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Titanic - Collide with destiny
1997 – Written and directed by James Cameron - starring Kate Winslet as Rose and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack

Titanic -one of the best movies ever

On 14th of April 1914, Titanic, the "largest moving object built by man up to then" -
sank, together with 1,500 people, into the freezing floods of the North Atlantic.
The sinking must have made enormous headlines,
since even my grandmother - 3 years old back then, 93 years old today - can remember it.

James Cameron also created a gigantic piece of work with his movie of the same title.

Trashy or romantic? Dreadful or brilliant?
There are plenty of different opinions about this movie.
Even though for some (e. g. director Robert Altman) it is the worst movie ever,
some consider it as a piece of art.

Objectively, "Titanic" is not only the greatest
box-office success ever - with $ 1.8m -,
it also attracted the highest number of "recidivists" among the cinema-goers.
Besides it won 11 Academy Awards, being nominated for 14, which has never been reached before.

"A million flies can't be wrong?"

I know people who wouldn't watch the movie just because anybody else was going to see it.
I know this attitude. I didn't see  "Harry Potter" for the same reason myself.

When they launched 'Titanic' I actually watched it only because of the part
 that James Cameron had shot in 70 mm from the real wreck.
That was reason enough for me. Besides:
The shooting of these original pictures alone devoured $ 2 m already.
For a German feature film that would be a lot.

There are surely several reasons for the amazing success of the 3-hours epos:

The historical dimension of the plot:

The sinking of Titanic in the early 20th century was a psychological trauma for society,
similar to S-11 for today's western world.
I believe a Hollywood movie about the events of S-11 would probably
have people going to the cinemas in droves.

The technical implementation:

"Titanic"'s production was a battle of material worth $ 200 m:
The material from the 163-day-shoot had a total length of 12 days
(400,000 m x 70 mm)
17 special-effects companies were involved in the post-production.
Unlike many other movies, "Titanic"'s special effects were worth the money!

The story:

The story contains plenty of elements that appeal to the public:
On the one hand the dramatic events that surrounded Titanic's fall,
on the other hand a love story of "Jack und Rose" that reminds us of "Romeo und Juliet".
Finally the comforting message that even stinking rich people can loose,
and that money can't buy love,
and that money alone can't make you happy -
all the things not-so-well-heeled people like to be reminded of.

This is especially true for the following scene. Jack is invited to a 1st-class dinner.
He meets Rose's mother Ruth, who despises him and shows him up as a 3rd-class passenger:

waiter to Jack: How do you like your caviar, Sir?
Jack: No caviar for me, thanks, never did like it very much.
Ruth: And where exactly do you live, Mr Dawson?
Jack: Right now my address is the RMS Titanic, after that I'm on God's good humour.
Ruth: And how is it you have means to travel?
Jack: I work my way from place to place. You know, tramp steamers and such. But I won my ticket on Titanic here at a lucky hand at poker. A very lucky hand.
Archie: (a passenger) All life is a game of luck!
Cal: (Rose's fiancé) A real man makes his own luck, Archie. Right, Dawson?
Jack: Hm!
Ruth: And you find that sort of rootless existence appealing, do you?
Jack: Well, yes, ma'am. I do. I mean ... Got everything I need right here with me. Got air in my lungs and a few blank sheets of paper. I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen. Or who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I slept under a bridge. Now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You never know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you, to make each day count.
Molly: Well said, Jack!
Archie: Hear hear!
  [Rose raises her glass and glances at Jack:]
Rose: To making it count!
(all:) To making it count!

Use of the music:

The title song is a catchy tune and accompanied us for about a year
just like the eulogies for multi-functional saws in the DIY stores.
I have to admit, the music's great. And more than that:
Music and pictures match perfectly.

Examples:

The moment when Rose raises her head and looks at Titanic for the first time
is emphasized by a musical accent.

The off-camera voice of the elderly Rose says:
"Outwardly I was everything a well brought-up girl should be, inside I was screaming."
This is followed by a cut to the funnel and the roaring horn of the ship symbolizes Rose's scream.

Dolphins swimming in the lead of Titanic jump in and out of the water in tune with the music.

While Jack is drawing Rose, his eye movements are being dubbed with music from the piano.

The emergency rockets are fired in synch with the music.

The movie ends with the elderly Rose dreaming of a reunion with her Jack,
followed by the title song performed by CÚline Dion,

Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you ...

... which, after all, keeps you watching
voluntarily the credits for the entire 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

The pictures:

Even with the "photography" of the movie James Cameron thinks big.
However, when the two of them kiss each other for the first time on the ship's bow
at sunset, he layed on romance with a trowel.
People who find drawings of Caspar David Friedrich
(1774 - 1840, remarkable artist of the Romantic movement) trashy,
will consider the romanticism in the movie as too much of a good thing.

I simply think it's "beautiful".

The man of action:

James Cameron is a relentless perfectionist with visions.
He once said:
"There will always be 20 bean-counters and 20 logicians standing around
waiting to tell you why you can't do something. It doesn't mean you can't do it."

James Cameron wrote and directed the movie.
When the film's cost became excessive he gave back his profit participation.
Rather renounce some money than compromise, what a gorgeous attitude!

(Though Cameron eventually got a financial happy ending as well:
As a compensation for giving up his profit arrangement
20th Century Fox voluntarily offered Cameron $100m later on.)

You can't help holding Cameron's performance as a whole in reverence.
Those who criticise the movie, without proving that they could
create something remotely similar,
are only bad losers.
I bow to one of the world's greatest movie-makers ever ...

The hype


There was the same Titanic-hype like with the dinosaurs earlier on and with Harry Potter now.
Obviously the movie can do without any further publicity, that's why copyrights owners
can write unfriendly rebuffs to friendly inquiries:

Dear Mr. von Aichberger:

Thank you for your request dated April 24, 2002 about licensing material from Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation ("Fox"). Fox has reviewed your request and does not approve your use of any Fox copyrighted materials. In addition, you are not allowed to publish screenshots from the DVD. Because this decision was made based upon internal, and thus confidential, Fox policy, we are not at liberty to discuss the details of the decision. Please rest assured however, that your request was given serious and thoughtful consideration. Please fax any future requests to the Clip Licensing department at (310) 369-4647.

Thank you again for your interest in Fox properties and good luck with your project.

Sincerely,
Deborah M.


Upon request Deborah M. informed me that

Per the Fox Clip Licensing Department, we have no objection to your using the "official Titanic banners" available on "www.titanicmovie.com" for your homepage.

So, here it is, the Official Titanic Banner:

Titanic
Official Homepage: www.titanicmovie.com
Internet movie data base: www.imdb.com/Title?0120338 (rating: 7.0/10)