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Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Anthony Lane
The New Yorker (8 March 2010)

“The greatest compliment that one can pay to “Avatar,” apart from the small matter of two and a half billion dollars and counting, is that almost none of the arguments that have stormed around the movie since its release, in December, have centered on its extra dimension. “The technology should wave its own wand and make itself disappear,” Cameron said in advance, and, as he predicted, the visual depth of the film has become a given. People have plunged into “Avatar” like vacationers lining up for the high board of a pool, and when they emerge nearly three hours later, removing their glasses and rubbing the bridge of their noses, the question that they want to thrash out is whether the pool was a swamp of liberal eco-mush or a trough of hot-blooded American rampage. The one thing they agree on is that 3-D was its most fitting form—and, by implication, that there is no way back. 3-D is good to go. From here on, “the mind feels its way into the very depths of the picture. The scraggy branches of a tree in the foreground run out at us as if they would scratch our eyes out.” Those are not the words of Oboler, though, or of the triumphant Cameron. They were written in The Atlantic Monthly, in June, 1859, by Oliver Wendell Holmes.”


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