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Worlds Without End Blog

Cameron’s Brain Hurts Posted at 1:51 AM by Jonathan McDonald

jynnantonnyx

James Cameron had this to say in an interview with the LA Times:

No, [I'm] not so much an avid science-fiction reader anymore. I probably spend more time writing than reading science fiction. I find that science-fiction literature is so reactive to all the literature that’s gone before that it’s sort of like a fractal. It’s gone to a level of detail that the average person could not possibly follow unless you’re a fan. It iterates upon many prior generations of iterations. The literature now is so opaque to the average person that you couldn’t take a science-fiction short story that’s published now and turn it into a movie. There’d be way too much ground work you’d have to lay. It’s OK to have detail and density, but if you rely on being a lifelong science-fiction fan to understand what the story is about, then it’s not going to translate to a broader audience. Actually, literary science fiction is a very, very narrow band of the publishing business. I love science fiction in more of a pop-culture sense.

Full interview: "James Cameron: The ‘Avatar’ sequel will dive into the oceans of Pandora"

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8 Comments

htaccess   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 19:34

Sounds like rubbish to me but then I’m a lifelong science-fiction reader ….

Pierre   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 19:46

Ooohhh, so that’s why not many science fiction novels are turned into movies. Now, it all makes sense. I totally understand. It is so clear. I must translate as being part of that narrow (minded) audience! duh!.

Robin of My Two Blessings   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 19:56

My first response "Huh? What did he say?" He made my brain hurt. "The literature now is so opaque to the average person that you couldn’t take a science-fiction short story that’s published now and turn it into a movie. There’d be way too much ground work you’d have to lay" You mean he’d actually have to use his imagination and come up with something unique. Poor guy!

Wintermute   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 20:22

Maybe we shouldn’t take offense if we consider his last movie. It was a wonderful technical achievement but the story was one we have seen many, many times. Were there any surprises? Was it not entirely formulaic? Would a professor at a film school give it an A for originality? No. Nope. Negative. Right? I’m not alone in this, am I? It was such a predictable plot! Take District 9 as a counter example of essentially the same story – man among aliens, doesn’t think much of the aliens, learns to appreciate the aliens, realizes he was on wrong side, actually physically becomes an alien – and tell me that it wasn’t a fine, original way of telling the story. Anyway, I’d love to see movie versions of Neuromancer and Ender’s Game / Speaker of the Dead. Those are not too complicated are they?

Dave Post   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 20:36

Apparently you have to have read SF all you life to appreciate/understand SF. Unless you like it in a pop-culture sense. Which I guess means shallow cliche special-effects heavy extravaganzas like he makes. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Wintermute, you are not alone.

Pierre   |   21 Apr 2010 @ 20:47

Of course, I totally agree with you Wintermute, but Cameron has his own unique way (read ego) of turning everybody off. Worst of all, he probably does not even notice it.

whargoul   |   22 Apr 2010 @ 08:57

This from the guy that made a live-action FernGully.

Casey   |   23 Apr 2010 @ 16:01

I’m very nearly speechless by Cameron’s comments. Obviously, production companies are of the same opinion; take Sony’s lack of commitment to Moon for example. It just goes to show the focus on profit at the cost of integrity. Audiences are not stupid, but if they are forever treated as though they are, even lower standards will be a certainty.

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