James Cameron has been exploring the oceans for 50 years, and here’s what he remembers

CINEMA – James Cameron is not just a director. He is also an explorer. The man behind titanic, Alien and of course Avatar -the biggest success in the history of cinema- has been observing the planet’s oceans for more than 50 years, while diving or aboard its submarines. And that’s a big part of what inspired the second installment. Avatar: The Way of the Waterat the cinema this Wednesday, December 14.

Kate Winslet and other actors in the feature film have said they learned to hold their breath in apnea for up to 8 minutes to shoot the sequence shots that James Cameron dreamed of for his new film. But he spent much more time underwater. ” When I was 16 I learned to dive because I wanted to see the ocean with my own eyes. “, tells the director to the HuffPost, in a video interview to discover at the top of this article.

And now I keep going lower and lower, further, with better machines and even to the deepest place in the world “, continues the one who notably reached in 2012 the record depth of 10,989 m aboard his submarine Deepsea Challenger in the mythical Mariana Trench. After the shooting of titanicfor which he had gone to look for images of the real wreckhe even became an explorer for the National Geographic for eight years.

And during this half-century of exploration, James Cameron has been fascinated by the beauty of the marine biodiversity that serves as a backdrop to Avatar: The Way of the Water, but it has also witnessed the degradation of the oceans due to climate change and human activities. ” It’s getting worse “, he breathes. ” When I was born in 1954 we were 3 billion people on the planet. Today we are 8 billion. How could this not have an impact on the nature around us and degrade it? While our civilization uses the oceans as toilets… »

shock people to make them react

Over the 3h12 of this new film, we return to Pandora to find the old Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who now has children with Neytiri (Zoé Saldana). Threatened by humans who are still just as eager for the riches of the planet of the Na’vis, the family hastily flees the forest to find refuge with a people who live by the water and where the warrior Ronal (Kate Winslet, back a quarter of a century later Titanic).

And behind the sublime images of the seabed and all the aquatic creatures that live there, Avatar: The Way of the Water also leaves more room for violence, with in particular a long grueling scene of tulkun hunting, a kind of huge whales 100 meters long who live with the Na’vis of the water, a metaphor for the massacres of whales and dolphins which persist in our reality. A violent ” intentional “, says the filmmaker, aiming to” shock people and make them react.

When I was little, Jacques Cousteau showed us what was happening in the depths. It was amazing, people were amazed. Today, we can no longer do the same thing. So we can go to science fiction to remind people of this deep spiritual connection they have with water, the beauty of nature “. And to conclude: Maybe then people will decide to do something for nature. Or maybe not. But as artists, we have to at least try. It’s the least we can do “.

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James Cameron has been exploring the oceans for 50 years, and here’s what he remembers