Monday, April 16, 2012

Media Monday--My Heart Will (Still) Go On...

This is a little late, but last week I was working like...80 hours, so I didn't get some things done. And unfortunately, blogging was one of the things on that list. Now that I no longer have something akin to Damocles' Sword hanging over my head, it's back on the list.

Anyway, this weekend was the 100th anniversary, for lack of a better word, of the sinking of the Titanic.

I was fascinated by the story of the Titanic before it hit the big screen. I'll be honest, I don't even remember when I first heard about the doomed ship. I do remember reading the book A Night to Remember when I was the eighth grade or so. My mom stumbled across it at a garage sale and thought I might be interested in it. I read the book, and promptly went in search of other information.

My ninth grade history project centered around Titanic. I spent weeks on it and a lot of money, lol. I pored over old books, photocopied old pictures (this was only like 1997--it was definitely still old school), and went above and beyond the call of a high school project. I can only think of two other instances where I put that much effort into a school project--one of those two involved analyzing past and present tombstones and the other was a study of the legal and social ramifications of the Storeyville District of New Orleans. Yes, I chose strange projects.They made me happy.

So, obviously I was excited about Titanic when it came out in 1997. I couldn't give two figs about the love story. I wanted the history, man! I wanted to see this amazing ship in all its recreated glory! I wanted to see actual history unfold!

Which is why, even to this day, Titanic is one of my favorite movies. James Cameron has the type of vision that is, I think, limitless. Combine that with a painstaking attention to detail and the ability to tell an amazing story (which I know from experience is NOT easy), and you have all the makings for an epic movie. He proved that again with Avatar, something I didn't jump on the bandwagon about until maybe 9 months after it came out, and I have full faith he'll prove it again in the future.

My excitement at the 1997 release was nothing compared to my excitement at the 2012 3D conversion. I was slightly anxious, because depending on the type of 3D I can wind up with a headache that would make Hellraiser wince,(I don't know why it happens, but it does) but I was still excited. And then I was shocked to find out my younger cousin had never seen the movie. Granted, he was born in 1999, but that's still no excuse. So, we turned the entire thing into an educational/fun outing.

Once again, I was blown away. The astonishing beauty of the ship, the clothes, even the disaster itself, is just so much...more on the big screen. The weaving of the fictional stories in with the actual events, the subtle use of flashbacks and foreshadowing and, in the end, a tearful dream sequence, are something I appreciate much more now than I did at 15. The technical aspects are also something I'm more aware of, thanks to a habit of listening to director commentaries on DVDs.

Yes. I cried. But I didn't cry about Jack and Rose (well, no more than a sniffle or two). I cried about third class passengers being held below stairs, because nobody really believed the ship was sinking. I cried about Captain Smith, whose years of experience worked against him, and who went down with the ship in a brave and befitting manner. I cried about the musicians, who may or may not have been playing out of duty, but will always be remembered as playing until the very end. I cried about Ida and Isidor Strauss, a scene so small most people don't notice it--it's honestly no more than a few seconds during the "Nearer My God to Thee" montage. The love and bravery to look in the face of death and decide to stay with your spouse because you can't imagine life without them--call me a sap, but it's heartbreaking.

So even though I'm not as big a fan of the song as I once was--yes. My heart will still go on. And on. And on.....

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