Friday, March 30, 2012
Now that I've seen the Hunger Games, I'm waiting in eager anticipation for the release of Titanic in 3D! I really cannot wait! When the movie first came out, I was so obsessed, I saw it three times in the theater and cried my eyes out every time.
The movie also made me extremely obsessed with knowing everything I could about what had really happened that fateful night on April 14th, 1912. I read books, most notably A Night to Remember by Walter Lord, and just about anything I could get my hands on about Titanic. There have been many History channel, as well as Science channel, specials about the ship. One that I watched was about the possibility that the Titanic's underside might have also been grazed by the iceberg that pierced its side. There is no exact evidence of this, considering there would't have been any witnesses and there is no way to lift the Titanic from its present location to examine it. I think it's quite possible though, and specialists do as well, reasoning it would further explain the ship's rapid sinking.
Today, with the film being re-released, there is even more hoopla circulating in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking. Whenever I make a trip to Barnes & Noble, for example, there's a whole table display for books on the Titanic, including the film. The one I couldn't keep myself from buying is one about the love stories of 13 real couples who were aboard the Titanic on their honeymoons (above), which is, so far, incredibly interesting as it also gives little tidbits about other goings on on the ship and how so many of the passengers were interconnected.
I knew upon buying the book I'd most likely set myself up for a crying fest, only to put myself through more crying when I went to see the movie, but I wasn't fully prepared for the doubly emotional reaction I'd have while reading this book along with reading a book I've long had about the film (not to mention, I just finished a book called Mr. Darcy and the secret of becoming a gentleman by Maria Hamilton, which is basically Pride & Prejudice fan fiction that, I'm almost ashamed to say, has made me slightly lonely and left me longing for my own Mr. Darcy).
The one thing I'm always left with when it comes to Titanic is the heartbreak of the 1,500 lost souls and how unnecessary it was, but this love stories book also points out that the men that survived were practically harassed simply for surviving and questioned for their courage. On top of this, given the technology and psychological knowledge of the day, there really was no way for the survivors to heal after such a traumatizing ordeal. So now I'm not only left with a profound sense of loss for the dead, but also for those that survived.
James Cameron has such a way with words that one can't help but be moved to tears. To close, I thought I'd leave you with this quote from Cameron in the book above that completely describes the way I feel personally about Titanic and the film (this book came out when the movie did, hence the "85 years". I can't believe it's already been 15 years since the movie was released!):
"Titanic still captures our imaginations after eighty-five years because her story is like a great novel that really happened. The story could not have been written better...the juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable...the unthinkable possible.
The tragedy has assumed an almost mythic quality in our collective imagination, but the passage of time has robbed it of its human face. Its status in our culture has become that of a morality tale, referred to more often as a metaphor in political cartoons than as an actual event. I set out to make a film that would bring the event to life, to humanize it; not a docudrama, but an experience in living history. I wanted to place the audience on the ship, in its final hours, to live out the tragic event in all its horribly fascinating glory."
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