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Director James Cameron (R) talks with actors Sigourney Weaver (L) and Joel David Moore on the set of Avatar: The Way of Water. Photo courtesy of Mark Fellman. © 2022 20th Century Studios.

Part 1: James Cameron’s Avatar sequel needs repeat viewing to succeed

Skeptics of director James Cameron have bet against him various times, and failed. His 1997 Titanic, held the highest grossing film of all time, until he released Avatar in 2009, which became the number one box office hit, and still holds that title. Now, Cameron believes box office success for Avatar: The Way of Water will depend, like his 1997 film Titanic, on repeat viewing. “It's not going to be about a big weekend, no matter how big that weekend is. People have to want to see it again,” he explains. 

In the first installment of a two-part conversation, Cameron discusses the challenges of making Avatar: The Way of Water, how his “arranged marriage” to Disney has worked out, his view of streaming releases, and what’s next in the franchise.

Tár (2022)

Tár director Todd Field on what the audience brings to his films

Director Todd Field’s three films have each had elements of a thriller. His first two were the critically acclaimed In The Bedroom, and Little Children. Now Tár follows a fictional female conductor, played by Cate Blanchett, whose life and career are unraveling. Field tells The Treatment that the meaning of the film and his opinion about Blanchett’s character changed for him often as he edited the film. He also talks about the freedom he had in creating the story and about the importance of what the audience brings to the film’s meaning.

The robot M3GAN takes her instructions a little too seriously in an upcoming horror movie starring Allison Williams and Violet McGraw. Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

M3GAN looks at dilemma of outsourcing parenting to tech

Critics Katie Walsh and Carlos Aguilar review the latest film releases on KCRW. First is the horror-sci-fi-thriller directed by Gerard Johnstone about a robotics engineer at a toy company who builds a life-like doll that begins to take on a life of its own on M3GAN. Then, they look into Alcarràs, a Catalan-language movie about a family of peach farmers who are dealing with the legacy of family land. It is directed by Carla Simón. Mars One, by Gabriel Martins, follows a working-class Brazilian family that is struggling. Finally, Marc Forster’s A Man Called Otto stars Tom Hanks as a grumpy old man named Otto, who is a suicidal widower. It’s based on the Swedish novel A Man Called Ove.

Photo courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse.

Pasadena Playhouse opens 2023 season with first-ever student-led production

The new year brings a new season and collaboration to Pasadena Playhouse. The theater will co-produce a student-led production of the late Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, partnering with Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). Long in the works, the season celebrates Sondheim’s catalogue and was designed to bring people back to the theater after pandemic closure. “We work very hard here at the Playhouse to take the elitism of theater out of it, and just meet everyone where they're at,” says Artistic Director Danny Feldman.

Entertainment news and updates for the…

Disney fans: How Disney made it to its 100th year in The Hollywood Reporter.

TV show bingers: The most anticipated TV shows of 2023 in Rolling Stone. 

ballet admirers: Juilliard’s first Black dance director is dragging ballet out of the 1800s on Jezebel.

divers: This Mexico resort town has an underwater museum with 500 statues on the Matador Network.

movie lovers: Barbie, Cocaine Bear, Oppenheimer among the 40+ big films coming in 2023 in Houston Chronicle. 

Broadway devotees: The most anticipated Broadway shows opening in 2023 on CNN.

podcast listeners: Why audiences have given up on awards movies on The Ringer’s The Town. 

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