Friday 23 February 2018

Avatar gives director Terry Gilliam the blues

Richard Eden

James Cameron's 3D science fiction epic Avatar has been attacked by Terry Gilliam, the former Monty Python animator.

It has made more money than any other film in the history of cinema and been nominated for nine Oscars, but Avatar's success has now provoked a backlash.

Terry Gilliam, the former Monty Python animator who became an acclaimed director, has accused James Cameron's 3D epic of limiting the opportunities for more thoughtful films.

"There are so many small, beautiful film-makers and actors and directors with so much potential that just can't get a look in because the studios are just pumping all their money into these huge projects," he complained at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards.

"There are such incredible lower-budget films that are magical, but we've got our work cut out with things like Avatar coming out. How are these young talents supposed to get a look in without the budget? That's the sad thing, because they are just as good."

The director of Time Bandits and Brazil added: "Those huge blockbusters that the studios spend millions upon millions of dollars on ... I mean, Avatar, they spent like $400,000 (€293,968) just promoting the thing. How can anyone compete with that?"

Barry Norman, the veteran film critic, says for his part: "Avatar will win all the awards this year: not that it deserves to. James Cameron's films are designed to make money and that they do well. The films that make the most money are not the best films."

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