It was about time for James Cameron to do something that makes me want to frequent a struggling art house cinema. There’s a reason Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made a hilarious joke about him at the Golden Globes that gave even his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow the giggles. He thinks a lot of himself, and he’s not afraid to show it.
When talking to Play Goes Strong about his process working on not one but two sequels to his 2009 movie Avatar, Cameron decided it was necessary to say the following:
“I was talking the other day with Peter Jackson and said, ‘You had it easy dude. You had the books when you did the second and third ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I have to create my own books in my head and extract a script from it. I’m deep into it and I’m living in Pandora right now. There is that start up torque where you feel it’s coming to you. Then you build up momentum. That’s when it gets fun. The characters talk and it’s writing itself. I’m almost there right now. It’s building fast.”
Oh, and of course there’s also this:
“As a writer, I need isolation. I’m calling you from New Zealand right now where I’m writing on a little farm. When you live in a special world like Pandora, you have to live in that world.”
First of all, he insulted brilliant filmmaker and honorary Hobbit Peter Jackson. Not cool, James Cameron. Do you want the evil forces of Sauron knocking on your door? I didn’t think so.
Second of all, when did writing an original screenplay (and I use the word “original” loosely) become some revolutionary concept that a filmmaker should be patted on the back for accomplishing? Cameron talks about writing a book in his head (such juvenile phrasing, by the way) as if it’s a concept he just discovered.
And of course Cameron has to finish up by letting us all know how “special” his made-up world is by discussing how his characters speak through him and the story just flows from his pen like a glittering waterfall of brilliance.
You can probably tell that I’m not the biggest James Cameron fan. I thought Avatar was one of the most derivative, pretentious movies I’ve ever watched, and it doesn’t help matters that Cameron continues to make comments like those above which brag about how imaginative and innovative his unoriginal world is.
I also think it’s interesting that Cameron chose to refer to Peter Jackson, because I think Jackson provides an excellent example of someone who has done very ground-breaking things with movie technology yet remains humble. When I hear Peter Jackson talk about filmmaking, I lean in to hear more, like a little kid hearing an exciting story. When I hear James Cameron talk about filmmaking, I don’t want to have ears anymore.
(Photo: Kyle Blair/WENN.com)