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James Cameron's Great Oration

Avatar opens up a line of dialogue about fundamental questions of existence.

While a New York Times op-ed piece calls Avatar "a long apologia for pantheism," Wheaton College Associate Professor of Theology Jeffrey W. Barbeau says that's not necessarily a bad thing in this guest blog post for CT Movies.


Critics frequently bash blockbuster films for lacking the aesthetic, philosophic, and dramatic characteristics that distinguish them as works of art—and no one knows that better than James Cameron. His 1997 blockbuster, Titanic, displayed awe-inspiring technology while mixing history and dramatic fiction in a tragic, imaginative tale of enduring love. Critics demurred, complaining that the storyline was frequently cliché, sentimental, and relied on stereotypical characters (the vagabond, the repressed young woman, etc.). When Cameron declared, upon receiving 11 Oscars for Titanic, "I'm the king of the world!", backlash was strong.

Cameron likely won't win as many Oscars with Avatar, the current No. 1 movie on our planet, but it's a genius achievement of cinematography, ...

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