So I went to see Titanic 3D this weekend, and it’s interesting how big a movie it still is. I don’t think of it as being made in this era, because it’s got this Gone with the Wind sweep that you don’t see much any more – a huge tale of two thousand people on a boat, from rich to poor, wise to greedy.
Yeah, I know, we have tons of epic movies these days now that we can have CGI extras, but the extras look very CGIsh. Something about the way James Cameron shot Titanic makes the extras look like people, struggling for life, each with their own story that’s being extinguished in the freezing water.
And I have just a batch of weird observations on the movie, in no particular order.
Expanding on my thoughts about traditionally quote-unquote “female” stories (and Titanic is often viewed as a chick flick), it’s interesting to watch the way Jack consistently ignores what Rose knows, because He Knows Better. She’s actually saying, “Jack, no!” and Jack is ignoring her, pulling her along, in a flagrant disregard for Rose’s stated desires. And yet Jack is right. He does know better. But is this teaching guys to just ignore what chicks say?
Or is that a human desire? After the film, I told Gini she was my Jack, and after I explained that I didn’t want her to die in a vat of freezing water, I explained that when I was down or self-loathing, she’d pull me to a place I didn’t want to go that made me a better person. Is it universal that we’re all looking for someone who knows us better than we do ourselves, and is strong enough to ignore us when we need to be ignored?
One of the things I haven’t seen mentioned as a strength of Titanic is the strange pleasure we take in the crew’s demise. Not that we’re happy they’re dying, but the crew seems psychotically devoted to keeping the ship running right up until their hideous drowning, and there’s a certain satisfaction to be seen in people so devoted to their duty that it clearly can’t be the money at work. Titanic’s romance is also partially built on this bedrock of people will do their duty, even when that duty is so blinkered as to keep the third-class passengers locked in the lower decks.
I mean, come on. If I was on the Titanic, being paid McDonald’s wages to do laundry, I’d be cracking rich people skulls to be on that fucking lifeboat.
I actually counted. When Billy Zane is not making merely factual statements about what he wants, there are precisely three lines in the entire film where he is not wrong. His whole purpose in this film is to be precisely erroneous at every step.
Knowing how freezing the water is, I have problems believing that Jack and Rose would be able to be submerged in the frigid below-decks water several times for minutes at a time, and then be perfectly okay. I know, I know, but it matters, man.
There’s a lot of parallels in Rose’s isolation-journey and Ripley’s isolation-journey in Aliens. I should watch them one after the other to see how they stack up sometime.
I still think old-Rose is a dick. Come on, man, the guy’s been searching for the diamond for three years. He’s obsessed. You’re gonna be dead in two hours anyway. Let him have it.
Old-Rose is also a dick because I can never stop feeling bad for her second husband, waiting alone in Heaven, knowing that the fifty years of support and love he put in for her don’t matter worth a good goddamn.
The greatest tragedy of Titanic is that Rose and Jack brought it upon themselves. When Rose and Jack emerge after fucking in the car, kissing and shouting, they distract the lookouts, who promptly crash into an iceberg.
Therefore: Rose and Jack’s fucking caused the ship to sink. DON’T HAVE SEX, KIDS.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.