Film

Traditional American Cinema at its Best

On the face of it, Avatar would seem to be a strange example of traditional anything. It is already a phenomenon—enormous box office all over the world, endless stories about the invention of new technologies to create the extraordinary special effects, not to mention the 3D. (A sore trial to this reviewer who has only one eye with adequate vision, as 3D depends for its effectiveness on having a different lens for each eye.) Nevertheless, Avatar’s plot, visual style and themes are in the great tradition of Hollywood narrative cinema. Conservative critics alarmed by its immense popularity have deplored Avatar’s…

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