Cannes in a Van: Film in Transit - Logbook 4
Not long until the Oscars now and CANNES in a VAN are starting to feel the buzz.
After a week of catching up on my Oscar films, there are only a couple more films to go (although I’ve accepted that I won’t get to see Sandra Bullock’s BLIND SIDE, UK Release March 26th, in time for the ceremony).
I have a feeling that AVATAR will have a good sweep at the Oscars, and despite what we think should get the big awards, AVATAR will sweep in and take the Best Picture gong.
Although much has been written about the new Oscar voting system, which asks members to rate films from 1-10 to judge EACH of the ten film nominations. This could mean that something like UP or INGLORIOUS BASTERDS has a better chance, if they are consistantly high on the ballot papers…but I just keep thinking of back when TITANIC and LORD OF THE RINGS swept the ceremony. We haven’t had a big blockbuster like AVATAR up for the big prizes at the awards for quite some time now, that and the fact that it’s broken every financial record you can think of leads me to put down AVATAR at the top of my Oscar predictions.
Good luck to THE HURT LOCKER team though, I thought the film was brilliant and glad it cleaned up at the BAFTAs.
What does everyone else think will win?
Avatar Review *Spoiler Free*
Fern Gulley meets Aliens in 3D?
I love to get excited about cinema. I remember first seeing the trailer for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and excitement rose up in me like I’d not experienced before, as soon as the Lucas Film logo and the Star Wars music made an appearance I was hooked. Unfortunately, when the film (and the following sequels) emerged I also experienced a level of disappointment with film which I’d not experienced before. Over the years, I’ve fallen into exactly the same pattern with instalments to some of my favourite Hollywood franchises, X-Men 3 for example, and most upsettingly, Indiana Jones 4. So like a lot of film fans out there, I looked at Avatar cautiously. Writer/director James Cameron has claimed a number of times that this is the revolution of cinema, but should cinema goers believe his immodest claims?
Ultimately, the answer is yes. Putting on the 3D glasses was like being strapped into one of the Avatar machines from the film. Avatar is the spectacular cinema event of the year and takes the audience to somewhere new. Cameron is a keen storyteller, and manages to push the boundaries of technology to realise his tales. From Terminator to Titanic, he has been at the forefront of spectacular cinema.
It was jaw dropping from start to finish, it’s not because of elaborate set pieces or objects flying towards the audience, its because for 161 minutes, the audience is transported to a living, breathing and completely believable alien planet and get to witness its own eco-system and living jungle. The detail is obscene, but thoroughly rewarding.
All of this would of course be a waste of time if it didn’t have the storyline to back it up. Please don’t worry; this is as solid a sci-fi narrative as you could hope for, a classic fish out of water tale, with some depth. Whilst this is a hulking effort of cinema, the (uncomplicated) narrative is reassuringly solid, and revolves around a handful of intimate relationships. This gives the audience time to not only take in this fantastic new world being presented on screen, but to care about these characters and their development.
This is not to say that the film doesn’t have any problems, I agree it’s big and silly (The Na’vi are 12 foot tall, blue cats for starters) And sure, Cameron still can’t write (human) dialogue, and beware of Sam Worthington’s fluctuating accent. But none of this is problem enough not to detract a great deal from the experience at hand.
Cameron’s space opera is a thrilling piece of narrative cinema, which deserves the attention it has been stirring. It’s lengthy runtime flies by as it hits the ground running and avoids any unnecessary pauses in momentum.
For me, watching Avatar was a genuinely exciting experience, which reminded me of when I first saw Jurassic Park at the cinema, age 6, with my Dad. It was exciting because I felt it met my expectations, and then some.
Avatar is the kick up the arse that blockbuster cinema has been waiting for. See it in 3D where you can, on the biggest screen available.
(In cinemas nationwide from Thursday 17th December - special previews on Wednesday night)