Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Still a sucker for Titanic

Hello, and welcome to my second straight post about trailers I saw while at the movies last week.

Looks like I still have the potential to weep like a baby at Titanic.

I saw my first theatrical trailer for the 3D re-release of Titanic before my 3D screening of The Adventures of Tintin. I have to say, the way it was cut to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" made me ready to well up with tears all over again. (Whether you can be "ready" to well up with tears or not is open to debate. I'd say, you either well up or you don't. I guess I'm being vague in an attempt to maintain my credibility as a high-minded film fan.)

I was genuinely surprised by my own reaction. Now, I have never thrown Titanic under the bus, and remain a person who argues ardently for its importance as a film and the uniqueness of its achievement. But did I expect that it would still be able to tug at my heartstrings, a full 14 years after I first saw it?

No, I did not.

I believe I've seen Titanic three times -- twice in the theater, then once on video. They would have all been within the first year after it was out. During the intervening 14 years, my affection for it has been only slightly muted, since I still consider it to be one of the most overwhelming and involving theatrical viewing experiences I've ever had. The unique combination of awe-inspiring visuals and human drama left me babbling incoherently when I left the theater.

I'd expect the visuals to still inspire awe in me, but shouldn't the human drama have lost some of its potency over the years? Especially as Titanic has been repeatedly parodied, as its iconic scenes have become so familiar to us, and as it has been the recipient of some of the greatest backlash of any film in history? As it's become downright shameful to admit that the justifiably reviled Celine Deon could have sung a song you even liked, let alone one that moved you to tears?

Yet despite all the factors that should work against Titanic still having an emotional impact on me, the way that trailer is cut brought me right back to December of 1997, to that theater in Massachusetts where I first saw James Cameron's film. (For the record, it's the old couple lying on their bed as the water rushes under them that devastates me the most.)

I'm going to blame it on the big screen. And the 3D. Yeah. Definitely the 3D. The 3D got me all verklempt. That's it.

But am I ready to pay $15 to see it again in 3D?

I don't know, maybe I am.

Now to figure out the alibi I'll use with my wife, a strident Titanic hater ...


Nick Prigge said...

Thank you. From the depths of the ocean of my heart, thank you. Having been a passionate, unwavering supporter of this brilliant film and having to defend it against so much backlash for so long.....thank you.

Vancetastic said...


I'm not going to say I wrote this post just for you, but I did have the feeling that you'd probably chime in with your approval. :-)