Miscommunications: Avatar and Twilight

28 Dec

I didn’t realize until just now that the Avatar that’s out in theatres right now is different than the M Night Shyamalan’s adaptation of Avatar, The Last Airbender, where there was some uproar from the Asian American community about it (that I heard about from Emily in the first place) and was about to boycott it on principle, no matter how many people said it was good. Thankfully, I can go enjoy Avatar now, guilt-free. Sarah and I had a 5 minute conversation about this before we realized we were talking about different movies.

And this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Last semester, I was on the phone with Dawen, and we were talking about “Twilight.” I must have been going on and on about how how it reinforces the dominant hegemonic framework or something, and he responded with something else, and off we went merrily on our conversation, until I mentioned something about “vampires”. I then hear a pause on the line, and Dawen goes, “…Vampires…?!” It turns out that he was talking about Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith, a book about the LA Riots after the Rodney King incident. Because of this incident, though, we both ended up reading the Stephanie Meyers Twilight as a dare/bet.

This is good though – a little part of me used to die a little every time another person said how amazingly incredible “Avatar” is. I think the new one is being called “Airbender.” As for Airbender, Emily gives four points on why she was so angered at the casting decisions:

1) i love the show 2) very rarely does a show portray asian culture in a beautiful and nonstereotypical light 3) very rarely do you see a show about asian ppl at all 4) and now all of what makes avatar special is taken away — might as well just be like any other action movie

I feel kinda stupid. And really uninformed right now. What happens when one gets so bogged down in everything else in life.

Why is my font weird in this post?!

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Posted by on December 28, 2009 in Uncategorized


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