Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In


Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

January 2, 2010
Only the thing is, you can’t spoil the plot because you’ve already seen it a thousand times. It’s called a Western. The handsome new guy comes to town, meets a beautiful woman (the schoolmarm, rancher’s daughter or, in this case, the Indian princess) who disses him at first. He has to win her over, and sometimes her skeptical father as well. He proves he’s worthy of her by fighting against the bad guys. There’s a big battle with lots of guns, bows and arrows, and warriors on horses, and just in the nick of time, the cavalry shows up to help save the day. However it’s too late for the wise old geezer (played here by Sigourney Weaver) who breathes his last before he could learn that the good guys were going to win. The really bad guy—and he’s really bad—is the last man standing, and it takes more than one arrow to do him in. In the end, boy and girl get to kiss and ride off into the sunset.

On Jerry Saltz’s Facebook page there’s a discussion about why Avatar is a bad film. Is it because it’s pop? Or has no irony? Noooo….it’s because it’s a formula. Apparently there wasn’t enough money left over for a real screenplay, and since it was all about the special effects anyway, just like a porn film, they tacked on any old plot. “Avatar” is the Dubai of films, a vestige of that crazily affluent time, not so long ago, when people spent money on extravagant baubles just because they could.

"Avatar" (2009)

"Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)