James Cameron Fights Real-Life Avatar Battle in the Amazon Rain Forest

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James Cameron may be one hell of a filmmaker, but there’s something about his real world adventures that are starting to get on my nerves. In the years between the release of Titanic and Avatar, Cameron took on all kinds of macho excursions available only to a famous director with all the time and money in the world. He turned some of his undersea dives into documentary films, but let’s face it: it was all just an excuse to live out his own dreams of becoming an explorer. Now that Avatar is finished, he is at it again, and he has suddenly thrust himself into the middle of a battle between the government of Brazil and the indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest.

Cameron is trying to stop the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam that would “flood hundreds of square miles of the Amazon and dry up a 60-mile stretch of the Xingu River.” This week, a judge ruled that bidding on the contract would be temporarily halted. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with Cameron’s sudden interest in saving the environment, but these photos of him visiting the indigenous people wearing jeans and war paint almost seem offensive. It comes off as a privileged Hollywood big shot sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, just because he’s some kind of delusional adrenaline junkie.

Clearly it’s a good cause, but with all the problems in the world that he could be helping to solve, is this really the most important one? As Avatar heads to DVD and Blu-ray next week, it’s hard not to see this as a bit of a publicity stunt — not that the movie really needs any extra marketing help. He even brought a copy of Avatar to screen for the natives, although unfortunately I don’t think they got to see it in 3-D. I hope he at least showed it in high-def! What do you think, is James Cameron full of crap, or is his trip to the Amazon worthy of our admiration?



  • Kadugen

    All crap except for that spiffy hat.

  • Marc

    I’m siding with James Cameron on this. Go James go!

  • bullet3

    After his track-record, he can do whatever the fuck he wants and I’ll support him. And I find something awesome about the guy. You talk about his underwater dives as some kind of a bad thing. Personally, I think its cool that instead of spending his millions just partying and living it up, he actually pursued his scientific passion, funded these expeditions, and in the process contributed back to the scientific community.

  • projectgenesis

    LOL this should be an Onion headline but that picture is priceless. Agree with Marc…Go James Go!!

  • Primal

    Your coming off as ignorant Sean. I see the natives wearing jeans too and what appears to be nylon shorts.

    If you’ve seen a documentary or two about going into these places then that war paint is always earned and not offensive.

  • Somnium

    Its pretty cool that he’s doing all that. Somebody that cares and that is stepping up to do something about it. He has the resources to make a difference. His outfit does look a bit silly though, but the natives seem to be westernized anyway.

  • really Sean, moralizing on were celebrities spend their time?! You and Jay are celebrities and the only charity I hear you working with is Shut-ins, aka, REED!!!!

    double burn, he shoots he scores!

  • scoville

    It’s up there with Sean Penn’s “humanitarianism” as a publicity stunt. Only fools are falling for it.

    Primal,
    Are you really accusing someone of ignorance while not knowing the difference between you’re and your?

  • Dale

    Any celebrity involvement in a charitable cause can be argued as a publicity stunt. I’d argue it’s a moot point as I don’t believe Avatar or James Cameron are in need of publicity as I heard a rumor Avatar did well at the Box Office.

  • I’m sorry but when I see that picture all I can do is roll my eyes. If that makes me cynical and ignorant, then so be it.

  • Primal

    It’s a common mistake Scoville. I never bother to spellcheck my comments on FJ. If they ever get some forums up with the capabilities of editing comments, I would ch4nge 1t 4 you.

    lol Sean, just messing with you. Come on, it is hilarious. I just didn’t think it was offensive. But you said kinda, so my bad.

    I don’t know what spelling has to do with ignorance though. Can you explain?

  • Henrik

    Well, I think I can get behind James Cameron more so than other assholes like Christopher Reeve and Lance Armstrong, who only get into something because it all of a sudden affects them personally. At least Cameron seems to have a genuine interest in these things. But when I saw that picture I didn’t think it was real, it does seem absolutely ridiculous. Maybe that’s what makes it easier to swallow.

  • scoville

    It’s not a spelling mistake, but a grammatical one. Your defense of your spelling proves ignorance.

  • Matt

    Wait… So building a cheap, clean, renewable energy source on the Amazon = bad to James Cameron?

  • kyriacos

    The fact is that James just couldn’t sleep at night knowing some indigenous people exist out-there who haven’t seen his movie..

    He probably bang chief’s daughter for that screening..

  • Primal

    Of course it’s also a grammatical mistake.

  • Napalm

    @kyriacos: Lmao.

    I don’t know what to make of this. Dude seems to be serious about his environmental messages.

  • Steve

    That photo op is hilarious for many reasons.

  • kyriacos

    james cameron saving the environment… one indigenous tribe at a time..

  • jackson

    This seriously looks photo shopped.

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Cameron is so concerned about the environment why doesn’t he start with his industry. I have NEVER read about him creating less waste in the movie making process. No recycling of sets, no efficient use of energy and travel. Lara Ziskin had her office staff FedEx her bottle water from LA to NYC during the spiderman shoot!! Her staff drove to Malibu everyday to pick up her lunch from her private chef!

    It is fact that Cameron made all of his subordinates drive out to Malibu everyday and work in his guest house while developing Avatar. Instead of his precious ass driving to a central location he made all of these craftspeople drive from their homes out to an area that is hard to get to and back, probably in separate cars – that’s the LA way. He of course will justify it as his “precious genius, his precious time” whatever. Hollywood is so seduced by the big show, why do anything if its not broadcast to the world.

  • pcch7

    “This seriously looks photo shopped.”

    That´s what I thought too.

  • Possum Hunter

    “Wait… So building a cheap, clean, renewable energy source on the Amazon = bad to James Cameron?”

    Spot on Matt, this will provide power to millions who need it who don’t yet have it.

    “In the Amazonian region, most people have no access to electricity, or else have only a precarious supply. Due to several economic and technical reasons, many cities have old, inefficient diesel generators”.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/186g717qj1w067w8/

    But hey Cameron is on his crusade to stop those poor people from living the life he enjoys because he created a mythical race of blue cats that could plug into trees and he thinks we should all live like that – meanwhile after dancing around like a nut in war paint he buggers off back home to enjoy the luxuries provided by power he would deny those of the Amazon.

    Yes he’s a brilliant filmmaker but being able to imagine unreal idealistic worlds such as Pandora doesn’t qualify him to tackle the complexities of the real world.

  • Slix

    I’m with Matt and Possum about the dam. But I’ve got nothing against the King of the World taking a stand wherever he chooses. That’s his right. The picture just makes me think “photo op” ala Sean Penn and his “sinking boat.”

  • TheAllKnowingGod

    As if Avatar DVD needs publicity.

    If I had James Cameron’s money I’d do what I want as well.

    Deep sea diving in a futuristic pod would probably be one of them as well.

  • Ben

    Trash him all you like, but if he prevents this dam, he’s doing us all a favour. Because last time I checked the Amazon provides the world with 1/5th of its Oxygen.

  • brian

    ‘I don’t have a problem with Cameron’s sudden interest in saving the environment, but these photos of him visiting the indigenous people wearing jeans and war paint almost seem offensive. It comes off as a privileged Hollywood big shot sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, just because he’s some kind of delusional adrenaline junkie.’

    the amazonians think very differently to sean, who comes across as a hypocrite. If he knew more about the Amazon, he not be wondering if Camerons ‘sticking his nose’ where it does belong is right….cause clearly it is…HE can drawe media attention to their plight, as nobody else can, and shame Lula (supposedly a left wing leader) into not imitating AVATARS RDA: and riding roughshod over the indigenous people

  • brian

    ‘Wait… So building a cheap, clean, renewable energy source on the Amazon = bad to James Cameron?”

    Spot on Matt, this will provide power to millions who need it who don’t yet have it.

    “In the Amazonian region, most people have no access to electricity, or else have only a precarious supply. Due to several economic and technical reasons, many cities have old, inefficient diesel generators”. /
    ====================================
    The very people who are to be displaced wont benefit from this dam…that would be industry and the multinationals….
    In the amazon region, people wont have access to their land and homes if the dam goes ahead..where will the go?
    How green are dams? They arent in China or India where the Namada dam has disposed thousands of people, and created catastrophes.

    Cameron know more about this issue than his illinformed critics

  • Jesse

    James Cameron is a fucking idiot, he makes good movies apart from the fact that each one of them has some evil corporation who fucks over the little guy. All this hippie liberal wants is to bash on capitalism and exploit its problems every chance he gets. Yea if you put it in control of a selfish asshole capitalism is bad, but lets look at how that goes for socialism/communism; ever heard of a guy named Josef Stalin or try maybe Kim Jong Il, or should i say “the heaven-sent hero.” Fucking rediculous.