Cameron’s Corner: First (and last) edition

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With nary a flop under his fully submersible belt, James Cameron prepares to direct the past, present, and future. All in 3-D!

While getting vocal recently about his plans for the two sequels to CGI sensation Avatar, Cameron has also expressed an interest in filming the Na’vi-esque struggle of a Brazillian indigenous tribes’ fight against invasive resource extraction. In September, EW reported on Cameron’s involvement with the indiginous tribe, the Achuar, and a fundraiser they held to promote awareness about their legal battles with oil company Chevron. After treating the Achuar to a screening of Avatar, Cameron was inspired to use the tribe’s non-violent approach to resistance as a basis for his sequel scripts.Â

This comes as a bit of an afterthought considering the exposure and success that Avatar achieved, and the responsibility it had for making its allegory of indigenous rights authentic. While Avatar may play to many as a reimagined version of historical colonial conflicts, the fight to retain resources, as well as cultural posterity, wages on all over the world. Cameron committed no crimes in mapping a fantasy world on to reality, but his latest plans to capture the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe and their effort to block…

With nary a flop under his fully submersible belt, James Cameron prepares to direct the past, present, and future. All in 3-D!

While getting vocal recently about his plans for the two sequels to CGI sensation Avatar, Cameron has also expressed an interest in filming the Na’vi-esque struggle of a Brazillian indigenous tribes’ fight against invasive resource extraction. In September, EW reported on Cameron’s involvement with the indiginous tribe, the Achuar, and a fundraiser they held to promote awareness about their legal battles with oil company Chevron. After treating the Achuar to a screening of Avatar, Cameron was inspired to use the tribe’s non-violent approach to resistance as a basis for his sequel scripts. 

This comes as a bit of an afterthought considering the exposure and success that Avatar achieved, and the responsibility it had for making its allegory of indigenous rights authentic. While Avatar may play to many as a reimagined version of historical colonial conflicts, the fight to retain resources, as well as cultural posterity, wages on all over the world. Cameron committed no crimes in mapping a fantasy world on to reality, but his latest plans to capture the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe and their effort to block the ecosystem-shattering construction of a hydroelectric plant will help Avatar fans attach the film’s message to the present instead of a distant, unoffending past.

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The spectacle-driven director plans to film the proposed documentary in 3-D, a welcome trend in documentary filmmaking that was intiated by Werner Herzog’s recent festival circuit entry, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. While many debate the merits of 3-D and whether the experience adds any value to the majority of films it’s attached to, documentaries seem to be the perfect vehicle. Whatever his motives may be, Cameron will do the world a favour by bringing as much colour and immediacy to this real-life story as he did the fictional Pandora.

In other news, Cameron confirms that he is helming a Cleopatra biopic with Angelina Jolie attached. Cleopatra didn’t live a long life, making it inevitable that the script will treat the last Pharoah’s futile struggle to keep Caesar Augustus and the Roman Empire from absorbing Egypt, as well as her tumultuous replationships with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. With this project, Cameron can continue his focus on strong female characters (Aliens, Terminator, Avatar) as well as return to themes of militant takeovers (whether by people or machines) and beseiged peoples.

Cleopatra is not the most sympathetic historical character on record (schemer, homewrecker; Angelina wouldn’t know anything about that), but I forsee the moulding of a mother tigress character who is as dedicated to preserving her nation as she is her threatened childrens’ lives. Whether she be a fierce or friendly queen, viewers will nonetheless look forward to Angie’s suicide by venomous snake bite (recalling her snake-taming days in Oliver Stone’s Alexander). Critics will inevitably poo poo the actress’ less-than-African look, as they did for her portrayal of multiracial journalist Marianne Pearl in A Mighty Heart.  However, if no one had any problems with her casting as Olympias in Alexander (besides the atrocious accent) then they shouldn’t have anything to say on this count either. The Ptolemeic dynasty, of which Cleo was the last ruler, was of Macedonian Greek heritage, having been established after Alexander the Great’s conquest.

Sorry, should have laid down the ‘history lesson’ disclaimer. Too bad.

James Cameron Talks Two AVATAR Sequels, Hints At Sigourney Weaver's Return, And More!! [Ain't It Cool]

James Cameron Confirms "Cleopatra 3D" [Dark Horizons]

James Cameron talks 'Avatar' sequel, the evolution of 3D, and respect for his geeks [EW]