This week on the FilmWonk Podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture back to into the vast natural and technological ecosystem that is James Cameron‘s imagination, with Avatar: The Way of Water, a film we could hardly believe we were watching until the first frame actually appeared. Glenn also shares his spoiler-free thoughts on the myriad delights of Todd Field‘s Tár, a film which only feels impenetrable from the outside, and by design. And then we return to Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund‘s satirical Triangle of Sadness, which perhaps sails slightly off course but largely maintains its focus on razor-sharp satire of the privileged few (01:38:22).
May contain NSFW language.
FilmWonk rating (Triangle of Sadness): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Avatar: The Way of Water): 8 out of 10
- [01:57] Intro: Tár (Glenn only)
- [13:21] Review: Triangle of Sadness
- [33:31] Spoilers: Triangle of Sadness
- [57:10] Review: Avatar: The Way of Water
- [01:25:38] Spoilers: Avatar: The Way of Water
- Assuming Twitter still exists by the time this episode drops, here is the tweet in which I mistook an old post from a fan account for Neytiri for an official account because it had one of Elon’s dumb little fake blue-checks. We regret and are amused by the error.
- We cannot have the same experience as anyone else watching this film, nor is that experience monolithic. And we’ll be the first to admit we were unprepared when it came to the discussion of Avatar: The Way of Water‘s depictions of Indigenous tribes and tropes. Elevating Indigenous voices when it comes to a discussion of this film is both the right thing to do and makes us better film viewers. Here is some reading on the subject. If you find more, please send it our way. Each of these stories reference the same 2010 comments about the Lakota Sioux by Cameron, but they each interview a variety of other voices on the subject.
- Indigenous People React to Director Comments, Cultural Appropriation in New ‘Avatar’ Movie by Darren Thompson (Native News Online)
- Indigenous people slam Avatar (again) for tropes and inaccuracies by Samantha Chery (Washington Post)
- James Cameron’s old comments prompt Native American boycott of new ‘Avatar’ sequel by Jonah Valdez (Los Angeles Times)
- We’ve talked a lot about Avatar:
- We referred to a video on cruise ship economics – it was not from Wendover Productions (although that is an excellent channel) – it was actually from PolyMatter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY1BFv8qEeM
- Thank you for listening.
Listen above, or download: Tár, Triangle of Sadness, Avatar: The Way of Water (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)