December 21, 2009

James Cameron

If James Cameron had been born in Canada in 1854 instead of in Canada in 1954, but with the same huge combination of ambition, technical skills, vision, and persuasiveness, he probably would have migrated to London, the reigning power center. There he would no doubt have forged an equally spectacular career, and become a leading figure in the British Empire at its Edwardian apogee: perhaps he would have been a jingoistic Fleet Street newspaper baron like his fellow Canadian Lord Beaverbrook, or (considering his obsession with mighty machines) an admiral in the Royal Navy (Lord Cameron of Jutland?), or an imperialist in the Cecil Rhodes mode.

Born in 1954, he instead migrates to the new power center Hollywood and, outwardly, conforms to the reigning minoritarian conventional wisdom : e.g., WASPS are evil (as in Titanic -- "Hey, I'm not one of those awful Angl0-Saxons! I'm a poor oppressed Celt. See Mel Gibson's movies for the historical background"), technology is evil, corporations are evil, money is evil, majorities are evil, etcetera etcetera ... All the while pushing the boundaries of technology, movie production spending, marketing, and majority appeal to spread Anglospheric cultural dominance of the world.

So, underneath it all, he's the same guy he would have been if he was born in 1854, just a tad more disingenuous.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

111 comments:

Concerned Netizen said...

I'm disappointed that you didn't manage to work in an unflattering reference to Jews in this post.

ricpic said...

"I am the king of the world!"


No Jimmy, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was the king of the world, you're a blowhard.

Davies said...

Great point.

In other words, had he been born in 1854, he would've been an Anglo, or British, extended phenotype.

But since he was born in 1954 and made his career in Hollywood, his life and career became a part of another group's extended phenotype.

Udolpho.com said...

I humbly beg to differ. Cameron is a man of massive insecurities (it's what drives some men's ambition). He probably wouldn't have been a super-PC male feminist in the 19th century, but then again there were super-PC male feminists back then and unless his issues with women are due to some random external dynamic they would probably have surfaced then, too.

Anonymous said...

"If James Cameron had been born in Canada in 1854 instead of in Canada in 1954, but with the same huge combination of ambition, technical skills, vision, and persuasiveness, he probably would have migrated to London, the reigning power center."

Anonymous' Rule Of Americans Talking About Canada: Every Single Thing Every American In World History Has Said About Canada Has Been Incorrect.

Corrolary: Meh, Who Cares?

There wasn't much Canadian emigration to England at the time, The Beav notwithstanding. A few of our Prime Ministers ended up retiring there, but as for young Anglo men with their lives ahead of them they tended to greatly prefer emigrating to the USA than to the UK. Sauce:

"During the "Michigan Fever" of the 1830s, large numbers of Canadians streamed westward across the border. By the late 1840s, over 20,000 Canadians and newly landed foreign immigrants moved to the United States each year. California gold fever attracted many, beginning in 1849.

After 1850, the tide of migration still flowed from Canada to the United States. Newly landed immigrants tended not to stay in Canada very long. Between 1851 and 1951, there were up to 80 emigrants, both natives of Canada and others, who left Canada for every 100 immigrants who arrived. A few immigrants returned to their native lands or went elsewhere, but many eventually went to the United States after brief periods of settlement in Canada.

Canadians from the Atlantic Provinces often went to the "Boston states" (New England). A favorite 19th-century destination of Canadians leaving Upper Canada (Ontario) was Michigan. About one in four Michigan families finds a direct connection to Ontario."

https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Canada_Emigration_and_Immigration

Jeff Burton said...

"pushing the boundaries of technology" in order to rehash Dances with Wolves and Disney's Pocahontas.

Topiary Utopia said...

Critic Armond White said it best: "Avatar is the corniest movie ever made about the white man’s need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt".

The irony is that the "noble savage" the white man aspires to become is itself a imaginary construct of western culture.

It's also interesting how the theme of "going native" mingles with the suggestion of videogame addiction.

Come to think of it, Coetzee's "Waiting for the Barbarians" had a somewhat similar premise and equally cartoony villains, but in that novel the guild-ridden protagonist didn't achieve redemption by becoming one of the "others". He was rejected, and ended up being thoroughly humiliated.

Middletown Girl said...

Since when were artists sincere? Kurosawa made a lot of humanist movies about 'little people' but expected everyone around him to treat him like an emperor.

Simon said...

Well, the point of the minoritarian ideology is not to be pro-minority; the message is aimed at whites (hate yourself, achieve savation by helping The Other destroy you). The rest of the world doesn't really matter; at most if they're successful enough they can get classed as honorary whites (the Chinese are getting stick in the UK media right now for not agreeing to subject their industrialisation to Climate Change restrictions).

Dan Kurt said...

re: Atavar ( Is that not the subject? )

Cameron should read ( and lurkers too ):

The Spiral Road by Jan De Hartog (1957).

The best tale of going native I ever read as well as going insane.

Dan Kurt

RGH said...

Avatar was one of the most tiresome, cliched movies I've ever sat all the way through. Every plot point was completely predictable, and it was so full of Disney "Circle of Life" foolishness I kept expecting Timon and Pumba to pop up and sing a song.
While the 3D was impressive, I was sick of it before the previews were over.

Middletown Girl said...

James Cameron is a subconscious fascist. Though overly simplistic and wildly polemical, there is something to "Liberal Fascism" by that National Review guy. Same goes for George Lucas, btw. Fascism need not be 'my white race is the best.' There are as many kinds of fascism as of socialism. Susan Sontag, in her famous essay 'Fascinating Fascism', argued that Riefenstahl had remained a diehard fascist all her life. It didn't matter that Rief made a photo book on the African Nuba in the early 70s, which some regarded as proof of her rehabilitation. Sontag pointed out that Riefenstahl's fascination with the Nuba was the same as with the Nazi 'Aryans'. The Nuba were big and strong, beautiful and noble, and endangered by the less powerful and less noble(and presumably corrupt and modernized)African tribes. Sontag saw this as a replay of the Nazi theme: beautiful and noble Aryan Germans surrounded and endangered by the mongrel races of the world and especially the money-grubbing and materialistic Jews.
Now, just look at Avatar. Why are we expected to sympathize with the Blue Man Group Tribe? Simply because they are tree hugging primitives? No, because they are beautiful, mighty, 10 foot tall, noble, Wagnerian, and presumably racially superior to the rat-like humans who only care about money and honey.
Avatar fits in nicely with Germanic romanticism of the 19th century. Environmentalism has roots in the right as well in the left. Teddy Roosevelt was a white powerist but also a nature lover who had a grudging respect for the red man--sometimes, at least.

So, the Blue Man Group Tribe in the Avatar is kinda like the Nubazis. We are not just supposed to feel sympathy but admire them as a SUPERIOR race of ubermensch. It is a kind of racial fascism, though one that worships the Other than Oneself.
There is some of this in the represenation of the Black in much of liberal media. Though liberals claim to hate nothing more than fascism, the idealized and monumentalist represenation of blackness as powerful, beautiful, noble, charismatic, and indeed racially superior has something of fascist aesthetics. Just look at some of the commercials during Superbowl football.

Is Cameron dishonest, confused, or complex? Whatever the case, he panders to both populist fascination and resentment with wealth/power. Thus, Titanic worked as a kind of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' and 'Poor Side of Town'(Johnny Rivers).
And Avatar drowns everyone in technology but then reminds us that nature is good too--especially if generated by CGI!


Hey, the shit works as a marketing ploy.

Julian said...

I used to wonder why people persisted in thinking of me as an Irishman, despite the fact that I am more English than Irish genetically. I have this very Irish surname.

Then I realised recently that it is a variant of the one-drop-rule that applies in America to blacks. If you are not completely of the dominant class, WASP, you will be treated as an exception. I imagine that it is like this for women. No matter what else she may be, people will see a woman first and foremost as a woman.

It also reminds me of the way that, in The Godfather, the other mafia gangs call the Corleone Family the "Irish Gang", because Tom Hagen is their consigliore.

I hope this is not off-topic, but the contemporary fashionable desire to be a Celt (cf. Cameron, Gibson) made me think of it.

I was once on Anthro-L, an anthropology discussion list, and one PC Englishman solved the problem of being a WASP by claiming that his people had been miserable, poor Saxons oppressed by Normans! Nice try ...

Simon said...

Middletown Girl - you're talking about Nazism; Fascism does not include a race supremacist element. Referring to Nazism as Fascism is falling for a Soviet lie.

M Stein said...

Some interesting recent reviews:


As reviewer Armond White put it, “Avatar is the corniest movie ever made about the white man’s need to lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual and historical guilt.”

http://www.nypress.com/article-20710-blue-in-the-face.html

Avatar – the Latest Anti-Western Movie From Hollywood

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4225

Whiskey said...

Had he been born in say 1895 as a Jew, he would have made his way to Hollywood and made movies like "Its a Wonderful Life" or "Yankee Doodle Dandy" extolling the virtues of America and its heartland and patriotism.

Which is where your analysis breaks down Steve.

Cameron did not start out this way: he made "True Lies" (Muslims terrorists, Arnie is a 100% patriotic hero, importance of nuclear family, etc.)

What happened is that Hollywood takes not very smart, but talented people, treats them like dirt (cheats them and humiliates them) while paying them by most other people's standards enormous amounts of money and throwing hyper-fame at them.

Frank Capra and John Ford could have walked around 1947 Hollywood and been unrecognized, Cameron would immediately attract a crowd.

Guys like Cameron, talented but not bright, believe "Hollywood = America" and so make movies about the evils of what they know. The old Studio system had autocratic bosses, but were visibly very much NOT like America. The owner-operators had their eye on the bottom line, wanting broadly appealing movies, and punished those who hurt profits. Plenty chafed at this and there were many actual, real, card-carrying Communist directors/writers/actors, but their ability to do much under the Moguls was limited. The Moguls themselves knew poverty and thus feared it.

Avatar did $70 million opening weekend. Weak, even with the storm, less than double the "Grudge" Japanese-remake horror movie with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Money was not the point -- sticking it the guys in Hollywood executive suites as a metaphor for America was. This sums up about 95% of movies in America.

Whiskey said...

Avatar will be a money-making failure, because particularly in time of economic hardship, no one wants to live like a savage.

The noble savage appeals to those who are tired of the hierarchy of modern life, and find the "flatness" of tribal peoples who are hunter-gatherers appealing. Thus all those National Geographic series on "going tribal" etc.

HOWEVER, there is a limit to that appeal. The life is obviously hard, brutal, tough, with dangers of starvation, disease, and violence at every turn. When times are hard and give that risk (falling down economically and not getting back up) the appeal of the noble savage is pretty limited. Not too many "Dances with Wolves" during the Depression. "Silverado" was made in 1984-85 (but planned a few years earlier) during the height of the recession. One of the few, straight on, non-Revisionist Westerns made. In hard times.

Re: Celts. We tend to be generally lower class, have various resentments, particularly towards elites, think Andrew Jackson and the like. A significant minority adopt Kennedy-esque airs, as pseudo-Aristocrats, and generate intense dislike (particularly among the Protestant Celts in the South and Midwest) but "worship" by the various Catholic-White ethnic (Italian, Polish, etc.) political machines, press, and Hispanic-Black machines.

dearieme said...

WKPD:-
Andrew Bonar Law PC (16 September 1858 – 30 October 1923), commonly known as Bonar Law, was a British Conservative Party statesman and Prime Minister. Born in the crown colony of New Brunswick, he is the only British Prime Minister to have been born outside the British Isles.

Vernunft said...

"Environmentalism has roots in the right as well in the left."

Fascism is leftist. Thus you could revise your sentence by pointing out that environmentalism has roots in the fascist left as well as the communist left. I submit Heidegger as evidence of the former.

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone saw "Avatar" and was pissed off by how anti-Western Civilization it was.

Anonymous said...

"So, underneath it all, he's the same guy he would have been if he was born in 1854, just more disingenuous."

I'm sure the Victorian British were plenty dishonest and disingenuous, we just notice it less because it happened many decades ago. See the "Flashman" novels for some fictional depictions of dishonest Victorian Brits.

So if this guy Cameron is just a suck-up to power with no sense of inherent genetic identity, so what? If his movies feature lots of special effects, the Japanese Playstation games will surpass them in a few months.

Look, I admit he had some promise when he made "The Terminator" and "Aliens." But he's over the hill. He has been riding his momentum for a while. You have more interesting people to write about.

Arnold said...

This Cameron phenomenon described by Steve Sailer is pretty widespread, I think. I'm absolutely sure that if Tony Blair had been born in 1853 instead of 1953, he would've been a neo-Gladstone demanding international action against the Turkish perpetrators of Armenian atrocities. (The difference between Gladstone and Blair is that there really were atrocities committed against Armenians, whereas when it came to Blair's fave cause about WMDs ...)

Anthony Eden, born two generations earlier, would've been an Arthur Balfour and would've gotten away with Suez instead of being disgraced by it. David ("Call me Dave") Cameron would probably have been Napoleon III, making a virtue of his incapacity for believing in anything.

Anonymous said...

Middletown Girl - Blue Man Group Tribe.

Brilliant, funniets thing Ive read in days!

josh said...

For a second i thought you were writing about Cameron Diaz! Its hard to tell which Cameron is more intelligent. I am getting the impression that this is just more of the same crap.No S. African bad guys??(Interesting how you refer to Mel as doing the Celt thing,but he made his bones in those cop movies,with Danny Glover, and i think in one he was after SA baddies--and I bet he glowered at them with disgust when he caught them,too! (As should we all!!) You know what:screw him! (Of course he's a "feminist"-didnt he treat his 1st wife,Linda Hamilton, like dirt?? BTW I was really put off by the masculine image she portrayed in the 2nd terminator movie. I mean WTF?? ) Re Julian,wondering why people thought of him as Irish. You say you have an Irish name. That could be a clue. If my name was Julian,I would worry less about people getting my ethnicity right and more about them correctly ascertaining my sexual preference..

OhioStater said...

Okay, Avatar is the most amazing looking movie I've ever seen. It makes my high def TV and my blu ray player look obsolete. It took a lot of time and a lot of effort to produce this movie, and that also means it took a lot of time to craft the political message. Even if I don't agree with the message, I'll take the message seriously since this movie was made by a serious person, and a serious person has this agenda. Is there a sociological or psychological term for believing someones ideas just because you are impressed by their abilities?

albertosaurus said...

No he just would have died.

People forget what it was like just a little while ago. Being born as white male in the 1850s gave you a life expectancy of 38. Cameron would likely have died before Koch and Pastuer changed the world.

In 1854 no one even knew that TB was infectious. A common theory of the time was vampires.

Anonymous said...

"He probably wouldn't have been a super-PC male feminist in the 19th century"

Is he a super-PC male feminist? His obsession with powerful, brawny ass-kicking women seems less about PC-ness & political ideology than about his own personal turn-ons.

Kevin K said...

Cameron should of read Dune before making this movie. While having similar natives versus moderns themes, Herbert went to great lengths to show The Spice was totally, totally awesome and worth killing millions over. Also, the Harkonnenns were corrupt, craven, paranoid and made being evil seem like a lot of fun (especially in the David Lynch movie). They weren't boring people following orders like in Avatar. The natives in Dune also know they aren't powerful enough to control The Spice alone, but need to divide the moderns and co-opt their technology. (In Avatar, the tribe allegedly want "nothing" from the humans, but I bet they would of liked some missile launchers to protect their big tree).

Also, movies shouldn't be able to show forests and jungles without pointing out they contain huge number of horrible insects.

However, its probably the best looking film ever, even though the 3D made me nauseous, so it has that going for it.

Julian said...

"True Lies" was something of an anti-feminist object lesson. The man who tries to cuckold the Arnold character is totally humiliated; his wife is forced to confess her total devotion to him under duress; and she is tricked into doing a humiliating half-naked dance in front of her amused husband.

Middletown Girl said...

"True Lies". What a perfect name for what Cameron pulls off ever so often.

In "Terminator", Arnold was supposed to be the bad guy but we loved it when he destroyed everything and shot up everyone in the police station. He was so cool, badass, and awesome that he was reformulated as a good guy in part 2--like Godzilla became a 'good' monster after the first one.

Terminator 2 sermonizes about man's destructive potential but then thrills us with 2 1/2 hrs of non-stop roller coaster violence. Stupid movie, but I saw it 4 times in the theater just to see things blow up real good.

But what the hell. Didn't Jesus come in the name of love and peace but also prophesize the hellish End of Times? Heck, had Cameron been born in 0 A.D., he might have been the second coming, and had Jesus been born in the 1950s, he would be making Hollywood blockbusters.

PS: Cameron also made ALIENS but there was no sermon about evil humans encroaching on the domain of space creatures. Maybe that was because both humans and the alien-monsters were supposed to be imperialist forces out to dominate the universe. It was bad guys vs bad guys--like Nazis vs Soviets-- than good guys vs bad guys.

PSS: Didn't Gibson's Apocalypto cover much the same ground as Avatar? Pristine nature tribe invaded and exploited by a sick higher civilization intoxicated in its own power and megalomania? Gibson attacked corrupt civilization from the right, Cameron does it from the 'left'.

PSSS: The human morphing into the Blue Man was probably lifted from the robot-substitute in Metropolis.

Middletown Girl said...

"Avatar will be a money-making failure, because particularly in time of economic hardship, no one wants to live like a savage."

But rap music sure is still popular. Besides, NO ONE is going to see this movie for its message. They are gonna go see it for its WOWSA effects. Similarly, people went to see Pearl Harbor because it was more Star Wars than WWII.

By the way, King Kong and Tarzan movies were very popular in the Great Depression 30s. Heck, with everything falling apart in the big cities, many people might dream of 'going back to nature'. This doesn't necessarily mean going aboriginal or without clothes. It can be settling in a small town or rustic place where a countryboy can survive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4s0nzsU1Wg

Vik said...

Arnold, not to be horribly nitpicky but Gladstone actually railed about Turkish atrocities against the Bulgarians (the Turks unfortunately have a record of attempted genocide against multiple nationalities including the Bulgarians, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks (see Muhammad Ali, the ruler not the boxer), etc.

Shawn said...

You going to review Avatar over at Taki? I hear it is about race....

Anonymous said...

"pushing the boundaries of technology" in order to rehash Dances with Wolves and Disney's Pocahontas

Off topic, but if you want going native & the nobel savage done right, then be advised that The New World is one of the best movies of the last quarter century.

Something like half the state of Virginia is descended from that chick:

John Rolfe x Pocahontas = Thomas Rolfe

1) Thomas Rolfe x Elizabeth Washington = Anne Rolfe*

2) Thomas Rolfe x Jane Poythress = Jane Rolfe

Robert Bolling x Jane Rolfe = John Bolling

John Bolling x Mary Kennon =

a) Jane Bolling Randolph
b) John Bolling Jr
c) Elizabeth Bolling Gay
d) Mary Bolling Fleming
e) Martha Bolling Eldridge
f) Anne Bolling Murray



*There are also considerable UK descendants of Peter Elwin x Anne Rolfe.

Anonymous said...

A word of advice to Whiskey/testing/evilneocon:

When you post your idiocy to Deadline Hollywood, where most of the non-Drudge readers actually know something about movies and television, you look even more comically uninformed than when you post your creepy beta male laments here on iSteve.

Avatar is on track to being hugely profitable, both in America and worldwide. Films that open over the holiday season typically do multiples of x4 or even X5 their opening weekends domestically, with 3D/Imax films having an even longer tail.

And as Steve alludes, Jim Cameron is a complicated guy who's not easily reduced to one place on the political spectrum. There's a reading of Avatar that's absolutely the reverse of the Drudge/Breitbart white guilt narrative, BTW-- that the natives ultimately need a crafty, tech-savvy white guy to lead them. And really, people act as if white guys romanticizing tribal cultures is somehow a product of postmodernism. The Victorians had HUGE man crushes on various tribal groupings, particularly the ones they thought had manly martial skills, from the Zulus to the Pathans to the Sikhs and Gurkhas.

Cameron's film would actually be right at home in the pantheon of late Victorian colonial literature.

Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone notice the anti-immigrant slant of the movie? "Newcomer hoards will over-run us and take all our stuff. Send them back where they came from!"

kudzu bob said...

Whiskey/Testing 99/Evil Neocon:

I have a lot of problems with James Cameron, such as how PC he is, not to mention that he's arguably ripped off the work of at least two sci-fi writers, Harlan Ellison and Poul Anderson, for his motion pictures. But stupid he ain't. The guy's clearly smart enough that he could have been a reasonably successful scientist had he not gone to Hollywood, as his mastery of movie-making technology amply demonstrates. On the other hand, how many scientists could have been wildly successful film directors?

Don't you ever get tired of making arguments so obviously dumb that even you must be able to shoot holes in them? How can you not experience at least a moment of self doubt when a guy as bright and thoughtful as Gregory Cochran repatedly calls you out on the nonsense that you spew forth?

Truth pulls the same kind of shit because he's too cool for school and, troll that he is, isn't interested in making any kind of real intellectual contribution to this site, but what's your reason? I'd really like to know.

Anonymous said...

And really, people act as if white guys romanticizing tribal cultures is somehow a product of postmodernism. The Victorians had HUGE man crushes on various tribal groupings, particularly the ones they thought had manly martial skills, from the Zulus to the Pathans to the Sikhs and Gurkhas.

So maybe Po-Mo began under the Victorians. Why not? It's a later date than the Rousseau-started-political-correctness thesis, anyway.

green mamba said...

"The rest of the world doesn't really matter; at most if they're successful enough they can get classed as honorary whites"

There are some odd indications that the SWPL seem to regard Asian-Americans as white. I recently saw an SWPL independent film called "Mutual Appreciation" in which a Chinese girl and a white guy play brother and sister. No explanation is provided; adoption is not mentioned; the issue of ethnicity is never brought up. We're just supposed to accept that an Asian girl and white guy can be siblings. (Also recall the Sandra Oh character in "Sideways" was given a white mother without explanation.)

Steve Sailer said...

Anonymous says:

"There wasn't much Canadian emigration to England at the time, The Beav notwithstanding."

You're right. The only other famous Canadian Brit I can come up with is PM Bonar Law (who must be the the punchline to a Mike Myers' joke).

Anonymous said...

Middletown Girl (who I suspect is actually a man, based on various language cues), pay closer attention to Aliens-- while the Aliens are indeed the bad guys, Paul Reiser's corporate character as portrayed as being even worse. "You don't see them (the aliens) screwing each other over for profit shares," is a paraphrase of what Ripley says when she realizes his betrayal. Aliens' politics are as idiosyncratic as Cameron's own-- pro-military, anti-corporate, in love with high technology but willing to show how vulnerable it is to a determined, low-tech adversary.

Mr. Anon said...

Cameron lost it for me when he ruined "Titanic". It could have been a visually awe-inspiring (and horror-inspiring) remake of "A Night to Remember". Instead he made it as a cross between "Love Story" and "Earthquake". What a bunch of crap, the luscious Kate Winslet not withstanding.

The scene near the end, when they're standing athwart the rail on the fantail, remembering how they met, while dozens of people fall to their deaths in the icy waters below was especially sickening. "A Night to Remember" was a much better movie.

Cameron is technically competent as a film-maker - much more so than George Lucas (who only had two good films in him) - but he is probably as tapped out as Lucas is. Like Lucas, he's become too caught up with state-of-the-art special effects, rather than just telling a good story. I suspect he'll continue to make money, but I doubt he'll make another good film.

Middletown Girl said...

Good or bad, I'll bet Cameron's blue movie made Lucas green with envy.

But, will it stand the test of time? Terminator I has cruder effects than Terminator II but is clearly superior as storytelling and construction. When I first saw Terminator II, I was like so WOW at the effects that I didn't realize how lame the movie becomes after the first 1/3.
Star Wars doesn't look all that good now either.

Since Terminator II, many other films have upped the ante on CGI and so it doesn't look so special anymore. Maybe Avatar will meet the same fate as Hollywood is sure to appropriate the technology and make a whole lot of imitations.

And, is Avatar the grand twilight of cinema as an artform or the dawn of a new artform, a creative big bang?

This may sound ignoramous as I know nothing about videogames, but are there 3D videogames?

What's next? 3D porn?

And will Avatar be nominated in the animiaton category or live action category? How can you tell anymore?

Middletown Girl said...

"Middletown Girl (who I suspect is actually a man, based on various language cues)."

Some on facebook say I'm a Spanish lesbian, others say I'm a Hindu cross-dresser. Here, I'm a man. Fine by me.

ben tillman said...

Who *is* James Cameron?

Anonymous said...

Re: Celts. We tend to be generally lower class, have various resentments, particularly towards elites, think Andrew Jackson and the like.

Give it a rest. Nobody believes you. We let your fatuous "analysis" slide. That should be enough.

Anonymous said...

a Spanish lesbian

POIDH.

Alive Til Dead said...

"a Spanish lesbian

POIDH."

Isn't Tiger-hunting(or haunting) enough National Enquirer for you?

Anonymous said...

Mike Myers is a perfect example, wraps himself in the Canadian flag, lives in the States. A lot of Canadian hockey players and execs, maybe the majority, end up living in the states and not just for the weather; Scotty Bowman and John Muckler live in Buffalo. Gordie Howe lives in Michigan.

There are 2.8 million Canadians living abroad, the population of Canada is 33 million+, seems kinda high for a developed country, the residents of whom being mostly convinced it is better than America, or so they say. American immigration to Canada is negligible and seems to largely consist of a guy getting suckered into marrying a girl he met on the internet.

30% of immigrants leave, new data is showing, and that number will spike if the economy ever tanks (our economy has actually been pretty good for the last year).

Marlowe said...

I think if we did discover some precious resource on an alien world, we would probably despoil the natives to get it. Marine General Smedley Butler would instantly recognize the use of public military assets to pursue private corporate gain.

I didn't see the movie as Western Civ= bad, noble savage (non-Westerner)= good. I saw it as a direct, perhaps ham-fisted, attack on the most unsettling and corrosive aspect of modern Western Civ: the military-industrial complex. The use of public power to achieve private ends is an evil any man of the Right can hate. As a man of the Right beseiged by social engineering, immigrant hordes, marxist cultural warfare, and corporate chicanery, I identified with the traditionalist blue guys.

Truth said...

"In "Terminator", Arnold was supposed to be the bad guy but we loved it when he destroyed everything and shot up everyone in the police station."

Great, a movie glorifying a cop killer, I heard it was that guy in Seattle's favorite film too!

"What happened is that Hollywood takes not very smart, but talented people, treats them like dirt (cheats them and humiliates them) while paying them by most other people's standards enormous amounts of money and throwing hyper-fame at them."

Hell, where do I sign up for that cheating and humiliation there, RotGut?

And what the heck is it with you and "The Grudge"? You've compared that film to every movie from "Boyz in the Hood," to "Birth of a Nation." While you're at it; do you mind explaining the whole "money making failure" concept? I missed that one in grad school.

Bob:

Saying that I'm "Too Cool for School", is a little harsh, I mean, I do attend, I just refuse to remove my Wayfarers during AP Physics...

And BTW, funny that you shoud mention Harlan Ellison, we share the same Alma Matter; he's one of the three people I have met over the course of my life that I am absolutely sure is smarter than I.

Ray Sawhill said...

Loved the first "Terminator," haven't cared for anything he's done since. Some cool effects, but the movies have all felt bloated and witless to me.

Cameron's often had me thinking that in a better world he'd have spent his career making dozens of underbudgeted, scrappy, undevalued-but-first-class B and C movies. Instead, he got famous fast, fell in love with his image in the mirror, and has given his vision and his message 'way too much thought. Result: A gifted B-style talent who squeezes out an overblown, overlong, draggy movie once every five yeras. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey....

I have seen quite a few of your comments in this blog. I must say you might sometime fool people with a hint of intelligence. But, and this is where it gets interesting. Whenever you talk about something I am familiar with; you turn out to be wholly wrong.

So be honest, do you just make things up to pull the emotional strings of people knowing full well what tune to play. I am confident you are playing a subterranean game here where you are fishing the gullible and naive.

I think if I knew you personally I would find it hard to even look at you. You disgust me.

Whiskey said...

Anon aka James Cameron's Publicist --

Most of the non-Drudge readers on DHD know almost nothing about Hollywood economics. Typical fanboys like yourself. Avatar is destined to be a MASSIVE failure profit-wise because ... it's COSTS are so high, between $300-$500 million, estimated. That's a huge cost that requires massive amounts of box office AND DVD/Blu-Ray revenue to recoup, which is not going to happen in a global recession with easy piracy! Eli Roth found to his dismay that his awful Hostel movies were on sale, pirated, in Mexico City for $0.25 equivalent. This is why Fox and one other studio simply closed their Korean and Spanish language DVD divisions according to the WSJ. Couple that with Redbox $1 rentals and it's not 1998 any more. Right, people will rush out and see an IMAX movie for ~$20 a ticket rather than wait two months and rent it for $1. [WSJ reports one study, possibly self-serving, that Redbox will reduce studio profitability by at least $1 billion per year.]

Please, the status-mongering White guy leading the natives is stupid (Dances with Wolves did it in the Clinton era) and derivative and narcissistic -- Cameron wanting to lead "noble savages" because his protagonist is "morally advanced" ala how he is better than the OTHER Hollywood slime. And yes this is Hollywood post-modernism. Kiplings "Kim" neither romanticized nor left out of criticism either the myriad Indian cultures nor the Himalayan Buddhist monk, nor left any doubt as to which was the superior culture (English of course). Even for a boy and man in two worlds, the superior one was always that of England.

Kudzu -- Who the hell is Gregory Cochran? Never heard of him and argument by authority does not impress me. You either have facts or logic on your side or you don't. FWIW none of the media companies is over-flowing with profitability right now, a few movies make lots of money and most lose money.

Pencil in Avatar for the latter.

kudzu bob said...

"Cameron's often had me thinking that in a better world he'd have spent his career making dozens of underbudgeted, scrappy, undevalued-but-first-class B and C movies."

You're exactly right. Lower, human-scale budgets would force him to be more creative, much as the constraints of meter help poets to write better.

Whiskey said...

Lest ye doubt the impact, here is a link to Warner's pulling out South Korea (the last studio to do so). Here is the WSJ article, sadly must be a subscriber to read it in full, google searches no longer let you work-around.

Edward Jay Epstein ("Hollywood Economist") here:

"For one thing, these “grosses” are not that of the studios but that of the independently-owned movie houses. The movie houses eventually remit–after deducting their share and the so-called “house allowance”– between 40 and 50 percent of the gross in America. Overseas, the studios get even less.

Furthermore, studios have to pay the entire bill for the advertising and other inducements required to lure the ticket-buyers for the theaters. Last year, studios spent an average of $39 million per film on advertising and prints in America but only recovered $20.6 million per film from the theaters. So, on average, they paid more to get people to buy tickets than they got back from the theaters. (And this dismal calculation did not include the cost of making the film.) This year advertising bills are even higher: According to the New York Times, Warner Bros committed $60 million to marketing Alexander The Great in the U.S. If so, Warner Bros share of even a $100 million “box-office gross” will not pay the advertising bill. "
--------------
Box office accounts for about 18% of revenue in 2003, DVD/TV sales the rest.

How will Avatar hold up in the crucial home-rental/sales and TV sales? This is a film that really needs to be seen in Hi-Def/Blu-Ray and that's still an issue with little disposable income -- official unemployment around 17% according to Larry Summers in Time (and likely to stay that way for a decade). This means, duh, no wage growth to fuel adoption of Blu-Ray and Hi-Def (duh again, high costs + sluggish economy = lower than anticipated adoption rates).

Udolpho.com said...

"Is he a super-PC male feminist? His obsession with powerful, brawny ass-kicking women seems less about PC-ness & political ideology than about his own personal turn-ons."

Isn't all male feminism derived from skewed personal turn-ons? His fondness for men with breasts is just another perverse outgrowth of his male feminism. It's the denial that there are distinguishable and complimentary masculine and feminine traits. You can't get more basic than that in a denial of human biology.

Middletown Girl said...

"I think if we did discover some precious resource on an alien world, we would probably despoil the natives to get it. Marine General Smedley Butler would instantly recognize the use of public military assets to pursue private corporate gain."

Sad but true to some extent:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22691

Middletown Girl said...

1. Ewoks vs Avatar Tribe. Who would win?

2. I wonder if Cameron is an admirer of Adlous Huxley. Huxley's last novel was THE ISLAND, a utopian oasis where man and nature, science and spirituality co-exist... until the tanks finally roll in. Deeply moving at the end.

3. Anyone see UTU, a fabulous tragi-comic New Zealand movie where angry Maoris rise up against the whites? A complex movie which goes far beyond PC notions of good vs evil.

Steve Sailer said...

Ray says:

"Cameron's often had me thinking that in a better world he'd have spent his career making dozens of underbudgeted, scrappy, undevalued-but-first-class B and C movies."

I'm interested in how many writer-directors there are like that anymore. Or does the system work too well now?

I guess what I'm looking for is somebody who was good for a long time without being handed a big Hollywood budget. But he's got to be somebody who eventually delivered a huge Hollywood hit, validating that he really was that good. Maybe Sam Raimi would be a good example, but how many other North Americans are there who made a bunch of good low budget movies before finally being discovered?

For example, Cameron made Piranha Part Two: The Spawning at age 27, which presumably was as bad as it sounds. Then he made Terminator at 30, after which Hollywood deluged him with money.

Christopher Nolan had a similar career, being discovered by the elite with his second movie, Memento, at age 30 and then having all the money in the world handed to him for his subsequent movies.

Maybe it's churlish to say Hollywood is discovering talent too fast, but sometimes it seems like that.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Tiger-hunting(or haunting) enough National Enquirer for you?

Huh?!?

Tiger isn't a Spanish lesbian.

Heck, he isn't even a girl.

Carhart said...

If James Cameron had been born in Canada in 1854 instead of in Canada in 1954, but with the same huge combination of ambition, technical skills, vision, and persuasiveness, he probably would have migrated to London, the reigning power center.

Steve, or anyone else out there, where would a young James Cameron move to today?

kudzu bob said...

"Who the hell is Gregory Cochran?"

Whiskey, how many years have you been visiting this website? I mean, you do at least occasionally pause from writing your comments on the deadly threat that Afghanistan’s goatherds pose to Our Way of Life long enough to actually, you know, read some of the stuff that Steve posts here, right?

Christ on a crutch, as my old man used to say. Just when I had thought my opinion of your singular brand of foolishness couldn’t sink any lower, I find out that I still managed to give you too much credit.

Middletown Girl said...

There are two kinds of 'male feminism': The wimpy Phil Donahue kind which is liberal and the babe-a-licious Cameron kind which is fascist-sexist.

Notice that Cameron generally prefers good looking women, not any kind of women. If mainstream feminism is egalitarian, Cameron's 'male feminism' is uberwomensch. To be sure, feminism was never egalitarian in practice as it prized intelligence and power above all else; how many women have smarts that can earn them lots of power and money?
And, though feminism championed empowerment through sports, most feminists are intellectual geeks like Katha Pollitt. When someone strong and independent like Camille Paglia comes along, feminists all shriek and go into gather-around-big-sister mode.

Idealization of the female babe warrior isn't necessarily 'progressive'. There are tons of badass female warriors in Hong Kong movies and Japanese anime, but Asian societies aren't exactly 'enlightened' when it comes to 'gender issues'.

In the case of Cameron, I wonder if his idealization of the strong female has something to do his insecurity as a white man. When men can no longer defend The Order, women must be strong and defend themselves. Thus, in Terminator, Sarah Connors carries on where men have failed. Since men cannot protect nor defend womenfolks in the traditional sense, it's incumbent on womenfolks to carry the burden. There's a movie called DESERT BLOOM where Jon Voight feels powerless to protect his family in a world dominated by nuclear technology and global politics. His manhood insecure, he panics and acts like a fool. He finally gains some inner-peace when he realizes that his daughter can take care of herself.

Funny, but Bigelow and Cameron have much in common. Though Strange Days is a rotten movie, it is instructive as to how their minds work. If Cameron idealized the warrioress, Bigelow idealized the black warrioress. In a city where men are either corrupt thugs or wimpy geeks, women must be tough to survive and even fight for her man. Ridiculous but spills the beans on the highfalutin conceits and delusions of liberal fascist mentality. The black woman in the movie is not credible as a real person but is rather like how white liberals fantasize about Michelle Obama: smart, strong, wise, independent, tough, noble, etc. It's all about fantasy projection than real observation. For all their professed liberalism and open-mindedness, filmmakers like Zwick, Cmaeron, and Bigelow project their ideological or romantic views on other peoples or races.

Middletown Girl said...

"Didn't anyone notice the anti-immigrant slant of the movie? 'Newcomer hoards will over-run us and take all our stuff. Send them back where they came from!'"

So, should we all go back to Europe?
Avatar isn't about immigration but about imperialist invasion. Many leftists are opposed to US 'invasion' of other nations and neo-imperialism via global capitalism, but they support third world immigration to America and Europe. That's not seen as an Invasion but as Inclusive Invitation.

Topiary Utopia said...

Udolpho wrote: "It's the denial that there are distinguishable and complimentary masculine and feminine traits. You can't get more basic than that in a denial of human biology."

Ripley has more feminine traits in Cameron's "Aliens" than in Ridley Scott's "Alien". The motherhood angle is central to the movie (both for Ripley and the Alien queen).

Arnold said...

Vik said: "Arnold, not to be horribly nitpicky but Gladstone actually railed about Turkish atrocities against the Bulgarians (the Turks unfortunately have a record of attempted genocide against multiple nationalities including the Bulgarians, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks (see Muhammad Ali, the ruler not the boxer), etc."

Sorry, Vik, you are right. I had confused the Bulgarian massacres of the 1870s with the Armenian massacres of 40 years later. And now that you mention it, yes, I gathered a while back that Muhammad Ali was one serious killing machine. Whenever I read the phrase in an encyclopedia "nation builder" I smell the stench of human corpses.

Middletown Girl said...

"Whenever I read the phrase in an encyclopedia "nation builder" I smell the stench of human corpses."

I love the smell of human corpses in the morning. It smells like... victory.

Chief Seattle said...

Well, at least Cameron's trying something more effective than racing his car around drunk telling everyone who runs this town.

Anonymous said...

BTW I was really put off by the masculine image she portrayed in the 2nd terminator movie. I mean WTF??

Not sure I agree. Yes, she's ugly in the second movie, but I thought it was a logical development. For her to portray her character the same as the first movie would have been another strain on suspension of disbelief. The only alternative concept that could have worked for a sequel would have been to show her time in Mexico - she didn't necessarily have to return to the US at that time.

My biggest problem with T2 was John. A heck of a lot of movie writers/producers don't seem to be able to write decent roles for kids, and this was no exception.

Anonymous said...

"Silverado" was made in 1984-85 (but planned a few years earlier) during the height of the recession. One of the few, straight on, non-Revisionist Westerns made. In hard times.

Huh? Non-revisionist? A town where the sheriff is corrupt and evil, and confronted by, among others, a "black cowboy" and a dwarf? Where the local ranchers are the criminal gang, and the good guys unemployed drifters?

Svigor said...

PS: Cameron also made ALIENS but there was no sermon about evil humans encroaching on the domain of space creatures. Maybe that was because both humans and the alien-monsters were supposed to be imperialist forces out to dominate the universe. It was bad guys vs bad guys--like Nazis vs Soviets-- than good guys vs bad guys.

You forgot the sermon about who's fucking whom over for a percentage. They're giant bugs and still better than us.

(Anonymous/Anonymous beat me to it. You don't see any "Hudsons" in the Alien ranks, either. Oh, and for more alpha chickness, notice how Newt's are bigger and hairier than Hudson's.)

Avatar is on track to being hugely profitable, both in America and worldwide. Films that open over the holiday season typically do multiples of x4 or even X5 their opening weekends domestically, with 3D/Imax films having an even longer tail.

70 mil *5 wouldn't even be break even for Avatar. Or have I been reading the wrong stuff? Haven't been paying close attention to Avatar, 'cause it's had "suck" written all over it from the word "go," but I was under the impression that it was projected to cost 400 mil, months ago.

There are some odd indications that the SWPL seem to regard Asian-Americans as white. I recently saw an SWPL independent film called "Mutual Appreciation" in which a Chinese girl and a white guy play brother and sister. No explanation is provided

I notice this in historical or especially in pseudo-historical work. A few years ago, these lowlifes weren't pretending King Arthur's court was full of blacks.

Cameron is technically competent as a film-maker - much more so than George Lucas (who only had two good films in him) - but he is probably as tapped out as Lucas is. Like Lucas, he's become too caught up with state-of-the-art special effects, rather than just telling a good story. I suspect he'll continue to make money, but I doubt he'll make another good film.

I suspect Lucas' real talent was more that of a writer/producer than a director. Cameron's the opposite, an artist gone director rather than a writer.

I think if we did discover some precious resource on an alien world, we would probably despoil the natives to get it. Marine General Smedley Butler would instantly recognize the use of public military assets to pursue private corporate gain.

I think either side would be well-advised to wipe the other out. I find Hollywood's fantasizing on human-alien relations consistently laughable. Given all their "help" in this regard, one hopes for our sake we're alone in the universe.

Ripley has more feminine traits in Cameron's "Aliens" than in Ridley Scott's "Alien". The motherhood angle is central to the movie (both for Ripley and the Alien queen).

I watched the first one again recently. I hadn't seen it in ages, and I was really struck by how sexy Weaver was in her youth (or maybe just under Scott's lens). She's radiant in that movie, a quality she lost soon after apparently.

Motherhood was Cameron's angle in his two big alpha chick works, T2 and Aliens, which suggests he's given the matter serious thought. Motherhood is definitely the best way to sell (convincing) alpha chickness.

And yes, I find it very odd that Whiskey's never heard of Cochran. Well, I would if I believed the pretense, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey/evilneocon, you just keep digging yourself in deeper with your idiotic asides as well as your strange, incessant flogging of "The Grudge" (were you a producer of that turd or something?) Cameron specifically worked on the 3D technology in Avatar to make it something people would have to see in a theater to get the full experience rather than pirate on DVD. He's long been an advocate of combatting piracy by improving the theatergoing experience by making is special. And Avatar is on track to make probably 900 million worldwide.

Now why don't you go back to whining about how hot chicks would rather polygamously share Mr. Bigs rather than go out with you, or continue your absurd claim that "The Blind Side"'s huge box office success is somehow no big deal. That's always good for a laugh.

Anonymous said...

"Truth said...

""In "Terminator", Arnold was supposed to be the bad guy but we loved it when he destroyed everything and shot up everyone in the police station.""

Great, a movie glorifying a cop killer, I heard it was that guy in Seattle's favorite film too!"

That black guy in Seattle, don't forget.

"And BTW, funny that you shoud mention Harlan Ellison, we share the same Alma Matter; he's one of the three people I have met over the course of my life that I am absolutely sure is smarter than I."

"Truth", you're always going on about what low-lifes we are here, and how if we're as smart as we think, then what have we to show for it.

Well, what have you to show for it? What have you accomplished, you lying blowhard? Given that you seem to think you are one of the smartest people in the world - or at least one of the smartest people whom you have ever known (in which case I have to assume that you live at the bottom of a well) then why are you just a no-account troll, who ridiculously puffs himself up on the internet?

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

My biggest problem with T2 was John. A heck of a lot of movie writers/producers don't seem to be able to write decent roles for kids, and this was no exception."

Ditto. The whining little brat they got for the part was unbelievable as anything other than Barney Frank's houseboy. Just as in one of those Star Wars movies (does it matter which?) where I was eventually rooting for the Empire to burn down all the Ewoks, by the end of Terminator 2, I was rooting for the T1000 to grease the little snot.

Templar said...

If his movies feature lots of special effects, the Japanese Playstation games will surpass them in a few months.

Don't be ridiculous. The Germans are at the cutting edge of gaming CGI, not the Japanese.

Hockey Puck said...

Aliens' politics are as idiosyncratic as Cameron's own-- pro-military, anti-corporate, in love with high technology but willing to show how vulnerable it is to a determined, low-tech adversary.

Only when the high technology users are borderline retarded, as the USCM were in Aliens

Simon said...

It wasn't the kill-the-natives-and-take-their-stuff plot that turned me off going to see Avatar. It was the Earth-is-a-polluted-ruin background, for a movie coming out right before the Copenhagen conference. I hates those Warmists I do.

Anonymous said...

BTW I was really put off by the masculine image she portrayed in the 2nd terminator movie. I mean WTF??

I thought it was good in that she was believable as a warrior. I much prefer that to Joss Whedon's butt-kicking 90-pound waif girls.

Middletown Girl said...

You know, clips from Avatar on youtube stirred up old memories, but I just couldn't put my finger on it until I recalled a bio-toy-set called Sea Monkeys.

http://www.comicbook.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sea2-786993.jpg

It could be Avatar(or Avatarzan)is, in essence, the most expensive Sea Monkeys project ever.
I bought this long ago as a kid. It even came with 3D effects as the 'aquarium' was studded with magnifying lens.

Or maybe Avatar, Abyss, and Titanic constitute a trilogy of sorts. You see, the people who sunk with the Titanic didn't die but mutated into superior sea creatures(Abyss), and when they die, they go to Avatar heaven and turn blue(like Heaven itself).

Or maybe Avatar is just a reverse remake of Yellow Submarine. Instead of Blue Meanies attacking Pepperland, it's the other way around.

Middletown Girl said...

When corporations or rogue CEO types are the bad guys in movies, I wonder if it's out of genuine conviction or creative laziness in search for a shortcut. After all, we generally side with the underdog against the top dog. Well, who has the most power in the world, especially after the fall of communism? The corpie types.

To be sure, Hollywood tends to give us evil WASP corpie bosses and politicians, but it's understandable why we want villains to be CEO types than old homeless ladies.

We like to see heroes, and heroes generally fight against the odds. So, even in movies where 'our side' had overall historical superiority and technological superiority, we like to see our guys outnumbered and fighting as the underdog. Thus, a movie like WE WERE WARRIORS gives us a small band of American soldiers fighting entire divisions of North Vietnamese army. Or ZULU gives us 100 British soldiers take on 1000s of Zulus. Or, Saving Private Ryan focuses on a small expeditionary force of US soldiers who appear vulnerable and surrounded by hostile Nazis--though the Allies were gaining decisive advantage over the Germans with each day.

So, if the white man arrives as an overwhelming corporate or military force, he is the bad guy and the nature-primitives are the good guys.
But, if the white man gets lost in jungle and is vastly outnumbered by cannibalistic savages, he is the good guy.

Even so, it seems non-white primitives tend to be romanticized more than white semi-primitives, like the ones in DELIVERANCE.

Middletown Girl said...

Possible inspirations for Avatar.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Laputa, Castle in the Sky (released in the US as just Castle in the Sky presumably because La Puta means whore in Spanish).

Both by Miyazaki whose films tend toward nature-worship and skepticism regarding megatechologomania.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_rtIcyqssA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaLsRVDGCs4

Nausicaa is great, Laputa is one of the greatest ever. Goes to show you don't need the greatest effects to make a great movie. Secret is in the artistic spirit and poetic sense than in the details. After all, an impressionist painting can emotionally convey much more than a hyper-realistic painting with every little detail filled in. It's not just what we see but how we see. It could be Cameron is more a visual engineer than a poet or symphonist.

-------------

Fantastic Planet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_Planet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCxCZNkQ9E

In this movie, the big blue folks exploit the little humans. A kind of reverse Avatar?

Middletown Girl said...

Whether Cameron is liberal or not, his success should be a morale-booster to white gentiles. We have a fatal tendency to think that Hollywood is so Jewish-dominated that white gentiles don't really have a chance to get in--except as pretty boy actors or celebs whose strings are pulled by the suits.

But, just consider the great success of Cameron and Lucas. They are among the top 5 most successful film producers/directors ever. Lucas even built his own studio independent of Hollywood. It goes to show perseverance, hard work, dedication, imagination, commitment, and etc, etc can do wonders.

Sam said...

The movie could have been so much more- a 2001, a Star Wars. The special effects were astonishing.

All it needed was a good script.

And that blue monkey girl was HOT!!!

Whiskey said...

From the Financial Times,

"With total production and marketing costs of about $425m, Avatar, which was directed by James Cameron, is among the most expensive films ever made.

Macquarie Securities estimates that Avatar needed to make $79m in its opening weekend to break even.

However, with US cinema attendances hit this weekend by severe snowstorms that battered the east coast, the film could yet become profitable - provided it is given a long enough run in cinemas.

”I don’t think this film is going to behave like Titanic, where it just defies gravity,” Mr Cameron told the Washington Post this week. ”But because of the 3D, we know historically 3D films tend to hold in and have legs.”
---------

Assuming the FT is correct, can 3-D in a recession (Q3 GDP revised downwards AGAIN) sustain the film? My guess is no, anymore than the first Hulk film could be sustained, or heck New Moon (which dropped about 70% second week).

Had Cameron been guaranteed the profits out of this movie, it would have been a 2 hour not 3+ hour movie, with much more audience-friendly plots, developed not cardboard characters, and the like. But because Hollywood screws EVERYONE, including LoTR Director-Producer Peter Jackson who had to sue to get his contractural takings from New Line, Cameron made a movie for him not the audience.

It shows, and likely will show in the Box Office. Guys in Malibu mansions just don't care about what Joe Average cares about -- how could they?

Anonymous said...

Guys in Malibu mansions just don't care about what Joe Average cares about -- how could they?

Yeah. That darn "Harvard-WASP Mafia"....

Anonymous said...

Don't be ridiculous. The Germans are at the cutting edge of gaming CGI, not the Japanese.

No - the Germans aren't Nordic Aryan enough. There's a nation north of Scandinavia wholly comprised of pure Nordic Aryans that is at the cutting edge of everything, including gaming CGI. Nobody knows about this nation because they are so advanced that they've managed to use technology to completely conceal themselves from the less and non-Nordic Aryan peoples. Once in a while they throw a bone to the less and non-Nordic Aryan peoples and allow them to have some new technology they have developed.

Middletown Girl said...

Will Avatar sink, swim, and surf at the box office?

I think TITANIC was a huge success due to the boy-girl factor. Not just the romance but the juggling of stuff appealing to men--special effects gadgetry and violence--and to women--lovey dovery. Thus, everything could be seen in two ways. Tech geeks--mostly male--were delighted by the logistics of the ship and its sinking. The mushy hearts--mostly women--were swept away by the romance of modern knight saving a damsel from the distress of unhappy marriage and man-made ship sinking.

Gone with the Wind blew away the competition for the same reason. It was a grand war movie appealing to males and a gushy romance appealing to females.

Both movies were elaborate heavyduty male-centric enterprises but were presented with the simplicity of a valentine gift. I have yet to see Titanic because I can't stand Celine Dion.

Now, will Avatar break new box office records? It all depends on whether there's enough stuff for the gals. The males--both geeks and macho types--will love the special effects gizmo and things blowing up. But, for most women to love this movie(and tell all their friends abou it), it has to be romantic and gushy-wushy. They also need someone to identify with. GONE had Leigh, TITANIC had Winslet. AVATAR has... tall gangly blue tart with Bo Derek cornrows. Guys, especially those with weird sexual tastes, may go for repeat viewings, if only for the effects. But, will women pay high ticket prices to see it again and again just to identify with a blue giantess? I dunno.

And, there is a kind of avant-garde aspect to this movie, which might not have mainstream appeal beyond the initial curiosity over its novelty. Lion King or Jungle Book it aint.

Didn't Selznick try to outdo GONE WITH THE WIND with the vastly ambitious but misconceived--and over produced--DUEL IN THE SUN, which tanked at the box-office?
Will AVATAR be like Cameron's DUEL?

Hockey Puck said...

Whether Cameron is liberal or not, his success should be a morale-booster to white gentiles.

No, Mel Gibson's should.

Truth said...

"Steve, or anyone else out there, where would a young James Cameron move to today?"

He'd move to Charleston, drink light beer with Svigor at SWPL Microbreweries, and complain about all of the blacks.

"That black guy in Seattle, don't forget."

Yes, a black guy in Seattle who engaged in the parallel activity that gave you multiple orgasms in a movie theatre 25 years ago.

"Truth", you're always going on about...how if we're as smart as we think, then what have we to show for it."

The nerve of me.

"Well, what have you to show for it? What have you accomplished, you lying blowhard? Given that you seem to think you are one of the smartest people in the world - or at least one of the smartest people whom you have ever known (in which case I have to assume that you live at the bottom of a well) then why are you just a no-account troll, who ridiculously puffs himself up on the internet?"


LMAO! LMAO! LMAO! You guys make me laugh way to often here, thanks.

"So, if the white man arrives as an overwhelming corporate or military force, he is the bad guy and the nature-primitives are the good guys.
But, if the white man gets lost in jungle and is vastly outnumbered by cannibalistic savages, he is the good guy."

What are the odds of that?!

James Kabala said...

Albertosaurus: Making it out of infancy was the tough part. Once you made it past age 2 or 3, and certainly once you made it past 10 or 12, you might not live to be 80, but you would probably make it into your 50s or 60s.

As for TB, people may have thought strange things in strange backwaters, but no educated or even half-educated person in the West in 1854 would have believed in vampires.

Middletown Girl said...

Oh, the greatest civilization-meets-primitives movie: PROFOUND DESIRE OF THE GODS. Gotta be seen to be believed.

Middletown Girl said...

You know, the blue tart in Avatar looks kinda like... Sarah Palin. Difference is Palin's message to civilization is 'COME ON AND SUCK OUT THE OIL'. On the other hand, part of her appeal is as WILD WOMAN up against pompous city slickers.

This is all very confusing. Many people living near nature in Alaska and Northwest want more lumbering and oil drilling while the sophisticates living in concrete & glass cities wax romantic about pristine nature.

I wonder how many primitive peoples would be for preservation of 'sacred nature' if they could sell their resources for big bucks? I suspect all the New Age stuff about innocent noble savages worshiping and living in harmony with nature is a tad exaggerated. Primitive people don't live in harmony with nature. They live in conflict with it. Primitives and wild animals probably wouldn't mind a little less conflict and easier access to foodies and goodies.

What wild animal doesn't prefer free food from tourists over stuff they have to hunt for? I'll bet primitive people are just as crass, acquisitive, and greedy in their own way. Indeed, the clever ones use all the holy-schmoly New Age stuff merely as political and economic leverage than out of genuine spiritual devotion to nature.
Just look at all those African tribes who will gladly kill entire herds of elephants to sell ivory on the black market. They want cash to buy cool modern stuff like guns, tobacco, tv, and even cars.

It's one thing for people like Cameron to argue that it's wrong for imperialists to take what belongs to another people but quite another to assume that primitive peoples prefer to preserve 'sacred nature' than dig it up and sell it to others for huge profits.

In other words, if primitives faced the prospect of being evicted from their lands, they make a lot of noise--with the help of Western liberals--of how evil and greedy it would be to despoil sacred mother earth. But, if their claim to the land is secure and permanent, they are eager to sell as much of their natural resources as possible--like Arabs with their oil and Southeast Asians with lumber--to make lots of cash and live a good life.

Only starry-eyed Western liberals are fool enough to think primitives would rather use leaves than toilet tissue or
drink pond water over tap or bottled water. Or beer or coca-cola.

The Bear said...

Yankees are, to use Edward Banfield's term, Judeo-Puritans and not like other white folks. Hell, even the greatest Yankee novelist believes they might be evil:

"The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil; -- Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it."

kudzu bob said...

>Well, what have you to show for it? What have you accomplished, you lying blowhard?<

Leave Truth alone. He let slip that he's met Harlan Ellison at science fiction conventions...and that means he's a fanboy, the most despised minority of all!

Anonymous said...

"You know, the blue tart in Avatar looks kinda like... Sarah Palin. Difference is Palin's message to civilization is 'COME ON AND SUCK OUT THE OIL'. On the other hand, part of her appeal is as WILD WOMAN up against pompous city slickers."

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeow! Her appeal is that she doesn't come off as a bitter, unfeminine, Sontag-quoting man-hater with a barely disguised contempt for white people and western civilization, unlike some people (ahem).

David said...

I only watch movies with characters who are human, sound-effects that are human-scale, and visual effects that are not nauseating to humans.

I liked "Up in the Air" and "Me and Orson Welles." Call movie fans like me "humanists."

Saw a part of some indie on IFC. Scene: a man and an elderly woman, strangers to each other, both worried about personal issues, were arguing over a seat on a train, at length. I stopped flipping channels and checked it out with a shrug. The scene kept going and I got hooked. Fascinated. Absorbed with these two people and what the outcome of their little dispute would be. Emotionally caught up in the thing. Only later did it dawn on me this was a foreign language film. The characters hadn't spoken one word of English (my only language). THAT'S filmmaking.

Explosions and flying blue she-males are for the Idiocracy crowd.

Didn't Cameron begin Avatar in high school, scrawling the aliens in his school notebook a la Napoleon Dynamite drawing "ligers" in his? About the same intellectual level, IMO.

Middletown Girl said...

"You know, the blue tart in Avatar looks kinda like... Sarah Palin. Difference is Palin's message to civilization is 'COME ON AND SUCK OUT THE OIL'. On the other hand, part of her appeal is as WILD WOMAN up against pompous city slickers."

"Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeow! Her appeal is that she doesn't come off as a bitter, unfeminine, Sontag-quoting man-hater with a barely disguised contempt for white people and western civilization, unlike some people (ahem)."

------------

Sontag wasn't man-hating, and she was beautiful in her youth. Feminine too. True, she was a leftist, but even on that account, more thoughtful than most.

I think there is a bitter element in Palin, and it is what I like about her. Why shouldn't patriotic people not be bitter with all the problems facing us? McCain was too mellow, too nice. But Palin on the campaign trail was willing to dish out some dirt at Obascum.

Palin is womanly but not exactly feminine. Any creature who hunts and skins moose isn't feminine in the traditional sense. But, she retains and is proud of her good looks and sexy qualities.

Templar said...

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeow! Her appeal is that she doesn't come off as a bitter, unfeminine, Sontag-quoting man-hater with a barely disguised contempt for white people and western civilization, unlike some people (ahem).

Pwned, if I do say so myself.

Truth said...

"He let slip that he's met Harlan Ellison at science fiction conventions"

Yeah, that's it Bob; Alma Matter is Latin for "met at science fiction conventions."

kudzu bob said...

>Yeah, that's it Bob; Alma Matter is Latin for "met at science fiction conventions."<

Actually, it means "went to college for six years but still did not learn to spell or punctuate."

Live long and prosper!

Middletown Girl said...

In a way, Avatar is like Ancient Romans vs the Germanic Barbarians.
The Blue Brothers even have a Yggdrasill-like Tree.
I think Cameron took the idea of the avatar--masquerade--from Lang's Metropolis where robot replaces a woman, but all the sacred nature stuff might have been inspired by Lang's Siegfried and Kriemhilde's Revenge.

Or, maybe the movie is really a statement about how cyberspace, videogames, and whatnot are avatarizing all of us. We can pretend to be anyone in cyberspace or videogames. Even a geek can play Madden's football and pretend to be a great athlete.
It's only a matter of time before virtual reality really goes crazy.

Truth said...

I hope you got a graduate degree after all that time.

Anonymous said...

Mike Myers is a perfect example, wraps himself in the Canadian flag

Ive seen an interview where he said he felt himself to be British and in fact holds a British passport. I do know his parents were British born, emigrated to Canada.

Middletown Girl said...

You know, though AVATAR may be seen as an anti-Western movie, it may well be in the tradition of Western Art. Iliad is generally considered the greatest work of Western literature after the Bible, but it portrays the vanquished Trojans far more favorably than the Greeks. Trojans are generally noble, courageous, and self-less--except for Paris--whereas the Greeks tend to be divided, vain, selfish, and reckless. Interesting that it was considered a war-drum-beating 'nationalistic' poem.

Furthermore, another great Greek literature associated with the Trojan War is 'Trojan Women', and Greeks come across as even worse than in the Iliad.

It may be that the sympathy for the Trojans partly stemmed from the fact that Trojans were remembered as a 'mythic' people even when the story was first told and because the Trojans lost the war. Generally, you hate an enemy when it poses a threat or challenge but feel sympathy when it's been defeated--especially if it had been a proud and worthy enemy. White Americans did a fair amount of romanticizing of American Indians once the Red Man was vanquished. I think the book LAST OF THE MOHICANS--didn't read it--had some of that. Later, after the Wild West was tamed, there were even American currencies showing images of great Indian warriors.

A movie like Letters from Iwo Jima would have been unthinkable in the 40s or 50s. But, with the passage of time, many Hollywood movies did portray the Japanese as a worthy and proud enemy. And, maybe Hiroshima and Nagasaki filled Americans with some degree of guilt--just like total sack of Troy made the Greeks none too proud afterwards. (Of course, it might be folly on the part of whites to still think they are victors over the world and in a position to feel sympathy for The Other. It may seem that way to rich whites like James Cameron, but it sure doesn't seem that way to white Americans in the SW or Europeans having to deal with crazy Muslims).

Then, there is the Bible, which isn't really Western but Near Eastern in origin. If the Greeks were capable of empathy for non-Greeks--even regarding them as morally superior to the Greeks at times--, the Bible always portrays the Hebrews as good and the enemies of Hebrews as totally bad--with a few rare exceptions. There is no Jewish 'Trojan Women' which questions the morality of Israelite genocide of the Canaanites.
Perhaps, the presence of many gods--none of them perfect--informed the Greeks that no one people or side monopolize virtue or affection of the gods. Jews, on the other hand, believed in the one and only god, and since Jews regarded themselves as the 'chosen people', there was less need to feel sorry about what Jews did to other peoples.
On the other hand, the bible does stress that Jews should not mistreat non-Jews living amongst Jews since Jews had been oppressed by other peoples too.

green mamba said...

I only watch movies with characters who are human, sound-effects that are human-scale, and visual effects that are not nauseating to humans.

I liked "Up in the Air" and "Me and Orson Welles." Call movie fans like me "humanists."


Yes! Those two movies were the last ones I enjoyed and I heartily agree about small-scale movies generally being much more interesting than special-effects-laden claptrap and otherwise overblown Hollywood crap.

Middletown Girl said...

"I only watch movies with characters who are human, sound-effects that are human-scale, and visual effects that are not nauseating to humans."

Ever hear of theatre? Even without special effects, cinema IS special effects.

James Kabala said...

"the Bible always portrays the Hebrews as good and the enemies of Hebrews as totally bad--with a few rare exceptions"

I've gone through this before and don't feel like providing citations again, but the first half of this is not true.

The message of the Old Testament can be summed up as "Nearly everyone is bad, and while yes, the few good people who have lived have mostly been Israelites, on the whole the stiff-necked and ungrateful Hebrews are as bad as anyone else." It is not an ethnocentric book.

MacSweeney said...

It's true, a huge amount of Canadian NHL players move to the States. If they spend even one season playing for an American team, it's like they're lost forever. It rarely goes the other way around; almost no American athletes playing for Canadian teams live in Canada after retiring, or even during the off season. Roy Halladay spent 12 years pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays and he never set down roots. Carlos Delgado played in Toronto for the same amount of time and promptly sold his town house after free agency.

Perhaps the most infamous example was Toronto Raptors player Antonio Davis. His son came home from school one day and told him what he learned ... Canadian History. This upset Davis so much that he wanted a trade out of Toronto. "He'll never work in this town again" seemed like a given, but hilariously enough he was actually traded BACK to Toronto a few years later (he retired when the season was over).

Svigor said...

The message of the Old Testament can be summed up as "Nearly everyone is bad, and while yes, the few good people who have lived have mostly been Israelites, on the whole the stiff-necked and ungrateful Hebrews are as bad as anyone else." It is not an ethnocentric book.

Do you have a detailed post on this on your blog, maybe? I've never found anyone willing to really argue the matter. It would probably be better to do it there than here.

Anonymous said...

Avatar just hit the $1billion mark. Of course, this will not stop the pundits who were proclaiming that the movie would not be profitable.