Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Artistic breakthrough or derivative junk?

Green Mansions, from the 1908 novel, tells the story of Rima the jungle girl, who was too beautiful and strange to survive contact with civilization.

Roger Dean's album covers for Yes inspired a million drug-addled profundities.

Margaret Keane was scorned by an entire generation for her sentimentalized and frankly ugly paintings of big-eyed children, puppies, and kittens. Forgotten now, but obviously not by everyone.


Christian Lindke said...

Not Green Mansions...



Generic said...

How did you come up with this story?
Well, my inspiration is every single science fiction book I read as a kid. And a few that weren't science fiction. The Edgar Rice Burroughs books, H. Rider Haggard — the manly, jungle adventure writers. I wanted to do an old fashioned jungle adventure, just set it on another planet, and play by those rules.

Your premise reminded me a lot of the Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter, Warlord of Mars series.
It's definitely got that feeling, and I wanted to capture that feeling, but updated. To be certain, I wanted a film that could encompass all my interests, from biology, technology, the environment — a whole host of passions. But I've always had a fondness for those kind of science fiction/adventure stories, the male warrior in an exotic, alien land, overcoming physical challenges and confronting the fears of difference. Do we conquer? Exploit? Integrate? Avatar explores those issues.


Is it true you have developed a whole culture and even a whole language for the aliens in this movie?

Absolutely. We have this indigenous population of humanoid beings who are living at a relatively Neolithic level; they hunt with bows and arrows. They live very closely and harmoniously with their environment, but they are also quite threatening to the humans who are trying to colonize and mine and exploit this planet.

Sounds like you've crafted a story with a lot of political resonance.

Only in the very broadest sense of how we as a Western technological civilization deal with indigenous cultures; we basically supplant them. If not in an active, genocidal way, then in a passive manner. They just kind of wither away. Our impact on the natural environment, wherever we go — strip mining and putting up shopping malls. Now, we're extending that to another planet.

GoJoe said...

Artistic breakthrough or derivative junk? I guess those are the only choices? ;)

Christian Lindke said...

None of this touches on the fact that Sully's children will have human DNA.

Generic said...

It's jarhead DNA. A subtle distinction.