Are you one of those people who thought that Avatar‘s script was weak? Did you find it predictable, hokey, emotionally manipulative and (ironically) two-dimensional?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, then you’ve probably been wondering to yourself just what the hell James Cameron was thinking when he sat down to write Avatar. Luckily for you, the Writers Guild of America is here to get that explanation, via a hour-long interview with Cameron himself.
Like I said, the interview is an hour long, so make sure you have sufficient time on your hands to listen. I’m only about halfway into it as I type this, but Cameron is already addressing such topics as the line-by-line Internet comparisons between Avatar and Pocahontas; that whole “Dances With Na’vi” nickname the film has gotten; some talk about what archetypal storytelling is all about and why it works for Avatar; Cameron even tries to make the claim that the villain in the film (Stephen Lang) is a “layered” character.
You might not agree with Cameron’s explanations but if you truly hated Avatar‘s script, then you should at least have the courage to hear the man out:
WGA AVATAR INTERVIEW WITH JAMES CAMERON
Personally, I like several things that Cameron says in this interview:
- His acknowledgment that Lang’s character, Col. Quaritch, doesn’t have a character arc and that it was purposefully done.
- Cameron’s explanation that the Na’vi represent (what he sees as) the best in humanity, while the colonists represent the worst.
- The explanation of why archetypal storytelling is effective – something I wholeheartedly agree with.
The interview is interesting enough, so I’m going to go ahead and listen to the final 40 minutes. There’s also a Q&A portion to it, so that should be equally interesting – hearing the public question Cameron about their likes/dislikes.
If you don’t have an hour plus to spend, you can invest twenty minutes listening to Cameron being grilled by veteran journalist Charlie Rose. All in all, I’m glad to see that J.C. isn’t just taking his money and running – he’s confident enough in his movie to go out and defend it against the hard questions. Gotta respect that.
Avatar is just now starting to bow out of theaters – but you never know, it could be back!
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