by Anthony Lane
I admit I haven't seen the movie Avatar yet, but I have a pretty good idea about it being set in some place called Pandora and featuring giant blue people.
Now I'm trying to decide if it adds or detracts from the movie's allure to learn that the plot, such as it is, may revolve around the very local politics of Crested Butte, Colorado.
The Denver Post's Bill Husted picks up on a letter published in the Crested Butte News to describe some striking parallels.
Rothman describes Pandora, the movie's distant moon setting, as a kind of harsh paradise, and its denizens as "a handsome and adventuresome group who do things such as climb floating mountains to harness and ride flying dragons — a rather extreme sport." Sounds like the folks in the Butte.
The Earthlings in "Avatar" are set to attack Pandora to mine Unobtanium, a metal worth millions. The motherlode, however, sits directly beneath the Hometree where the native Na'vi dwell.
Likewise, in Crested Butte there is an ongoing fight to mine the Red Lady, the beautiful mountain that overlooks the town, for molybdenum, a precious metal that lies within.
The last parallel is even more striking, but I'll refrain from mentioning it here for those who are worried about ruining the suspense. But here's the kicker: Director James Cameron has a place in Crested Butte.