Tuesday, February 28, 2006

James Cameron to direct another Sci Fi Pic anon

While taking in my daily dose of Yahoo! Movie News , I came across this article about film director James Cameron, and the announcement of an upcoming film that he will be helming. The project is called “The Dive”, which is based on the true story of two “free divers” Francisco Feraras and Audrey Mestre, and the romance which developed between them and culminated in their marriage. Sort of sounds like Walk The Line meets The Abyss.

However, it was not the announcement of “The Dive” that caught my eye. What I really got excited about was the film that Cameron will be working on before he tackles the bio-pic diver’s love story, Battle Angel. How this slipped under my purview, I’m not sure. Either I’m loosing my touch, or this next film is being kept, very, very hush hush. Apparently this past December, Cameron released a statement that he has begun work on the giant Sci-Fi blockbuster, Battle Angel.
The film will be written by Laeta Kalogridis, who wrote the Russian runaway sensation Nightwatch, who will adapt it from a well known anime graphic novel series by Yukito Kishiro.

Here’s a plot synopsis Cameron gave of the film in an interview with Comingsoon.net .

“…the story takes place 300 years after a societal collapse caused by a major war, but in that society, it's a technological dark age following a pinnacle of achievement far, far beyond where we are right now. So in a sense it's post-apocalyptic, but it's post-apocalyptic from a very high level. So now, you've got cyborg technology as just a way of life. People are augmented a lot as workers and so on, so being a cyborg is not unusual. The main character is a cyborg. She has an organic human brain, and she looks like she's about fourteen years old. She has a completely artificial body and she's lost her memory- she's found in this wreckage and she's reconstituted by this guy who is a cyber-surgeon who becomes her kind of surrogate father. It's a father-daughter relationship story that just has the most insane action that you can imagine. It will be PG-13 -- lots of blood, but it's all blue."

Sound bizarre? I thought so. I like the Frankenstein mythology built into the story of the protagonist, but I don’t really understand what Cameron means when he says “post-apocalyptic from a very high level.” As in civilization has been crushed but there is still a very high level of operating technology around?
Cameron has also said there will be fully CG animated characters, in the vein of Gollum and Jar Jar, but perhaps the most interesting tid bit of all is that it will be in 3-D. That’s right folks, we’ll be donning those goofy plastic glasses to see this pic when it comes out in 2008.

Cameron has gone to great lengths to show his passion for the film format that he has coined as cinema in “stereo.” His past two directorial endeavors have been 3D documentaries, Ghosts of the Abyss, and Aliens of the Deep. I saw Ghosts of the Abyss in an Imax theatre when it was released, and while it had some goofy narraration on the part of the amiable Bill Paxton, it was really impressive to see the sort of technology they had developed in order to film the wreckage of the Titanic in a way that had never been done before. The 3D element in GOTA did add a textured layer to the viewing experience, and it was especially clever because it made you feel like you were really riding side by side with the camera into the depths of the lost TItanic.

Conceptually, I think that 3D cinema can be really effective. Many people associate 3D with the sort of gag films that are at the Disney amusement parks where Jack in the Boxes are lurking at every turn ready to pop out at your face and make you yank your head back in your seat. Cameron definitely strays away from the gimmicky aspects of 3D, and wants to continue to expanding and pushing the boundries of the technique. However neat 3D might be, it is also the type of thing that works best in a vaccum. This probably sounds like a pedestrian concern/compaint, but there is an innate impracticality to 3D because of the necessary 3D glasses. I feel my cheeks burning red as I type this because of how nerdy it sounds, but as someone who wears prescription glasses on a regular basis, 3D glasses can be a real pain in the neck. You have to fit them over your glasses somehow, and they never fit right, and they can scratch your lenses. Even if you don’t wear glasses, you can still get stuck with a bum pair, one with smudged lenses, or cracked plastic. I think the downside of the progression of the 3D glasses from the flexible cardboard frames to unwieldy harsh plastic, is that you can no longer bring your own, as people would in the past.

3D aside, I for one am excited that James Cameron is getting back to his Sci-Fi roots. Remember James Cameron, the science fiction film director? He did some of the most memorable sci-fi films of the 80’s, greats such as Terminator 1& 2, Aliens and The Abyss? Since then he’s done some work as a producer on sci-fi films like Solaris, and the upcoming Godspeed, but it’s been about a decade since he actually directed one. It will be exciting to see the man who pioneered CG special FX to make use of it in a large scale after so much more progress has been made.


Anonymous crazymonk said...


4:07 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

that's bizarre, I didn't even know Harry posted that. Maybe we have a telekinetic link...

4:12 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Actually, if you look at the time of that posting, you'll see mine was done about an hour earlier!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

For a great short 3-D film, see here:

5:05 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Wow. That is one scary squirrel.

5:11 PM  

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