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James Cameron (and friends) on 'Avatar's' box office domination

January 18, 2010 |  5:00 am

We love a tight awards race as much as the next blog, and this season is certainly shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Still, we worried that some of the best films of the year are suddenly being reduced to office pool favorites and long-shots in some sort of celluloid horse race. What about their content, their message? What about the creative visions that brought these stories to the big screen?

Even as the prizes are being tallied up, we noticed what a diverse group of contenders are in play for the best picture and best director races. How can such varied storytelling all have hit a collective nerve with audiences and critics alike? To help figure that out, The Times invited five top directors -- Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), James Cameron ("Avatar"), Lee Daniels ("Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"), Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air") and Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") -- to talk to us about their films, their struggles bringing them to the screen, their growth as directors, even the state of filmmaking itself.

First up, the question on everyone's mind: How does it feel to have your new movie so close on the box office heels of your last movie, which happens to be the highest-grossing film of all time? Click on the video below to see what Cameron had to say, and check back every day this week for a fresh clip from the 90-minute Envelope Roundtable discussion

Photo: Quentin Tarantino, Jason Reitman, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Lee Daniels. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times


Envelope Directors Roundtable: The challenges of marketing a film
Envelope Directors Roundtable: Sequels and board games vs. original work
Envelope Directors Roundtable: 'The scene I had to cut'
Envelope Roundtable: 'The moment I became a director'
James Cameron (and friends) on 'Avatar's' box office domination