Sunday, November 1, 2009

The New Yorker: Volume LXXXV, NO. 34, October 26, 2009


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Spotlight on “Man of Extremes: The Return of James Cameron” By Dana Goodyear

It’s great that The New Yorker is devoting this much space to film. This James Cameron profile goes on for roughly 12 pages (and if you’ve ever read The New Yorker you’ll know that each page is comprised of 3 columns, so that’s a lot of teeny tiny text). But, and this is the important part, this is an article about James Cameron! As beloved as his tech-noir films are (and that’s The New Yorker’s term, not mine), this is the guy who made Titanic—a movie so unequivocally girly that it might as well have been called Fallopian Tubes. I understand that it was one of the hugest blockbusters in movie history, and yes, I did see it twice in the theater when I was a cornball 14-year-old girl, but I don’t need this much information about James Cameron, okay. I don’t need to know that he likes scuba diving or that his hair has grown over the course of a year or that he stopped drinking caffeine after Terminator 2. I mean, if this were a profile of Josh Charles, then yes, all of that stuff would be crucial. But James Cameron? C’mon.

Avatar may very well be the film that changes the way we understand 3D and movies in general, but this article is just too long. I know that the intended audience of this particular publication isn’t the sci-fi/fantasy nerd contingent. So who wanted this? We have a huge supply of James Cameron facts here, but was there really a demand? The answer is, no. No, there wasn’t.

Goodyear’s profile is superbly written (but what else would you expect, right?) and I want to read more of her work. Her writing is by far the most accessible of what I read this time around and the only reason I was able to finish the article was because of that accessibility. But jeez, the subject.

In the end James Cameron shows himself to be sort of douchey. I’ll probably seeAvatar, though.

Number of times scuba diving is mentioned: 6

Best moment:

“Hamilton was going to get scuba-certified, but the relationship unraveled too rapidly for that.”

Flotsam and Jetsam

•Cameron has been married five times.

•O.J. Simpson was in consideration for the role of the terminator.

•Cameron is a member of the Mars Society—an organization that advocates the human exploration and settlement of the planet.

•Cameron has a piece of shrapnel in his forearm, a souvenir from the Terminator 2 shoot.

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