I don’t go to many movies on the premier night, but I went to see Avatar last week with my sons and a few friends. It was an eye-popping 170 minutes of film. Would I recommend it? Hmmm…..
There are plenty of reviews out on Avatar, and I think they mostly agree. James Cameron spent his creative genius on how he created the film rather than the story he told. The story is as disappointing as the eye candy is delightful. The plot is the worn-out retelling of the colonial invader versus the noble savage. It is paradoxical that what makes this movie possible (technology) becomes the film’s villain.
What most reviews don’t mention is the overtly religious statement this movie makes. It embraces technopaganism. Here are just a few examples:
- Science and mysticism are seamlessly interwoven
- Pagan rituals are combined with scientific means to bring about healing
- Naturalism leads to a worship of nature (rising to the level of “Mother Earth”)
- A spiritual “life force” ties all living things together and ultimately gives life
- The premise of the movie is that technology can transfer consciousness between living beings
It used to be that we liked our science fiction served up all nice and secular. No more. By combining tribal religions with technology we have created a new spirituality that is pagan to the core.
A basic belief of today’s scientific elite is that extraterrestrials are alive and well. In a future post perhaps I can write about the complete fallacy that aliens will ever contact us. For now let me simply state that little green men (oh, sorry, big blue men) are a cornerstone of a technopagan worldview. Avatar makes us want to believe that we will someday explore Pandora – it looks cool! We want there to be aliens! We want to fly on giant dinosaurs. We want there to be a life force that our pony-tails can tap into. We want it!!
Are we so enamored with the incredible special effects that we fail to see the alluring worldview of Avatar?
Me thinks so.