“If I was living to be 200, I could still be working on things that I already have in my mind right now.” That is the essence of a storyteller and one of the best lines I think I’ve ever heard from anyone that’s responsible for telling an awesome and gripping story. James Cameron has managed to put himself in a class of his own throughout the years by creating movies that are both riveting and thought-provoking in so many different ways that the casual viewer usually has to watch his films at least twice in order to capture everything that he’s trying to show and tell.
One thing that is a little confusing however is this statement, “All my movies are love stories.”. You might think this kind of odd coming from a guy that’s made films like Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but you would also need to look at the dynamics that he puts into his movies. Cameron is very detail-oriented at times but he comes at a film from both directions, meaning he’s technically-minded but also wants to show the human emotion in the movie that can’t be ignored. So if you really look at the two movies I just named you should be able to find the human aspect within them that allows each one to be a great story that is able to coexist within the framework of the overall movie.
Aliens is by and large a science fiction horror story to be honest, but if you happen to look at the dynamic between Newt and Ripley you’ll see that the love between a mother figure and a daughter is very real as they grow close throughout the film. That one bond tends to bring out a little more humanity in the rest of the group than might have existed otherwise. Plus it gives Ripley a chance to develop and to become something more than just a survivor. In effect she becomes a protector as she seeks to defend and save Newt from the dark and very unknown creatures that she’s only encountered once before.
Sarah Connor and her son have a very strained relationship in T2, but there is still a side of John that doesn’t want to let his mother go, otherwise her picture would no longer be in his pack. While she shows a great amount of disdain for her when the mention of what she did comes up, John still doesn’t hesitate to think about her when the Terminator suggests that they get out of town. In fact he demands that they go and pick her up even though the Terminator insists that the T-1000 will be looking for her as well.
It’s a twisted, warped kind of love story but the human emotion that is necessary is there, as is the continual exploration that Cameron craves. He essentially makes Hollywood movies in order to pay for the explorations that he undertakes in an effort to tell the greatest story he can find. He’s a film maker that lives to explore, and that’s one of the best kind.