i think it's time that i blogged about titanic.
not like... the titanic.
although that's really cool and stuff.
i mean like... THE MOVIE.
(cue recorder music)
MY HEART WILL GO OOOOON AND OOOOOOON
so titanic was the first PG13 movie i saw. gasp. it was the first movie where i heard the word fuck (used once in the form of "fucking" to keep the pg13 rating), my first movie with nudity, and my first movie with a sex scene.
i was ten and probably not emotionally ready. just like when i read lord of the flies when i was sixteen. i still don't think i'm emotionally ready for that book.
when i was younger we had it on VHS and it was a whopping TWO TAPES. i still categorise them like this.
tape one: THE SHIP IS BIG AND JACK AND ROSE ARE FALLING IN LOVE
tape two: SINK SINK SINK SINK SINK
then in seventh grade i was like, i'm gonna write one of those weird middle school research papers about the titanic! so the first thing i did, like a good thirteen year old, was get on wikipedia, and then i watched it on VHS because i didn't have it on DVD yet.
i got it on DVD for my birthday sometime later.
but while i was sitting in my dad's office on my mom's little eighties TV, which is now mine, i was like, OH WOW THIS IS A GOOD MOVIE.
i rediscover it every few years. like the shins. i do that a lot with the shins.
during the spring term i spent at alma my sophomore year with the horrible eighteen day sinus infection, i spent a lot of time in bed, drugged on nyquil, watching titanic.
i cry approximately once every ten times i watch it.
there's just no getting around how much i love titanic.
how much do i love it?
when i was twenty i walked three miles to alma's movie theatre to watch it in 3D. i then walked three miles back at midnight in the rain and i fell in a muddy ditch.
that is how much i love titanic.
for some reason, titanic gets a lot of hate. like... a lot of hate.
it gets a lot of hate in a lot of different areas.
people hate titanic because it's a romantic love story that people think is boring. the movie takes too long. nobody cares about jack and rose and they'd rather focus on other people.
here's what i say to that, as an english major that's totally in love with this movie.
rose is an incredibly complex character. she's seventeen and being forced into a marriage that she's not sure she can tolerate. she knows that all of her aristocratic wealth is gone and that her marriage to cal, who later shows himself to be emotionally and physically abusive, is the only way to help her family. is she selfish for not wanting to marry him? cal is sweet and buys her expensive things, but we can't forget that when she gets caught at the steerage party with jack, he emotionally and physically abuses her.
he truly cares about money. this is evident when he kills himself after he loses his wealth in 1929.
when he gives her the heart of the ocean she realises that this is it, that there's no way out of this marriage and she's going to have the spend the rest of her life chained to an abusive man that really does, somewhere in his heart, love her. she doesn't see it and it's not truly evident until the end of the movie when he searches for her on the carpathia.
when cal gives her that diamond, her fate is sealed and she knows it.
this is why it takes her so long to find jack at the front of the ship and they have their cheesy "I'M FLYING! now let's kiss!" moment, because she thinks that maybe she can survive this, that maybe things will work out with cal.
jack helps her realise this, but as he says, it's not up to him to save her, she's gotta do that herself.
rose really comes into herself when she refuses to get on the lifeboat and tells cal, "i'd rather be his whore than your wife" and spits in his face.
this is also, in my humble opinion, the best line of the movie.
rose is a very complex woman. and you have to remember that she's seventeen.
she's also hilarious. can we talk about the dick joke she makes to the owner of the ship? at dinner?
issmay: i wanted to convey sheer size.
rose: have you heard of dr. freud, mr. issmay? his ideas about the male preoccupation with size might be of some interest to you.
do you want some ice for that burn?
let's talk about the actual writing and filming of titanic and how ridiculous it was.
because i'm a nerd and i'm having a titanic binge on the two dollar VHS i bought when i was antiquing, i went on youtube and watched the making of titanic because let's be real, this movie was made in 1997 and it STILL LOOKS INCREDIBLE IN 2014.
i hate james cameron, but damn, that guy can get a film crew together and make movies.
at the time, titanic was the most expensive movie ever made (james cameron broke his own record with avatar). the footage of the sunken titanic is the actual thing, although nobody mentions that cameron's film crew accidentally bumped the wreck and did some damage to it. he wanted to make the movie titanic because he was like "OMG I LOVE SHIPWRECKS THEY'RE SO COOL" and he got someone on board with him to make this ridiculous three hour movie that used to be four hours or something.
it's classified as an "epic romantic disaster film". say that five times fast.
james cameron wrote it. james cameron directed it. james cameron produced it.
james cameron also owned it and terrified everyone and was sued by stunt men that were hurt and kate winslet got a kidney infection from too much cold water exposure and a lot of people, including her, refused to work with him ever again.
but he made pretty much one of the greatest movies of all time. it's too bad he's such a douchecanoe.
they built an almost to scale titanic that could split in half and the stern was on hydraulics in a pool the size of most beaches. like... seventeen million gallons of pool.
i don't know about you, but i want to film something on a hydraulic ship.
"all right, tonight we're gonna tilt it forty-five degrees. remember that at three we're filming this part of the flooding, so get ready to flood the set."
he was so freakin' meticulous that he hired titanic experts, full-time 1912 etiquette coaches, and even the silverware on the ship is stamped with the white star line logo.
after watching the making of titanic, i read roger ebert's review of titanic, and of course, it was raving. and as james cameron's entitled and douchebag self said in the youtube video, it's a love story that happens naturally and what the film does really well is it shows two thousand people facing an impossible and terrifying situation and making impossible and terrifying choices.
the wikipedia plot of the movie is a little bit less eloquent.
"... then they have sex in an automobile."
well, wikipedia's not wrong about that. the hand on the window provided many comedy films with good material.
now let me tell you two things that i've wanted to get off of my chest for a long time.
1. the board that rose floats on
2. "letting go"
people are always saying that jack and rose could have fit on the board.
yes, they could have.
BUT YOU'RE FORGETTING ABOUT BUOYANCY. IT WOULD HAVE SUNK UNDERNEATH THE WATER AND THEY BOTH WOULD'VE DIED.
i found a really great tumblr post that debunked that entire thing, taking into account jack and rose's mental state from the effects of the cold water.
basically, it would've sunk and they both would've died, so stop saying that they both would've fit and jack could've lived. i take this very personally. (i won't even get into like... the symbolism of jack's death as a whole. you're welcome.)
and number two, letting go.
"i'll never let go, jack!" everybody takes that line so damn seriously. and she lets him go and his frozen corpse sinks to the bottom of the atlantic.
yeah, she let go of his body, but that's not at all what he was talking about. he wasn't like, "hey rose, hold onto me forever plz, just like... never let go of my hands". which was a bit difficult because he froze to her and the crunch it makes when she separates them always makes me flinch.
before he says "never let go" he's like, "hey you're gonna be all old when you die and you're gonna have a shitload of babies and do all kinds of cool stuff and promise me you'll do that stuff okay" and she says "i'll never let go (OF THAT PROMISE)" with an emphasis on the unspoken part that says
OF THAT PROMISE
rose physically letting jack go rot in the ocean is her promise to stay alive because he wanted her to live so badly.
i also take this very seriously.
and look, at the very end of the movie, it goes through all the photos of all the cool stuff that rose got to do because she lived. she held onto her promise, stayed alive, got out of her abusive engagement with cal, and she LIVED.
she didn't let go of anything except a dead corpse.
... that was kind of morbid.
so i think the ship as its own character. really, it is. it's like hogwarts. the ship has a personality. the ship is the entire world of the movie.
and when she sinks, i get really sad.
i cry about once every ten times i watch this movie, which is a lot because when i binge i'll watch it like... twice a day.
i don't cry when jack dies. but i do get sad when he knows he's gonna die and he just kind of looks down and accepts it. i don't cry when everyone dies and nobody goes back for them except the cute irish officer.
i cry because of the ship. when she splits it's like, physically painful for me to watch. and when she sinks i'm like, NOOOOO THE SHIP IS GONE AGHHHH THE SHIP IS DEAD.
i just... i just...
I JUST REALLY LOVE TITANIC OKAY
it has taught me two important lessons.
1. DON'T MESS WITH WATER. IT'S POWERFUL.
2. how to eat at fancy restaurants that give you more than one fork
(these are important things to know in the great scheme of things.)
you can say that it's cheesy and long and boring and stupid but i think it's a cinematic masterpiece. it's got strong, complex characters. it's got people making impossible choices. it's got special effects that are out of this world. it's a wonderfully written story.
it captures human nature.
(and it won more oscars than like... any other movie ever. plus kate winslet and leo.)
and it's an epic romantic disaster film.
like... what more do you want?!
TITANIC. AGH. TITANIC.