Cameron ultimo erede di una lunga tradizione?

Il Telegraph di Londra, in un suggestivo pezzo di Tom Shone, rivendica per James Cameron un posto nella tradizione hollywoodiana degli entertainer, da Griffith a De Mille, da Selznick a Spielberg, capaci di creare grandi film per un pubblico ancora più grande.

La vera rivoluzione di Avatar non è tanto nel 3D o nella performance capture, quanto nella capacità di aprirsi ad un mercato veramente globale.

Occorre guardare  alla proporzione degli incassi mondiali: diversamente da molti illustri blockbuster pensati da Lucas e co., prevalentemente per la sensibilità del pubblico americano, Avatar sta incassando meravigliosamente in tutto il mondo, così come già Titanic.

La quota guadagnata in Nord America è inferiore al 30%. Mentre era del 40, 50, persino 60% con i kolossal classici.

Il mercato americano diventa allora solo una parte del gioco e non la forza trainante dell’industria cinematografica occidentale. Lo stesso Cameron l’ha detto, accettando il Golden Globe: “What we do is we make movies for the global audience.”

In one sense, Avatar finishes what Star Wars started, as is often the way with revolutions. First, the boy-wonders headed out into the field – the Spielbergs, the Lucases, the Trotskys, the Dantons – to be followed by a more steely-eyed strategist – a Napoleon, a Stalin, a Cameron – who bides his time, picks his moment and becomes king of the world.

Cameron has something else in common with those men: he is not a native of the country he has come to represent, but was born and raised in Canada….

Qui il discorso di Shone si fa più politico e cerca di spiegare la particolare ambiguità di Cameron, un pacifista ecologista, affascinato irrimediailmente dalle armi, un liberale anti-corporations ed il regista che usa le grandi major hollywoodiane per inseguire i suoi sogni e le sue visioni.

The most important fact about Cameron, however, is that when he was five, he saw the United States invade Vietnam, and was 21 by the time they extricated themselves. This meant that during his teenage years – his formative years as a filmmaker – Cameron witnessed the long, slow, humiliating defeat of the giant who lived next door. It made a big impression, instilling in him a curious political mixture, the leanings of a liberal trapped inside the titanium exoskeleton of a hawk – or as Colonel Quaritch says in Avatar: “A marine inside a Na’vi body. That’s a potent mix.”

It certainly is for the movies, which soon get bored with people in perfect agreement with themselves. Francis Ford Coppola was all set to make his definitive anti-war movie until scriptwriter John Milius rolled up to complicate matters with his love of surfing and 10-gallon hats and the smell of napalm in the morning. The result was Apocalypse Now.

Cameron is like Coppola and Milius in space.

Anche Shone non può che mettere a confronto l’ultimo Avatar con il lontano Aliens:

Sigourney Weaver may have worried about all the military hardware on display in his Aliens – “Here I am, a member of the gun control lobby,” she complained “and all I do all day is shoot guns” – but remember what happens: the marines descend to the surface of LV-426, whooping it up while they load their gunclips, only to find all their firepower is effectively useless, their armour more hindrance than help. The movie is a study in hubris.

It is this feel for the dynamics of an asymmetric fight, his interest in how small forces defeat larger ones, that lends Cameron’s films their punch. How the mighty fall is Cameron’s big theme…

 

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