Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James Cameron making a Hiroshima/ Nagasaki film? Good or bad idea?

by Chris MaGee

Okay, let's have a show of hands... How many of your out there have seen "Avatar"? Alright, we're not so tech savvy at the Pow-Wow that we're set up with two way video conferencing, but we'll safely assume that many, many, many of you out there have gone to see James Cameron's 3D space epic. And for all of you out there (like myself) who have not seen "Avatar" yet you will most likely remember the level of detail and technical skill that Cameron and his crew brought to the sinking of the Titanic in his previous blockbuster of the same name. Is there anyone out there who does epic better than Cameron at the moment? It's doubtful, but when I read the rumour over at Japanator that Cameron was thinking of tackling the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for an upcoming project... well, I got a bit suspicious... and worried.

Okay, ther details first - According to the Japanator report last month ago when James Cameron(above left) was in Japan doing promotion for "Avatar" the director also made time to visit 93-year-old Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person to have witnessed and survived both the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. There are no details as to what this visit might have been for, and very sadly Yamagichi passed away on January 4th; but this past weekend Cameron bought the rights to the upcoming non-fiction book "The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back" by Charles Pellegrino due out from Henry Holt and Co. on January 19th. There's no hard and fast evidence here, but it's easy to surmise that Cameron is at least considering this as an upcoming project.

The first, and thankfully up to this point only, atomic weapons attack in world history is probably as epic as you will get, but it is also one of the most tragic moments in human history, an event that has to be approached very carefully by any author, artist, or in this case filmmaker. The course of human history didn't change after the Titanic sunk, but it certainly did after the bombing of these two citites. I would have complete faith in James Cameron's technical ability to capture these horrific events, but given the fact that he inserted a cliched Harlequin Romance plotline at the center of "Titanic" I do question his storytelling skill. Without a believable human perspective a film of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would be a lot of grizzly special effects for special effects sake - not the way you want to approach this subject matter.

Well, as I said above, this is just a rumour at this point, but have your say in the comments as to what you think about the possibility of James Cameron taking on a film of this scope.

5 comments:

Elana said...

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Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Accidentally deleted the above post when I was trying to edit it, but here it is again:

James Cameron has done some documentaries in the past about deep sea life and the actual Titanic(the real sunken ship, not his narrative film), so I think if he did something it would most likely be that than a full-fledged fictional film. I'd welcome it; any film that explores the morality and experience of the events would be intriguing to me.

Chris MaGee said...

I agree on the documentary front, Dave. Good point. I just get nervous about a fictional film on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as told from a "Titanic"-like perspective.

Robert-Philippe Masse said...

Well, I don't really see the interest in making a movie about that. Not everything has to be made in a fiction movie. By seeing how Cameron is good to make something far from the reality, I'm not sure he would be the better guy for this job. Plus, if he puts the script of Pocahontas on this... hmm...