Friday, July 9, 2010

Avatar: $380 million for simulating munitions (and another planet), and 50 cents on the story

Thanks to Don Share for, well, sharing this nugget by Allan Gurganus, from "Kelly A. Smith Interviews Allan Gurganus," for the Spring 2010 Iowa Writers’ Workshop Alumni Newsletter:

In art and life, I am a collector of beautiful human features and expressive hands. We just saw Avatar, the trite new technological wonder-movie. It’s a metaphor for post-Bush America. They spent $380 million on special effects meant to simulate munitions, and 50 cents on the story! Only a lifelong narrative artist can see the impoverishment and delusion. Trusting the eloquence of hands and faces could’ve saved many millions in research and development, it might have made us care about at least one figure in this whole bogus video game. What made the Greeks laugh and cry make us laugh and cry. The prodigal son returns and his old forgiving father sees him from afar and, his age ignored, runs on foot to meet him, to press a hand alongside the young sinner’s face. There, that’s seventy-five cents worth of story right there! Such human simplicity is more reverberant and important than ever now. People are hiding from each other in order to experience pleasure

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