(thanks to jennybee)
Jeff Wells at Hollywood-Elsewhere finds himself conflicted over Jim Cameron lending a hand to native people who are trying to preserve their land and way of life:
What I mean is that it feels “right” and a tiny bit weird at the same time. What is environmentalism if you don’t stand up and do something along the lines of what Cameron is attempting? And yet there are faint echoes of hubris in the image of a rich American director flying down to Brazil and proclaiming that a genuine life-or-death, money-and-greed situation is a reflection of a creative vision that led to an enormously successful film.
Cameron’s heart is obviously in the right place, and I agree with his likely assessment, which is that the dam is a stand-in for unobtanium, the Avatar MacGuffin. And that the dam is probably an arrogant initiative by a relatively small group of government bureaucrats who are looking to favor certain contractors, and with no regard for the blight it will bring about.
One feels the need to admire Cameron’s actions – he’s backing up his beliefs and showing that he’s willing to stand up for the themes and message in Avatar.
Sooner or later, though, Cameron will have to put his MONEY where his good faith is. A couple of million will shut a lot of people up. Maybe? The thing that struck me most about the NY Times piece was that, in the end, all Cameron could really do was write a letter to the government. They will look at that and laugh, maybe frame it as a souvenir. This is about money and the region’s economy. This is not really about raping the land of its natural resources for profit (mining for diamonds or whatever). Cameron says he’s using this experience to do research of actual native people to make his sequel perhaps more realistic.
So he’s getting a lot out of it. And he’s drawing attention to it. I suspect this move from an environmentalist’s standpoint is much about preserving the Amazon. It might not help, but it certainly can’t hurt. The more attention drawn to the kind of negative impact developers can have on necessary land the better.
The other story coming out of the “Jim Cameron goes to the Amazon and paints his face in protest” was that Sigourney Weaver made a really comment about this year’s Oscar race. When asked why Jim Cameron didn’t win the Oscar, she said:
“Jim didn’t have breasts, and I think that was the reason,” Weaver told Brazilian news site Folha Online over the weekend. “He should have taken home that Oscar.” And then added, “In the past, ‘Avatar’ would have won because they [Oscar voters] loved to hand out awards to big productions, like ‘Ben-Hur.’ Today it’s fashionable to give the Oscar to a small movie that nobody saw.”
So, what does “fashionable movie that nobody saw” have to do with having breasts? Either it was sexism or it was a fashion trend Let’s think that through a little more carefully, Sigourney. Sure, one can cut her some slack being that she had the great pleasure of playing one of the worst written female characters in a Cameron film in Avatar – and I’m sure she dedicated much of her time and energy into that production. She is also friends with Jim Cameron, which also explains it.
Look, the last thing I want to do is start up another hideous flame war on this site, but the truth of it is that if Avatar hadn’t been reliant upon its 3-D technology, and if it had been better written it would have won. The truth is that it wasn’t even close. The Hurt Locker WON EVERYTHING leading up to the Oscars. It wasn’t just the Academy; it was all of the industry and critics. So go ahead and accuse them of being “trendy” or “fashionable” or “sexist.” But don’t just blame AMPAS.
Loves me, loves me not… Loves me, loves me not… After being bumped from March to April and then going into brief indefinite limbo last week, Variety now says I Love you Philip Morris is back on the release docket, with a limited release scheduled for July 30 expanding on August 6.
It’s been around 3 or 4 days already, and I guess the reason I didn’t jump on the multiple tips by readers is because my hopes are so much higher for The Kids Are Alright than this trailer would seem to justify. I understand the need to introduce movie with touchy subjects by featuring highlights with cross-over appeal, but the formula for this teaser touches on a few too many least common denominators.
All the same, as much as this makes me wary that the initial marketing is a bit off-key, there’s enough promise showing through the dysfunctional facade to hint at richer expressions percolating below the surface. If this preview lures audiences past their prejudices long enough to let the movie itself say something more important (as I feel confident it does), then it’s proof that bait and switch doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
The Kids Are Alright looked like an awards magnet for Bening, Moore and Ruffalo from the first buzz it generated at Sundance, and it won Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival too (the Teddy Bear, not the Golden one). The trailer does spotlight the prestigious reviews, so Focus knows its got a hot commodity. Just wish the trailer would bait the hook a little better.
Universal has introduced a Robin Hood program that “recognizes the modern-day Robin Hoods who dedicate their time to change the world‚Ä¶the heroes who inspire us by making outstanding and selfless contributions to their communities.”
One can either become a Lionheart, nominate friends, family or colleagues who should be “recognized for their good works. Lionhearts will have the opportunity to win cash prizes to share with the charity or organization of their choice. (3) Grand Awards of $10,000 and (10) First Awards of $1,000 will be offered.”
Altered states and untrusted perception are recurring themes in Nolan’s films… In all of them, Nolan put a premium on achieving the unreal on camera as opposed to in computer, which runs counter to Hollywood’s obsession with the pixel possibilities of green screen and 3-D. With cinematographer Wally Pfister (Nolan’s director of photography since “Memento”) and special effects guru Chris Corbould (the man who built the Batmobile and has worked on a dozen James Bond films), the director put a premium on an old-school approach to movie magic.
Corbould’s teams, for instance, built giant rotating hallways and a massive tilting nightclub set to film the startling “Inception” scenes when dream-sector physics take a sharp turn into chaos. One of the film’s stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, spent long, bruising weeks learning to fight in a corridor that spun like a giant hamster wheel.
“It was like some incredible torture device; we thrashed Joseph for weeks,” Nolan said. “But in the end we looked at the footage, and it looks unlike anything any of us has seen before. The rhythm of it is unique, and when you watch it, even if you know how it was done, it confuses your perceptions. It’s unsettling in a wonderful way…we want an extraordinary thing that happens in an ordinary way. That’s always been the goal.”
More stills and quotes after the cut.
Robin Hood news coming later today. In the meantime, here are some great new stills and a featurette.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters names Meryl Streep as honorary member to “an elite club that includes Toni Morrison, Stephen Sondheim and Jasper Johns.” As reader Sertan points out, Streep is the first person asked to join the Academy solely for achievement in acting.
Not even two Oscars, seven Golden Globes and a lifetime achievement prize from the American Film Institute prepared Streep for this.
“I have to say that I was stunned, and when they sent me the roster of people in the academy I just burst into tears,” Streep said in a recent telephone interview. “I couldn’t believe that I’d be even allowed in the kitchen.”
The 112-year-old academy announced Monday that Streep and conductor James Levine had been elected to a special category, established in 1983, for “Americans of great distinction in the arts whose work falls outside the traditional departments” of music (composition), literature and art.
Thanks to Kevin