Mining the unobtainable
Avatar is possible the most staggering display of pure plenitude ever committed to the American screen. On what ground does it rest? Underground, a massive deposit of the unobtainable made manifest - the "Unobtanium" to be mined. Flowering above, total wet fecundity, illimitable hybrid biopower, interspecies interpenetration, an absence of agriculture or organized production, and trees that have developed an information network for which Google would happily displace many millions of animist, lithe, bare-assed tribes. (What is the wealth of the metal in the face of all that lush forest and "technologies of nature" to be explored?) Forget any issues about "war on terror," liberal guilt, noble savages, or the like. It's the full subsumption of politics to the prospect of an era of unbound plenty. If this is a cinema of the crisis years, it is so only it that blows away the very category and possibility of scarcity. A wish-fulfillment of profit and the profligate behind every corner, hanging from every luminescent vine. When each pixel digital fiber drips with such lush excess, what else is there to do but frolic and drool?