Anyone need a cure for 'Avatar Depression'?

By NeuroChi · Feb 27, 2010 · ·
  1. NeuroChi
    That term generates 7,000,000 results when searched in google, and has been covered by news and online media sites. It described the post-viewing depression that apparently sits in after watching Avatar, though not much is said on the basis of it or a way to resolve any such feelings. Here's my 2 cents...

    There’s something to be said for the innate desire to live as who we really are and connect to the world around us in a deeper and more spiritual way. The movie Avatar depicts a very understanding, sensitive and interconnected civilization that obeys simple concepts of humanity, compassion, and respect primarily because they can see the impact they make on other beings with every step they take. Humans invade this civilization and begin to destroy their home in pursuit of the material wealth that is in the soil. The people there strive to defend it because they see the truth; they see that all the beauty that the world has to offer is all around them. It’s in the nature, it’s in the people, and it’s in the connections that all living beings share.

    Our world is just the same. There’s a magnificent amount of vibrant energy that transcends every giant mountain and every blade of grass – all we need to do it stop what we’re preoccupied with and appreciate this notion to begin to conceptualize it as a possibility. The people in Avatar do have a significant advantage over us because they can see this flow of energy visually by default. Unfortunately out sense of sight never evolved to allow us to easily see it like they can. Though there is something to be said about the attitude we can aspire to develop – one of mindfulness and awareness of the more important things in life that will bring about a wholesome joy in life itself that light beer and blue jeans cannot satisfy.

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  1. Nature Boy
    SWIM never experienced Avatar depression. Seeing the closing credits roll up was one of the greatest reliefs ever. Needless to say, he didn't enjoy the drawn-out CGI-fest very much. Terminator 2: Judgement Day it is not.
  2. Metomni
    Hm, I definitely get this when I watch Avatar, Harry Potter, or when I read pretty much any fantasy novel. I will agree that our world has a lot to offer, but not nearly as much as the one in the film.
  3. Crazy Insane Sanity
    I especially liked how they based the whole evolution part off of reciprocal altruism...the concept that we evolve towards cooperation as a mathematical necessity. Of course it was all just a fantasy, but it's interesting to think about how we might have evolved without technology...completely dependent on evolution for advancement.

    There were parts where it got pretty retarded with the floating mountains. How the hell is that possible? But over-all I'd say it was a great movie, and worth watching...a couple times.
  4. coolhandluke
    i agree that after finishing something like avatar or any fantasy movie or book one feels depressed because the reality of most peoples day to day life is no where near as fun or exciting. swim saw avatar all strung out from smoking crack and hungover, and has to say it took his mind off of feeling like shit.

    he agrees the floating mountains were a bit over the top, but thinks it was a good movie, the 3 d was insane.
  5. EscapeDummy
    I never experienced Avatar depression, but I did experience Avatar-altered-state-of-consiousness. You know how the main character "matrixes" into his Avatar? Halfway through the movie, I had to take a piss, which lasted like 2 minutes, and I distinctly remember standing there, emptying my bladder, thinking, "What the fuck is this bullshit? I want to be back in Avatarland".

    Sure, it wasn't a good film... more of a mash-up of Last Samurai/Dances With Wolves/The Matrix/Jurassic Park/Final Fantasy: Spirits Within/I'm sure there's more I didn't list, but Swim saw it in 3D IMAX, and needless to say, the flying sequences and "Planet Earth" style shots were quite stunning and incredible. I didn't feel as if I wasted my money (and IMAX makes it come out to $15+)

    edit: Also, "unobtanium"? Really? Fuck you for that one, Cameron.
  6. Mr. Mojo Risin
    I found that realizing it was all CGI kinda killed the film for me, of course I knew it was CGI but there was a little period where I forgot and was sucked into the world, this ended when I remembered. I do kinda wish I had a USB plug as a braid (kinda) and could fly and that things lighted up when I walked on 'em. Overall though I really didn't enjoy it all that much.
  7. Master_Khan
    Very thoughtful post Richi........if we would all take a few minutes each day to just watch the moon and stars, or a waterfall, or a flowering plant.......sigh. Great movie, great message. Thanks.
  8. Crazy Insane Sanity
    As a side note, I've always been a little partial towards Native American mythology, belief, and what-not. Like the whole life is sacred thing...definitely agree.
  9. EscapeDummy
    CIS, me and my dad were discussing how the Na'vi in the movie seem to be an amalgamation of most Eastern/Non Western cultures. We found elements from Native Americans, African tribes, Buddhist beliefs, older Chinese and Japanese beliefs, Hindu beliefs (swim's family is Hindu), South American beliefs... all very interesting. Nearly all of those cultures have core beliefs of a universal energy/that all life is connected and sacred.
  10. NeuroChi
    It is good to see a mix of emotions and responses here. Some people really enjoy the film and even the experience of being drawn in, others aren't quite as compelled by it. The same goes for the mildly depressive mood some people feel when they get out of the theater and truly wish their life was as wholesome, complete, and wonderful as those who live on Pandora. I found the movie somewhat enlightening (though that word has become too much of a cliche), a reminder of what I've already come across in my readings of Buddhist texts and other spiritual works, something I already knew but still haven't yet fully acknowledged.

    I feel that I'm still at the point in my life where my personality and morale are quite malleable, and I am in the position to shape their currently fluid nature into something more solid for the future. Avatar helped bring me back to the reflective, yet somewhat debilitating philosophical state that I've succumbed to many times in the past due to various other events in my life. It's good to take a few days to oneself though and think about who you are, and who you will become. If only the rest of the world would stop and pause in the mean time. :cool:
  11. g666d
    Me and my partner experienced this depression, at first it looked like it could be an interesting n engaging film, however after 20min it degenerated into predictable formulaic crap with nice special effects, "pocahontas with spaceships" we didn't cry, but have been sorely lamenting the cost of the tickets ever since...
  12. rupert
    Swim really enjoyed the film and although SWIM works with VFX related stuff managed to completely kick back all the thoughts of "how'd they do that" etc. It was just too good!
    SWIM was flying around marvelling all the colours and creatures, and wondering how much of the flying feeling was attributed to the awesome 3D effect or the Kratom Extract (which was very very mild).

    Equally SWIM wasn't sure how much of the desire to "re-dose" was Avatar finishing or the Kratom wearing off. SWIM could have taken a while more studying plants on "Pandora"..on kratom.

    As SWIM was pretty immersed in the fantasy world it was kinda dull to return to a greyscale, lens flare free city where there's just not that much interesting stuff to look at.
    The pantheistic theory didn't have to do anything with the withdrawal symptoms though.
  13. dmtHELLA
    Avatar was a dumb movie with a big budget.

    I got Avatar depression, cause I spent $12 to watch a video game for 4 hours.

    It was just too ridiculous for me.

    And Unobtainium? Did they really name something that?

    I realize it is an actual "scientific" term but its still supposed to be a joke!

    Like really. This metal is really hard to get! Its like its Un(not)... Obtain(able)... ium(metal)...
  14. fiveleggedrat
    Swim has avoided this movie due to hype and such.

    However, very interesting to read about this!

    After seeing this blog post on the home page, Swim did a mini survey of those he knows.

    A few people ACTUALLY DESCRIBED SIMILAR FEELINGS to being upset and getting the movie. And swim has no real idea about the movie except the context he's inferred.

    How strange!
  15. Nature Boy
    Contradictory to my previous statement, I've now found a new appreciation for Avatar. This is almost exclusively because The Hurt Locker took Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Avatar is a far superior movie (though A Serious Man was the best film of the past year for me). When I watched THL it only struck me as a barely above average war flick. To call it the best movie of 2009 is a joke. Just a shrewd move by the government in order to brainwash kids into joining the military. Much like the drab effort that was the most hyped computer game of the last year in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

    So despite the ridiculous budget and the somewhat ridiculous decision to make their aliens look like giant, skinny smurfs; Avatar wasn't all that bad. I guess nothing could live up to all the publicity it was given.
  16. Suboxer
    The Hurt Locker was an excellent film. As a former Marine myself, I'm partial to those kinds of films. The Hurt Locker was filmed with a greater degree of realism and understanding of the military life than your average war movie (cf. Apocalypse Now), but still was no where near as good a film as the classic Full Metal Jacket. It watched almost as a documentary, not a great feat of imagination, as film should.

    Avatar was alright. I didn't see it in 3D: I saw it in good old PirateBay Telesync, and, though the visual effects were cool, the writing was shit, the mythos was a rehash, the world itself was... off, in some way I can't describe, the ending was a cliché of a cliché, and the dialogue was worse than George Lucas's.

    I wasn't depressed over the free cost of watching it, or of the 1.34GiB it takes out of the ~ 1490GiB data storage I have. Nor was I depressed when the film ended. I just started watching "Stargate SG-1" re-runs. Now, when that show ended, I was far more depressed. Same with "Battlestar Galactica."

    Avatar was below-average SciFi that's one of the latest attempts to cash in on the recent resurgence in hippie/tree-hugger beliefs due to erroneous junk science claiming the dangers of global warming, and the inane (and insane) belief that some of the unwashed masses hold about existence ending in 2012.

    It depressed me in the same way Harry Potter did: it showed a good deal of promise and let me down horribly.
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