Monday, August 11, 2014

James Cameron starts a new career in "Deepsea Challenge 3D" as the explorer himself, in real "parts unknown"

Big-scale film director James Cameron, 61, produced his autobiographical adventure “Deepsea Challenge 3D” (directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint and Andrew Wright), partly to document his own career transition to explorer. He has a devoted wife and five children, and he says that pursuing his own goals is a way to set a good example for his kids, using somewhat libertarian thinking. Cameron looks lean and fit in this film as a man entering his seventh decade, ready for a military-like naval adventure.

The endgame was to dive in a special sub, built around a “sphere” to house Cameron at the end, to a depth of 36000 feet, in the New Britain channel, off the New Guinea coast, north of Australia. 

Cameron finds no obvious organisms at this depth. Few animals except tubeworms can live at depths much over one mile.  Cameron does take some bottom samples to look for bacteria.  The area of land in these deep trenches has an area about that of North America.

Cameron does show some sea cucumbers and a new jellyfish, but no "box jellyfish" (July 13 and July 16). 
Cameron mentions his earlier big films, “The Abyss” (1989) and “Titanic” (1997) and shows some more footage of the Titanic.

He also introduces much of the Australian crew working for him. A few crew men are played by actors (Lachlan Woods and Frank Lotito). The people do have to work in very close quarters, like in the Navy in a submarine.  There are many scenes around Sydney harbor early in the film, which had considerable Australian financing.

Later, there are impressive scenes of the volcanoes of New Guinea; major villages were destroyed (I'm not sure which community was shown, as there have been so many eruptions; children were playing in the ruins.)  Cameron says that the landscapes inspired the design of planet Pandora in "Avatar".

Just before the closing credits, Cameron shows images of the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter, as if to suggest he would like to go.  Pretty soon, it will be appropriate to consider what kind of person could move to Mars to start a settlement, live there permanently, and never return. I think Titan is interesting. 

The official site is here,  from National Geographic.  The distributor seems to be “Disruptive LA”.

I saw this in a small auditorium at Regal Ballston Monday night.  It seemed to be a performance just for me.
Wikipedia attribution link for tubeworm picture.

This is a good place to mention the 1998 science fiction film “Sphere” by Barry Levinson, based on a novel by Michael Crichton, about a relic alien submarine discovered in the abyss, perhaps recalling Cameron’s own film. 

Tonight, the media is covering heavily the death of actor Robin Williams, at 63.  More about that on my TV blog.

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