Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson reported this morning that the first Avatar screening — i.e., exclusively for the Hollywood Foreign Press — happened last night. And that she was told at the IDA Awards after-party by a person who’d attended (or who had talked to someone who attended, or whose brother-in-law heard from the parking-lot attendant who spoke to an HFPA guy) that Avatar is “a 161-minute movie with fab visual effects and [an] adolescent story.”

Meaning what exactly? I don’t know that it’s fair to call the story of Dances With Wolves “adolescent,” even if you transpose it to a rainforest moon called Pandora and throw in “a furry ballerina fighting off space marines with his freaking organic farm.” And…you know, mix it in with Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, blue cat-goats with tails that stand ten feet tall, Delgo squared, a glossed-up Land Before Time 3, etc. People need to cool their jets and wait for the 12.10 screenings on both coasts.

Cameron says on the Josh Horowitz MTV interview that Avatar has everything he’s always wanted to put into a really cool fantasy movie since he was a kid. A faint chill went up my spine. These words reminded me of Francis Coppola talking about feeling like a young man again during the making of Youth Without Youth and Tetro. I’ve learned to beware when silverbacks talk about re-connecting with their youth.

Cameron also said “and if it doesn’t succeed then we’ll forget all about it,” or words to that effect. In other words, the faint possibility of Avatar not succeeding has entered his mind.

The odd thing is that there’s an all-media of It’s Complicated conflicting with the very first Avatar screening on the evening of Thursday, 12.10. (Nancy Meyers‘ film starts at 6 pm and Cameron‘s begins at 7 pm.) It’s a brutal call, but I’m thinking I’ll have to wait to see Avatar on Friday at 11 am.