Saturday, November 7, 2009

A masterpiece then and now: Why James Cameron's Titanic needs no defense.

It was right at the opening credit sequence. That haunting footage of the various passengers embarking on the ship, with a sorrowful version of the theme playing in the background. As the cheering crowds gave way to the ship's watery grave and the title unfurled on screen, I leaned over to a friend and whispered "I already love this movie". It was a symbol right there of what made Titanic great and what separated it from the likes of Pearl Harbor or The Day After Tomorrow: the film openly acknowledged that every single life lost on that ship was every bit as tragic and unfair as the eventual fates of our leads. And, as the film played over the next six months, when you asked people what part they cried at, it wasn't anything to do with Jack or Rose. It was the mother reading to her children so that they might be asleep as they drowned in her arms. It was Victor Garber setting the clock just right before the water came pouring in. It was the ship's band leaving and then returning to play it out. But rare is the movie that lets you know that it's going to be an all-time classic within the first sixty seconds.

Scott Mendelson


Kyle Leaman said...

Couldn't agree more

Martín said...

Absolutely. I got the exact same feeling. I still love that film, and I loved it from that very first moment.


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