What ever happened to the good ol’ days when a person could go out to a film at the local theater, grab a bucket of greasy overpriced popcorn, and turn off the brain for a couple of hours.
It seems to me that like Stan Lee’s creation Spider-Man is fond of saying, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. Well Looks like Canadian director James Cameron has found himself in possession of some great power. His tour de force Avatar is breaking worldwide box office records and garnering the movie a few detractors along the way.
It seems that his holiness the pope is no fan of sharing the Divine Spotlight with some upstart Canuck. For those of you unfamiliar with Avatar one of the central themes of the movie concerns the destruction of a sentient forest that shares a synergistic life force power with the planets caretakers a race of blue skinned cat-like humanoids called the Na’vi.
Apparently this hits just a little too close to the cross for the Holy Roman See. Like any multinational concern the one thing that they take a close interest in is competition. Fortunately for Cameron they lack the moral authority and brute force to compel him into submission, as they would have gleefully done in the past.
The churches central argument seems to be that instead of showing the “savages” worshiping an invisible seemingly random force, Cameron chose to show how the Na’vi live in harmony with a nurturing and beneficial, tangible life force that teaches them to give and take from nature with respect. This life force grants them healing powers and the ability to commune with their ancestors. That apparently is a little to close to “Worshiping Nature” for the Catholic Church to bear.
Ok, people. It’s just a movie after all. Did Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman get called before the court of public opinion for Casablanca?? How bout Orson Wells, when he crafted Citizen Kane? Well apart from the hissy fit William Randolph Hearst had offering RKO Pictures over $800,000 dollars to destroy the film. Quite the sum in 1941.
With all that is wrong with the world today am I the only one who relishes the chance to escape for a few hours of fantasy? To suspend my disbelief and wow to the latest spectacle on the screen? Am I going to paint myself blue and start worshiping trees? Of course not, don’t be silly.
Now will someone please pass the popcorn, I can feel my arteries unclogging.
Editors Note: Thanks Karen, when you’re right, you’re right!!