Essay Preview: Avatar Case
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This film explores the idea of societies growing materialism and lack of care for the environment. Avatar is based on the arrival of a group of humans to the planet of Pandora, they have been sent there by the RDA Corporation to mine an extremely valuable mineral called unobtanium. Unfortunately the largest deposit of the minerals is situated under the Navi tribes sacred Hometree which is the centre of their civilisation. Throughout this film the increasing humanity is shown by the obsession with money and material goods for the environment and indigenous people. The rapid increase in technology has resulted in the destruction of nature and caused humans to leave their dying world. In order to meet demands this can also be seen as a reflection of the real world where America is viewed as invading countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan purely for the purpose of exploiting natural resources. A major concern for todays world is global warming and deforestation.
The director James Cameron involved the audience by utilising the visual language feature of lighting. For example in the opening scenes the lighting of the RDA base is extremely cold and sterile. The whole environment seems man made and constructed of metal and concrete. The lighting is a bluish tinge to it reflecting a lack of life and connection to the environment. This contrasts highly with the soft natural lighting used in the Pandoras forests where there is an obvious respect for the creatures that live there and the land in general. It appears untouched and free from the destruction of humans. This visual language feature of lighting shows viewers that the idea of societies growing materialism is important, largely because the majority of natural resources are destroyed for the wealth and value behind it.
The director James Cameron has used the language feature of the use of camera angles to show viewers that this idea is important. For example during viewers first introduction to the RDA mining base on Pandora are a number of low angles are used. Primarily when Jake Sully is looking up at the machinery and bulldozers designed to deforest Pandora. In one particular shot we see a low angle of the bulldozers wheels filled with Navi arrows, none of which have any effect on the machine. This helps reflect the idea that the humans are powerful and capable of great destruction. The arrows in the bulldozers tyres also imply that the humans are forcing their way into Pandora with little concern for the Navi people or the land which they are invading and destroying.