Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Medley of "Avatar" Items

Hi, Michael here with a roundup of three small but cool Avatar-related items from the past week.

1. Zoe Saldana talked with MTV about her experiences on Avatar and Star Trek.  A few tidbits from the article:

On seeing an early cut of Avatar: When asked if Saldana had seen the film, she admitted to glimpsing an early cut. “I have, yes,” she revealed, struggling to find words to describe it.
“I can’t curse so I’ll just say it looks nice,” she laughed. “What I really want to say is going to get bleeped out.”

On her dedication to the role: "Avatar’ by far is the most physically strenuous film I’ve ever done,” Saldana, no newbie to the biz, admitted. “A role had never challenged me to the point where it freaked me out and scared me. And ‘Avatar’ definitely did that.” “I really have high hopes for it,” Saldana explained. “Because for two years I gave every bit of me in that part.”
2. Is Avatar in 3D Like Doing Drugs?  Josh Quittner, the Time reporter who got to see footage from Avatar, talked to the New York Times about his experience: “It was like doing some kind of drug,” he said, describing a scene in which the movie’s hero, played by Sam Worthington, ran around “with this kind of hot alien chick,” was attacked by jaguarlike creatures and was sprinkled with sprites that floated down, like snowflakes.

Cameron has spoken about his theory that viewing 3D content utilizes more neurons, and now the Times gives us this: Dr. Mario Mendez, a behavioral neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, said it is entirely possible that Mr. Cameron’s work could tap brain systems that are undisturbed by conventional 2-D movies. One, he said, is a kind of inner global-positioning system that orients a person to the surrounding world.

“Three-D demonstrably creates a space that triggers this GPS; it’s really very stimulating,” Dr. Mendez said. He added that he had used virtual-reality therapy in working with soldiers at the Veterans Administration hospital in Los Angeles — and found himself jarred by his experience with a “virtual Iraq” simulation.

“It was with me for days and days,” Dr. Mendez said.

3. Steven Soderbergh, who had previously told Total Film that there would be "Before that movie and After," spoke to, saying the following: "I've seen some stuff and holy sh*t. It's the craziest sh*t ever. That could negate everything I just said."

Even more exciting than this quote, however, is that Soderbergh believes that Avatar will be a benchmark in cinema, like The Godfather. From Comingsoon.netWe were asking why he thought recent films didn't have quite the impact or longevity as the classics, and he gave us a great response about how the volume of movies being made and seen made it hard for anything to have the cultural impact of a movie like The Godfather or be remembered. He was disappointed there weren't those sorts of benchmarks in the movies being made today, but he surprised us by adding that he thought James Cameron's Avatar would be one of those benchmarks.

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