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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Jim Cameron eager to mix it up with 'Avatar's' right-wing critics

You can always tell that the Academy has sent out its final Oscar ballots by the sudden reappearance of gaudy full-page Oscar ads in the trades, my paper and the New York Times. It also means that most nominees, fearful of making a horrible gaffe, are especially careful not to say anything that could possibly be viewed as controversial in their interviews with the showbiz press. 

Except, of course, for Jim Cameron.

Cameroncover He's on the cover of this week's The Envelope and he's clearly eager to mix it up with the multitudes of conservatives who've been trashing "Avatar," claiming that it's dumb, sanctimonious, anti-military, nuttily pro-environment and, as Big Hollywood's John Nolte memorably put it, a "Death Wish'' for leftists. Cameron isn't the sort of guy to take those brickbats lying down, even if means alienating a few Oscar voters, either because they agree with the conservative take on the film or prefer to vote for films that are free of any political leanings. 

As he told Glenn Whipp: "Let me put it this way. I'm happy to piss those guys off. I don't agree with their worldview." As for his detractors' contempt for his environmental consciousness, dramatized in the film by the callous destruction of the Na'vi's pastoral world, Cameron says that the film's environmental message is a lesson for all moviegoers to digest. He explains that our planet "will be a dying world if we don't make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth .... We're going to have to live with less."

Cameron admits that many people will wonder what a fabulously wealthy filmmaker ensconced in a Malibu mansion knows about living with less, but he says that "I think there's a way to live and raise your kids with a set of values that teaches them the importance of hard work, the importance of respecting other people and the importance of respecting nature."

Cameron says he did have second thoughts about using an explicit "shock and awe" Iraq war reference in the film, but he insists that it reflects a bigger point he was trying to make. "What I really was saying was, 'Listen to what your leaders are saying. Open your eyes. And understand what the run-up to war is like, so the next time it happens, you can question it."

People have debated for years whether message-oriented films actually have an effect on filmgoers' consciousness. Seeing a movie is such an internalized, diffuse experience that it's hard to know how much of an influence it leaves behind. But I would say this: You could not have spent 150 minutes immersed in the world of "Avatar" without coming away with a new respect for how much we should treasure the natural resources of our world -- or any other. 


Why do conserivatives hate the most popular movie of all time?

Comments () | Archives (36)

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I will not pay to see it.

James Cameron didn't strike me as an environmentalist when he was driving around in his hummer.

I've not seen Avatar but from reading some reviews I'm under the impression that someone owes Ray Bradbury an apology and a load of money. Isn't Avatar a dumbed down version of The Martian Chronicles? e8zsm2

"Cameron says that the film's environmental message is a lesson for all moviegoers to digest. He explains that our planet "will be a dying world if we don't make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth .... We're going to have to live with less.""

Tell you what, Jim. Sell your digs in Malibu, go buy a modest house in North Dakota or Idaho, get a job in a small town working for wages, and you'll discover that the vast majority of people are already living with less, and it gets lesser every day. Ironically, it's guys like you who need to listen to your own message and quit lecturing the rest of us who are trying to figure out how we're going to pay our bills every month.

Nice Mansion, Jim.
I'm sure you'll be giving that land back to the native people and returning to your home "planet" any day now.

Typical liberal hypocrite.

PRESS RELEASE: OAK BROOK, Ill., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald's announced today during a live global Webcast its plans to bring amazing digital experiences to its young adult customers through its partnership with Academy-Award winning director James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox -makers of the highly anticipated film AVATAR.
The envelope please, and the winner for hypocrite douche-bag of the year James Cameron!! I'd like to thank the hundreds of little people who made this possible.
My ex-wife's, my boss at Fox, Rupert Murdoch! and of course my other boss Ronald F'n McDonald!
What's the matter Jim? Satan tied up on the sequel to Armageddon so you had to settle for his minions?

As you know, we've been talking about the building up on the successful 12/18/09 protest against Avatar. Despite that success we are very disappointed that Avatar was nominated for several Oscar awards including Best Film. James Cameron has refused to make any public statements or apologies so we still have a ways to go.

But we have an opportunity to correct this injustice on March 7, 2010. That is day the Oscars will be held in Los Angeles but IT WILL BE the day that the GBLT community and all free-thinking people of progress will make their voices heard.

You can make March 7, 2010 a day to affirm social justice, diversity and tolerance instead of a day of corporate greed and heterosexual preconceptions.

America needs progress and change and Americans finally have a President who is intelligent enough to make it happen. Health Care is a basic human right. Gay Marriage is a basic human right. Diversity is a basic human right. Support President Obama and change and we can win over intolerance and right-wing bigotry and stupidity.

We received many wonderful ideas and suggestions as to how to protest on March 7. After a lot of soul-searching and substance absorption, these are the ideas for protest we ask you to consider:

* Paint yourself using gold body paint and walk the streets of your community in the nude. The display of your genitalia will send a counter-message to Oscar’s sexual denial.
* Hold an empty picture frame in front of your face. This will symbolize what American TV programs and films fail to show.
* Do not watch the Oscars on your television. Watch progressive programming instead.
* Invite people to your home or speak with them in public about sexuality and Evolution.

Direct protest:

For those in the Los Angeles area you can certainly protest in the traditional manner at the location of the Oscars ceremony. We only ask that you be peaceful and non-confrontational.

We have gotten offers from people who work in the film industry to disrupt the ceremony itself during its live broadcast. While we do not call for such actions, we understand why they would be justified.

Message to the Academy:

If you wish to avoid the protest we ask the following: Rescind all nominations for Avatar. The film should not be awarded anything. We also ask that you give Brokeback Mountain the Oscar award for Best Film that it was denied a few years ago. Everyone knows that Brokeback Mountain is a better and more significant film than Crash.

We thank you for you time.


Lara, Royce and Linda

I regret paying to go see Avatar for the 'amazing effects'.

It was a disgusting, anti-American, anti-human, Loose Change / Truther mishmash of Leftist stupidity and arrogance.

Cameron threw America under the bus, plain and simple.

Out of Al Gore's own mouth - the REAL inconvenient truth - Gore pushed the Bushes into the Iraq war.

Sorry Jim, your a filmmaker, not an intellectual. Avatar is nowhere near as intelligent as you imagine.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous, but incredibly dumb. The plot was only slightly less predictable than a Scooby-Doo cartoon.

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