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Cameron: From Saving Pandora to Saving Ourselves

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Over the past weekend I listened to two really great interviews conducted by film critic Elvis Mitchell, host of KCRW’s The Treatment. The first one, with director Guy Ritchie, I’ll get into in another post. It’s the second one I want to get into first.

Elvis and Avatar director James Cameron had a roughly 40 minute talk about the role film can play in reforging our connection to the natural world. Actually, it was about a lot of things, but that was one of the main themes I came away with. Here’s what is unarguably my favorite quote from Cameron that night:

We’ve got some major, major challenges ahead of us as a civilization. But you know, we’re a smart, resourceful people. We’ve… we’ve survived amazing things throughout history. We’re going to figure this out.

This is something I felt compelled to share, because I’ve been on what might seem to the neophilie crowd as a real Luddite bender. Which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cameron essentially goes on to say that people are drawing the wrong message from Avatar if they think he is advocating a Rousseauian back-t0-nature solution. For one, he succinctly points out, we wouldn’t know how to live that way. (The first episode of James Burke’s Connections illustrates that issue brilliantly.)

When I get up on this soap box every week or so and start launching broadsides at the status quo of our culture it’s out of a deep seated belief that we can be doing better. Technology is the physical manifestation of Humanity’s ability to think up creative solutions to problems.

As far as problems go, we’ve got some doozys right about now.

Written by njnelson

March 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

Posted in PhilosophyGuy

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