Fellow directors shower praise on Cameron

HOLLYWOOD — Few will remember 2009 as one of cinema’s great years but at least it ended on a dramatic note: “the most expensive movie ever made” premiering in 3D at Grauman’s Chinese Theater to an audience packed with industry heavy-hitters.

And listening to the Dec. 16 aud, James Cameron‘s “Avatar” delivered on the hype.

“He’s a genius, and it’s a work of brilliance,” said DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg while he was applauding during the standing ovation over the credits.

Matt Groening was standing a couple rows behind and said, “I feel like this is a landmark in the history of cinema: it’s great storytelling using completely artificial means.”

In the lobby, all Danny DeVito could say was: “Ohmigawd, that’s off the charts, blown out of the park.”

After-party was upstairs in the Hollywood & Highland ballroom, where Michael Bay said Cameron “puts you in another world, and that’s the highest praise.” And Michael Mann said: “There’s before this movie and after this movie.”

For his part, Cameron said what touched him most deeply was the reaction of other helmers: “It takes a director to know what a director goes through.”

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