Monday, January 25, 2010

AVATAR becomes worldwide highest grossing film EVER-

Hey World Family, Falcon here with the big news: Avatar has now passed even Titanic to become the all time number one. It hasn’t passed Titanic domestically at the time of this posting, but that’s days away. It is an amazing achievement for any film, but particularly in such a short period of time. It only took 38 days of release for Avatar to become the highest grossing film of all time.

The Hollywood

It's official. James Cameron's action-adventure epic Avatar is now the biggest-grossing offshore title in history. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the blockbuster reached a cumulative $1.288 billion internationally over the weekend, exceeding Titanic's 13-year international box office record of $1.242 billion.

Topping the frame with an estimated weekend gross of $36 million for a cume of $552.8 million, 20th Century Fox and James Cameron's "Avatar" has jumped past Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight" with $533.3 million to become the second highest grossing film ever at the domestic box office.

Still behind "Titanic" in U.S. totals, "Avatar" made history overseas.
Pic earned $107 million from 11,803 screens in 111 markets at the foreign B.O., just enough to sink the ship, making "Avatar" the all-time champ in international receipts with $1.28 billion. Cameron's "Titanic" previously held the overseas record with $1.24 billion.

"Having been a part of the 'Titanic' phenomenon, we never thought this day would come in our careers," said Fox Intl. co-prexys Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus. "But James Cameron created in 'Avatar' a film with such humanity and magic that it resonates with people of every culture."

"Avatar's" worldwide cume stands at $1.84 billion.

So, why this film? What is contained in its theme that seems to strike a chord in 112 markets worldwide? Some critics (and I would say those without a lot of cognitive depth, frankly) have simply called it ‘Dances with Aliens’…so then why is the appeal so much larger than Cosner with Wolves was?

It is also not about the white savior come along to save the poor savages. If that is all you got out of it, it is time you had a broader history lesson of why those 4to 6 genes that determine what wrapping paper we see has little to do with cultural soul. Immersion and surrender are necessary to truly understand and grow in a cultural context; Jake Sully got that lesson…are you up for the task?

I have heard a LOT of discussion concerning what Avatar is about, and not one review or critique I have seen has actually talked about the REAL story, just the tertiary supporting themes. Yes, there are broad strokes concerning honoring our planet and environment, respecting indigenous peoples, and the high costs paid for when the myopic become the policy writers. That is not the main thrust of the film, though. So… What is, you ask?

Avatar is about one central theme: initiating one man to manhood. That is something that every culture on the earth can relate to because it is the one thing that has almost died in modern culture. It is the most sacred act of human learning and consciousness expansion, and must be undertaken sacredly and deliberately, with full knowledge and consent in order to bring about true manhood. It is sorely lacking today, and that is why it resonates with so many. Let me explain…

Oh, if you are one of the two people on the planet who hasn’t seen Avatar yet, this critique is spoiler-rific, so you may want to wait to read this. On the other hand, if you are on the fence about whether to see it, then read on, this should give you additional information necessary to make an informed decision. The choice is yours…

Jake is a man who has been wounded; body and soul. He is physically injured, and he has lost his twin brother. He is not the most mature person on the planet at that point, but he has been thrown into ‘adulthood’ by these challenges, and he takes on the mantle of responsibility of assuming the role originally constructed for his brother. That is very mature, but he doesn’t necessarily do it for all the right reasons…but he will.

Jake is strong and undeterred. He doesn’t flinch in a fight, and he doesn’t let what people say about his disability impact his approach to doing his best. He is immature, however, and you begin to notice how much so when he talks smack to some of the huskier locals on Pandora, and runs into one he couldn’t talk his way away from (and almost loses his braid in the processJ).

His first meeting with Netiri is a volatile one, and costs lives. She gives him an earful, and describes him as being ‘a baby’. He asks her to teach him, but she would rather feed him to the locals at that point. However, the tree spirits with pure heart cover Jake and ask that she not slay him, and that demonstrates that his request to be shown how to grow up was heard by Eywa. When a young man (or a man who is youthful of maturity) makes the affirmation aloud to be shown how to grow up, it is a sign to all that is that he is ready for testing. So was Jake, and he was tested…

He was brought back to the village because of the blessing of the tree seed spirits. He was told to be trained, and could have easily perished with one misstep. He learned respect for all things, including those he didn’t see eye to eye with, and he learned to honor the challenges within himself as opportunities for change. Most importantly, when he demonstrated all the acquired skills, he was allowed to become a member of “The People”.

This ritual is honored in cultures all over the world, but few still celebrate it anymore past mere words. There is the Bar mitzvah for young men, which still has necessary code of conduct as well as sacred and scholarly learning that must take place, but this is an exception in western culture. Indigenous cultures still celebrate this time, but many tribes have forgotten their sacred roots, and taken to short-cutting a man’s initiation, and that is one that should not be sidestepped.

For those of you about to give birth to a cow because I haven’t mentioned women yet, there is a reason: women come fully equipped for the journey to we’ moon hood; men do not. This was recognized by every single culture on the planet at one time, before the arrogance of male dominance, testosterone poisoned contests without spiritual relevance began to flourish, and women and children were turned into chattel.

Women have the sacred cycle of the moon (and horses) that guides their cycle and their agriculture. Women were not the principal agrarians by accident; they understood the cycle of planting, harvesting, collecting seeds, and sacrifice. It was manifested monthly in their own bodies. Their purification lodges were shared with young girls who knew their roles and their responsibilities well, and being the embodiment of creation makes you less likely to turn your attention to mindless bloodsport simply for the sake of showing someone else who is more mighty.

That changed with the rise of the patriarchy, and with it came more wars, more death, more destruction, all in the name of something no one could put their finger on. There was a disconnect, and it has only grown.

The ritual of tying a young man to a tree and letting the fire ants crawl all over him wasn’t just to torture the poor lad, it was to let him know that in no uncertain terms, playtime was over. He was now going to be a member of The People, with certain requirements, and expectations. Childhood was over, and childish things were put away, forever. The culture could not survive with men acting like little boys. Jake found out fast why that was so on Pandora.

So, what is the moment of Manhood, in the truest sense of the word? Simple, really: it is the moment a man is willing to sacrifice all of his being for the sake of The People.

Men who put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of keeping communities safe, that is Manhood (I am not saying that every man is a mature male who does this job, only that the cause is right and that they have at least made that commitment to the community-personally and intimately is another matter). Women are always ready to die for The People-childbirth is very risky, and a balanced mother will fight to keep her children safe. They will also fight for the community, understanding that the whole is greater than any one of its parts, and should be protected.

Jake becomes a man not at the ritual, but when he risks all that he is to take on Turuk. That could have gone badly. He is not an alien of the Sky People at that point (or is he a white man come to save the savages) he is a member of The People; his sacrifice makes him so. It doesn’t matter if he is red, yellow, white, black…or blue; he is willing to die to save his people; he is willing to perish so that they may live. It takes courage. It takes sacrifice. It takes compassion. That is Manhood.

THAT is what AVATAR is about.

Falcon and Dove

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