora could become if the humans suceeded and used up all the resources.

The CG sets of Pandora's forests work well with a range of amazing plantlife that really take on the essesence of organic forms. Spirals was a common successful theme used on the most unusual plants and the inside columns of Home tree. The Halleluyah Mountains was the most rememberable and spectacular space because it is a natural oddity and makes you question how it got there in the first place. When the characters first fly to this environment and the mist clears it is breathetaking to see something completely different from any of the scenes at ground level. "Later still, when a landscape of floating mountains hovers into view, or when a Lord of the Rings-style epic battle between humans and the Na’vi is in full force, it’s hard not to be a little awestruck." (Sukhdev Sandhu, this is more evidence of how the environment of the mountains was used to stage the crucial scenes of the film because of it's epic scale and amazing camera angles make a prefect back drop to final fight scene. Hell's gate was another interesting space occupied by the humans in the style of a compound headquarters with a lot of man made architecture, ships and suits. It signifies the small patch of the planet that the humans have dominated and claimed as their own.

The quality of lighting used helped bring Pandora to life with use of spot and directional light to highlight the characters and creatures moving inamoungst the spaces to make the forest realistic receiving light from the sun. The night scenes see these spaces transformed using floresent lights and bright colours to really bring out the plant life and world as a new environment. These lights really indicate the sense of the alien landscape because it is unlike any space on Earth. "I wish Cameron had put half as much effort into the plot as he did into designing Pandora.  The attention to the plant life is particularly impressive as Cameron has imagined botany and forestry in a way we’ve never seen before.  Unfortunately, his imagination is far more limited when it comes to the animals." (Matt Goldberg, Goldberg indicates that the forestry and botany are the elements that really strike the audience because of Cameron's attention to detail to create the illusion of a totally different concept and exploring the realms of how imagination through CG could be taken. He also claims that this same imagination is lost in the plot and the creature design because unlike the world these elements are too similar to things seen in realife or in other movies.

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