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Is Avatar a Revisionist Take on Aliens?

I know this isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s one I’ve been mulling over quite a bit lately – especially since my aunt picked up the Alien Anthology on blu ray for Christmas. It’s been fairly frequently remarked, on-line and in-print that James Cameron’s Avatar bears remarkable similarities to his Aliens. However, it’s not the similarities that interest me, it’s the differences which reveal quite a bit. Most fascinating – at least to me – is the idea that Avatar represents an attempt to revise Cameron’s work on Aliens.

Killer queen...

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Is a Film Ever “Done” These Days?

I was reading last week about how George Lucas is planning yet another re-release of Star Wars in 2012. This time in glorious 3D. Glorious post-conversion 3D. Yes, that was sarcasm. It’s interesting that Lucas continues to push for editing and updating the saga, especially considering his earlier position on updating existing films (in this case arguing against converting black & white films to colour): 

“I am very concerned about our national heritage, and I am very concerned that the films that I watched when I was young and the films that I watched throughout my life are preserved, so that my children can see them,” he said. He furthermore remarked: “In the future it will become easier for old negatives to become lost and be ‘replaced’ by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” 

And yet, he has repeatedly demonstrated over the past decade or so that he is devoted to rewriting his version of Star Wars, arguing that it is simply never complete – he’s moving it closer to complete with every update. In this era of directors’ cuts and special extended editions, is becoming commonplace to accept that the theatrical release of a film isn’t the “finished” or “completed” version. 

The infamous "everyone rocks out" deleted scene...

 

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