Andrew and Jazzy would like to wish all our readers
Photos from One Caramel
Andrew: The highlight of our Christmas ‘celebration’ was watching Avatar with my family.
This was followed by a time of geek-speak (just between the two of us, of course) where we discussed:
- representations of otherness
- the voice of the sub-altern
- the ‘unmanning’ and re-masculinisation of the protagonist’s manhood
- the insufficient use of the device of the Avatar i.e. someone taking on another’s identity. In this case, wheelchair-bound Jake replaces his murdered brother and assumes the identity of an able-bodied Navi warrior-in-training. In fact, Jake begins to prefer his Avatar identity over his own paraplegic body. There was one nice moment when Jake was looking at his Avatar through a piece of glass and he saw his human reflection staring back at him, but otherwise Jake’s “split selves” were not highlighted cinematically
- the notion of reality and virtual reality and how it became difficult to distinguish between either
- the foreign versus the familiar (how the alien race still possess recognisably human characteristics and are therefore familiar, though these characteristics are common to certain African tribes, and are therefore foreign to most contemporary viewers)
- the polarisation of the primitive native savage and the futuristic robots
- the lack of compromise between aliens/humans and the simplistic division of both as opposing forces; how the film maintained an “us versus them” mentality and did not even entertain the option of peaceful coexistence
- the possible environmental messages the movie tried to force down our throats i.e. having to populate inhospitable planets as a result of climate change on Earth
Andrew: We had fun mocking some of the movie’s corniest lines (“I see you”) and doing re-enactments of their resurrection ritual which really seemed like a mass campfire sing-along conducted in a phosphorous/fluorescent jungle.
(Jasmine: Andrew’s version of a tribal ritual involved him chanting what sounded like “Kumbaya” or “Kaya” while swaying like a helicopter as we were walking around Junction 8. I tried to keep my distance.)
Andrew: Gallivanted around B1 for a while – buying fruit juice, eating Taiwanese deep-fried sausage, yakitori chicken and chicken ball, and guessing which bouquet Dearie would like – kind of like a revision of our previous date where she taught me about flower selection, and not being allowed to buy it.
(Jasmine: The bouquet cost $88, dear! It was extortion…)
Andrew: It wasn’t the ideal way to celebrate Christmas, but I treasured the time spent and the laughter shared.
It really hasn’t been a very jolly Christmas for both Jasmine and myself this year because of a variety of factors, mostly out of our control.
Nonetheless, it matters less what we do, than who we do it with and though it might not feel very jolly, it has been a joy to serve, to love, to cry and spend this Christmas week with you Dearie.
Once again – Here’s wishing all our readers a very (belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!