I See You

The Shifting Paradigms of James Cameron’s Avatar


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About the Book

In the blockbuster film Avatar, science fiction and the technological prowess of director James Cameron meet in a heady concoction that, while visually ravishing, could easily be dismissed as “eye candy.” While critics most frequently acclaimed its breakthrough 3-D technology, close scrutiny of the film raises provocative questions about the relationship between mind and body, appearance and reality. It brings into focus the relationships of humans to their technology, their planet, and each other and highlights the nature and potential of film itself. This work explores the theoretical and philosophical issues brought to bear in Avatar, exploring the spaces between human and machine; technology and nature; chick flick and action-adventure; and old-fashioned storytelling and cutting-edge technology. Central to the book’s analysis is an examination of the extent to which Avatar melds the seer and the seen, illuminating an alternative visual paradigm.
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About the Author(s)

Ellen Grabiner, Ph.D., is a visual artist and writer who teaches visual cultural studies and cinema and media studies in the communications department at Simmons College in Boston.

Bibliographic Details

Ellen Grabiner. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6492-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9027-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Table of Contents<BR>

Acknowledgments      viii

Introduction      1

1. Did You See That?      7

2. Thinking Technology: Technology in the Art      31

3. Thinking Technology: Technology of the Art      59

4. The Same Old Story      80

5. The Apparatus of Avatar      113

6. Receptions and Representations      146

7. James Cameron, Auteur and Inventor      181

Notes      219

Bibliography      233

Index      237

Book Reviews & Awards

“Grabiner, examines theoretical and philosophical issues involving James Cameron’s Avatar, discussing how the film combines the seer and the seen in an alternative visual paradigm”—Reference & Research Book News; “I See You offers a cogent examination of the somatic experience of seeing films in 3D. Since this technology grows in popularity, Grabiner’s book heralds a major advance in film theory.”—Brian Winkenweder, associate professor and chair, Department of Art and Visual Culture, Linfield College