Deepsea Challenge 3D Dives to the Bottom of the Ocean and the Depths of James Cameron

August 6, 2014 2:41 PM

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Deepsea Challenge 3D Dives to the Bottom of the Ocean and the Depths of James Cameron

James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D is probably the closest we'll come to a memoir from the filmmaker. A documentary account of his 2012 dive to the bottom of the 36,000-foot Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench — the deepest known part of the world’s oceans — as well as the months and years spent preparing for it, the film begins with staged scenes of the young Cameron discovering his love of the sea and of underwater exploration. We see him as a young boy, cutting a hole in a cardboard box and pretending it’s a submarine and putting a small mouse in a jar labeled “Sealab” and lowering it into the water. But this film, which was directed by John Bruno, Andrew Wight, and Ray Quint, isn’t just about James Cameron the filmmaker turned explorer. As the movie unfolds, something subtler emerges about the man.

The ocean has always had a powerful hold on Cameron, as evidenced in films like The Abyss and Titanic. It’s not just a setting for him; he understands the dark loneliness of the sea. Titanic was his great tribute to its unspeakable vastness; once the waves took hold of that teeming, state-of-the-art...

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