Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Decorative Alien Boobs Edition

avatarposterGood morning! I was going to lead off with something District-related, but screw that. (Sorry, local arts!) Avatar opens at midnight! The nearly $250-million sci-fi epic is director James Cameron's first film since Titanic in 1997, but you knew that already. More important: It doesn't suck! In fact, it's apparently quite good! (Although City Paper's critic, Tricia Olszewski, isn't so sure. See her review in today's paper.)  Now, I won't be lining up for tonight's showing (school night, after all!), but I'm pumped nonetheless—this despite the fact that the plot is kinda like Dances with Wolves and the themes are hippy-dippy and un-nuanced and overly sentimental about aboriginal (erm, blue and extraterrestrial) cultures, at least according to David Denby's review in the New Yorker. But! Avatar looks so damned good (in 3D!) that he doesn't care. Denby writes: "The movie’s story may be a little trite, and the big battle at the end between ugly mechanical force and the gorgeous natural world goes on forever, but what a show Cameron puts on!" Now, I don't want to critique a review of a film I haven't yet seen, but I am extremely bothered that Denby then ends that paragraph by borrowing a phrase from the made-up language of Avatar's alien creatures, the Na'vi ("Zahelu!"). Uh? Yahtzee!

Also! According to this blog post on Slate, the alien anatomy in Avatar is pretty whack. Key paragraph:

Finally, about those boobs: It's good that they're purely decorative. Since the Na'vi seem to have zero fat on their bodies, those mammary glands almost certainly don't work. Relatedly, the fact that the Na'vi aren't placental mammals makes the presence of bellybuttons something of a curiosity.

Finally, about those boobs: It's good that they're purely decorative. Since the Na'vi seem to have zero fat on their bodies, those mammary glands almost certainly don't work. Relatedly, the fact that the Na'vi aren't placental mammals makes the presence of bellybuttons something of a curiosity.

- Our 2009 Music in Review issue is on stands today! On Arts Desk, we'll be highlighting articles from it throughout the day. Also, now I don't feel bad that the rest of the roundup only contains music stuff.

- Local music! Electro-indie-pop outfit Bluebrain just posted its first music video online (the group has a pair of EPs out now; the album drops in February). The video has lots of weird, digitally animated jellyfish and snakes and, I dunno, is probably the type of thing James Cameron's animation people cook up when they're bored on a Sunday:

- A once-lost interview with John Lennon, from 1968.

That's all I've got! I'm listening to Roxy Music all morning! Follow me on Twitter!

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