26 Jan

Earlier today, while conducting research for an upcoming post on the career of best director hopeful Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), I made what I believe to be a rather interesting discovery.

15 years ago, Bigelow directed a movie called “Strange Days” (1995), a sci-fi thriller that revolves around a cutting-edge piece of technology getting into the wrong people’s hands. The technology? SQUID recordings — recordings made from one person’s cerebral cortex that, when played through a MiniDisc-like device, allow another person to feel and experience the same things.

Now maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that — employing a technological device to put oneself into another’s body, for better or worse — sound a hell of a lot like the purpose of avatars in James Cameron‘s new film “Avatar”?

Oh, wait… maybe that’s because Cameron — who was married to Bigelow from August 17, 1989 until 1991, and has remained her friend/supporter ever since — wrote the story, then co-adapted the story into the screenplay (along with Jay Cocks), and then co-produced the screenplay (along with Steven-Charles Jaffe) of “Strange Days.”

So… I suppose one might argue that Bigelow directed the first version of “Avatar”!

To get an even better sense of the similarities between the films, check out their trailers below…

Photo: James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow on the set of “Strange Days” in 1995. Credit: Merie W. Wallace for 20th Century Fox.

One Response

  1. Ed Symkus 27. Jan, 2010 12:16 am #

    The great scene in “Avatar” where Jake realizes his legs work, and he runs outside, is right out of “Strange Days” — a scene where Lenny brings a cassette of someone running on a beach to his wheelchair-bound pal in a video room (forgot the character’s name), and the guy straps on the SQUID, then joyously experiences running — and is practically crying afteward.

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