James Cameron on Trump & his minions: ‘These people are insane’

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James Cameron – the Oscar-winning director of Titanic – has an interesting new-ish interview with the Daily Beast. Cameron is currently promoting a documentary called Atlantis Rising, about a group of archeologists searching for (you guessed it) Atlantis. The conversation quickly moved to Cameron’s years of environmental work, his years furthering the technological aspects of filmmaking, and his belief that everyone in the Trump administration is flat-out crazy. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Why the awards shows lately have had bad ratings: “There have been a few times throughout the history of the Oscars where a wildly popular film was well-received, but your typical year the Academy takes the position of: “It is our patrician duty to tell the great unwashed what they should be watching,” and they don’t reward the films that people really want to see—that they’re paying money to go see—and they’re telling them, “Yeah, you think you like that, but what you should be liking is this.” And as long as the Academy sees that as their duty, don’t expect high ratings. Expect a good show, and do that duty, but don’t whine about your ratings. Titanic was a very unusual case. I’m not saying it’s a better film than films before or after, or it was necessarily a better year in general, but it was a film that made a boatload of money and got a lot of nominations. The next time we see that, we’ll see ratings go up. It’s that simple.

Actors don’t like films that are heavy on technology: “There’s definitely a bias. The Academy still has a majority of its members that are actors. Look, I love actors, but that’s how they think—they’re generally skeptical of technology. So when they see a film that’s too dependent on visual effects, they say, oh, that’s not an acting movie…Even though I’ve spent an awful lot of time on scripts and on performance, I still love doing big, visual cinema. I doubt I’ll even get nominated again, but if I did, I’m probably going to lose to a Woody Allen movie. That’s the nature of it. So you don’t try to serve two masters.”

His environmental work: “A lot of my work that’s not specifically on the Avatar films—my activism—is around climate, and sustainability, and sustainable land use, and sustainable agriculture, but climate is number one. Years ago, we sort of spotted the iceberg ahead of us and we called out the order to turn, and we’ve been slowly, slowly, slowly trying to turn this big-ass ship to not hit the iceberg, and then Trump grabbed the tiller and just plunged it right back at the center of the iceberg. So am I worried? Of course. I’m like anyone of good conscience and reasonable intelligence. I think we’re the biggest freakin’ idiot civilization in history right now, and they’ll probably be talking about us 4,000 years from now scratching their heads—like they talk about Atlantis. Who are those guys? What did they do to piss off the gods so much that they’re buried under a hundred feet of mud right now?

Trump has greenlighted Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines: “Oh, I know. And by the way, he nominated a guy to run the EPA [Scott Pruitt] who has eight lawsuits against the EPA, and refuses to recuse himself from those lawsuits! It’s basically the upside-down world right now, and the kind of dialogue coming out of these guys sounds like George Orwell. Alternate facts? There’s no such thing as an alternate fact! These people are insane. But I’m keeping my head down, doing the stuff that I thought I would be doing if Hillary was elected. I’m making my Avatar films, I’m doing my climate work, I’m doing my sustainable agriculture work. You can only do what you can do.

[From The Daily Beast]

“These people are insane.” YES. And he’s also right about how this exact moment in history will be studied 4,000 years from now. Well, I mean, if there are even still human beings and such a thing as “studying history” 4,000 years from now, where earth has been renamed Trumpus and zombies who survived the nuclear holocaust become sentient.

Also: The Daily Beast asks him at the beginning what he thinks about the prevailing theory that in Titanic, Jack could have climbed onto the plank with Rose and they both could have lived. Cameron laughs off the theory and the Mythbusters episode devoted to it, basically saying that Jack would have died from hypothermia no matter what the scenario. I think I agree with that?

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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18 Responses to “James Cameron on Trump & his minions: ‘These people are insane’”

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  1. Kitten says:

    “I think we’re the biggest freakin’ idiot civilization in history right now, and they’ll probably be talking about us 4,000 years from now scratching their heads—like they talk about Atlantis. Who are those guys? What did they do to piss off the gods so much that they’re buried under a hundred feet of mud right now?”

    Amen.
    I know Cameron can be a fussy dude but I liked this interview, for obvious reasons.

    • Daisy says:

      I read somewhere that the Western world now looks like the last 100 years of the Roman Empire before it all went up in flames.

      • Kitten says:

        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
        I just keep hoping things will get better but so far I see no signs of that, only impending doom.

      • Bethany says:

        The Romans invited the Germanic tribes in to help defend their empire. Said Germanic tribes destroyed the empire. Red states have invited in the devil. Devil is trying to destroy the entire freaking USA.

    • SM says:

      Yes. Finaly. Some perspective from a white, middle aged-older ritch dude who should be out of touch. Take a cue, Matthew Mcgivehimachance

  2. minx says:

    I ran across this interview last week and really enjoyed it. Cameron is right.

  3. Sam says:

    I think he underestimates them.

    Trump is a buffoon. He is not smart, he is not shrewd, or anything like that.

    HOWEVER, Miller is shrewd. Bannon is not dumb. Nor is Kushner. They are smart enough to manipulate Trump into giving them exactly what they want. Trump is the puppet that they can make dance for the public while they go about their ways with almost nobody noticing. I’m not especially worried about Trump bloviating on Twitter, I’m worried about what these people are doing when nobody is looking.

    ETA: Not to “defend” the USA here, but I think Cameron misses one important thing – this is kind of an international phenom right now. There is a very distinct chance that Marine Le Pen could win the presidency of France, Wilders could become a major force in the Netherlands, etc. If you look at Europe, the right is gaining almost everywhere. Trump may be the most extreme (and unqualified) example, but the US is not alone in this insanity.

  4. Mia4S says:

    He is so right about the Oscars. There is nothing wrong with what they nominate but the Academy is a bit niche now, and it is what it is. The ratings will be decent this year as La La Land and Hidden Figures are popular. Will the ratings be as good as if say, Rogue One, was in the best picture conversation? Nope!

    The Academy has to decide what it wants to be. If you start nominating Star Wars and Dark Knight type movies ratings will rise, but you miss the opportunity to champion some smaller works like Moonlight. Make your choice Academy….or hope that there is a $400 million grossing historical drama waiting in the wings (paging Chris Nolan?).

    • Sam says:

      The issue I take with Cameron is that he is partially right – technology should not be a barrier to a film getting nominated. However, most of us also get that technologically great films often get that way at the expense of the acting and other things. Avatar was beautiful to look at, but that doesn’t change that he essentially remade Ferngully (minus the fairies and the talking bat). There is not a ton of overlap between technologically advanced films and films with great acting, story and pathos – and Cameron’s films generally don’t bridge it (I would say maybe The Abyss got close, but that ending ruined it).

      • justcrimmles says:

        It’s more like the Green Sky trilogy, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. To be unnecessarily nitpicky 😜

  5. Pandy says:

    Not getting into Emperor Baby Fists today. Refusing!! I will say I don’t bother watching awards shows except to see if they have a decent opening monologue from a comedian AND of course to see beautiful gowns.

  6. Rapunzel says:

    Trump and co and his followers are not insane. They are stupid, ignorant, stubborn, delusional, in denial, racist, bigoted, illogical, homophobic, islamaphobic, transphobic, paranoid, lazy, greedy and evil maybe. But not insane.

    • Linda says:

      I can agree that they are not all insane. But how can millions of people all be all of the things you just stated. No matter how much James Cameron has achieved in his career I think he is just so over rated and full of himself

      • Rapunzel says:

        I didn’t mean they were all of these things, just that these were more accurate adjectives. And I said maybe.

  7. DesertReal says:

    Never thought I’d read a Cameron interview that I agree with as much as this.
    This is turning out to be an even stranger Tuesday than work made it out to be lol

  8. d says:

    Cameron sounds surprisingly lucid here. I like his approach to just keep his head down and keep doing good work. I think that’s the only way to get through anything…just forge on, keep your eye on the good goals, and don’t let all the noise and crap get to you or get in your way.
    I go back and forth whether Trump is dumb or not. I think he’s cunning though, very cunning and vicious and amoral…business lets you get away with that. Governance though…it depends on the people around him and how engaged the populace will be in defending their democratic structures should the Trump and the people around him go over and above the constraints enshrined by law and whatever other legal restrictions are in place to prevent a president from going rogue all the way to autocracy. From the outside, I sort of think the scope of governing a country like the United States with its sizable population will become so overwhelming that most of his people, if not Trump himself, will flame out. I think that`s why weak leaders go the dictator route; it`s a lot easier to just tell people what to do. Governing a democracy demands a lot of patience, an ability to communicate and negotiate and so on that I`m not sure a lot of Trump people have.

  9. Phooey says:

    Why is this site sticking its nose into politics? Aren’t there enough political sites already? As for the delusional Cameron, how did Cameron get to Australia from his huge house and car junkyard outside LA? Answer, by jet. Naughty James, burning carbon fuels to attend a premiere of a film that he didn’t direct. He came all this way for publicity purposes, which surely is an unnecessary extravagance. Just another case of money and ego ahead of environment from a Hollywood communist and greenie.