James Cameron, whose 2009 hit AVATAR raised the ire of conservative critics for its pro-environment message, has given an interview to Politico, in which he discusses the issues that inspired him to make the film. I know the conventional wisdom among elite science fiction fans is supposed to be that Cameron is arrogant and full of himself, but he makes a lot of sense in the interview, focusing not on himself or his films but on the bigger political issues.
Cameron was in town last week, along with “Avatar” star Sigourney Weaver, to testify on Capitol Hill about various issues, including a proposed dam project in Brazil. He also met Barack Obama for the first time — the president said he and his family enjoyed the 3-D movie.
“Oh, yeah, he was highly complimentary about the film,” Cameron said, nonchalantly. “That’s great, but it’s just a movie. … Does it engender some rise in consciousness at a national and international level? It remains to be seen.”
Speaking of the mega-grossing 3-D movie, Cameron hopes that it can serve as a business model for others.
“Look at ‘Avatar’: It’s good for the environment and it’s good for the economy,” said Cameron. “That’s the paradigm that we all need to look towards. The Republicans have created this concept that you can either have a healthy economy or you can work on the environment — but you can’t do both. You have to choose between them — but you don’t! … What’s good for energy and what’s good for the environment is ultimately going to be good for the nation.”