How The World Works Conservative backlash against “Avatar”
A right-wing nightmare: The free market has spoken — anti-American lefty green propaganda sells!
By Andrew Leonard
A still from “Avatar”A movie as big as “Avatar” deserves more than one blog post, and I’m afraid I just can’t resist poking at the hilarious spectacle of conservative movie critics launching into thermonuclear hissy fits at the anti-American, greenie pagan leftist propaganda embedded in the politics of James Cameron’s epic. The Los Angeles Times has a great story by Patrick Goldstein rounding up the outrage.
To say that the film has evoked a storm of ire on the right would be an understatement. Big Hollywood’s John Nolte, one of my favorite outspoken right-wing film essayists, blasted the film, calling it “a sanctimonious thud of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC cliches that not a single plot turn, large or small, surprises. . . . Think of ‘Avatar’ as ‘Death Wish’ for leftists, a simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you … hate the bad guys (America) you’re able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all.”
John Podhoretz, the Weekly Standard’s film critic, called the film “blitheringly stupid; indeed, it’s among the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen.” He goes on to say: “You’re going to hear a lot over the next couple of weeks about the movie’s politics — about how it’s a Green epic about despoiling the environment, and an attack on the war in Iraq… The conclusion does ask the audience to root for the defeat of American soldiers at the hands of an insurgency. So it is a deep expression of anti-Americanism — kind of. The thing is, one would be giving Jim Cameron too much credit to take ‘Avatar’ — with its … hatred of the military and American institutions and the notion that to be human is just way uncool — at all seriously as a political document. It’s more interesting as an example of how deeply rooted these standard issue counterculture cliches in Hollywood have become by now.”