Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic - 100 Years

I spent part of my Easter afternoon at the movie theater. There was a couple there who looked like they may have been on the actual ship. The original plan to see Titanic in 3D was to see it on April 14, 100 years to the day since the ship hit the iceberg. If I've done my research thoroughly, going by east coast time, the hitting of the iceberg and the sinking both take place on April 14, whereas the ship's local time puts the sinking on the morning of April 15. Anyway, seeing the schedule of show times (once on week days, twice on weekend days), I couldn't risk that the movie wouldn't still be in our theater on the day I wanted to see it. So I went on Easter Sunday. I used Titanic as incentive - I posted on Facebook that if I ran my entire Bunny Hop 5K on Saturday, I would treat myself. Well, I did run it all, but I was too tired to go see it Saturday. I wasn't going to see it Sunday either, but that nagging feeling that it wouldn't be here long swayed me at the last minute and I grabbed a pack of tissues and some cash.

It had been a very long time since I'd seen the movie, which first came out December 19, 1997. I want to say I saw it on opening day, but to be honest, I don't remember. I know I saw it in theaters four times, once on Valentine's Day with my friend, Amanda. When it came out on VHS, I bought it. When we bought a DVD player, I bought the DVD. When the special edition came out, I bought that, as well. I think there are five or six different "versions" of this movie in my collection. When we bought our 55" HDTV two years ago, I wanted to see the movie on "the big screen" but I also wanted to see it in high definition. I hurried to Amazon to order the blu ray, but there was no blu ray version. I have refused to watch Titanic on my television at home until I have it on blu ray. [On a very happy note, when I (just today) searched Amazon for a link to the dvd, I found out that the blu ray will be released September 14!!!!!!!!!!!! I pre-ordered it, and it cost me nothing, thanks to all the Amazon gift cards I earn through SwagBucks.] I did, however, let Sebastian watch it at home. He was begging me to take him to see it, but I didn't think he could sit still for the entire movie. Surprisingly, he did sit and watch most of it. He spent maybe half hour total playing with Legos while it was on. He was fascinated with the movie, until Jack died. Then he cried a lot and said it was the worst movie ever. He has my sensitive side. He cried at Toy Story 3. I tried not to focus on the dvd too much, and the picture quality did kind of suck, so I didn't start watching until Lightoller and Murdoch take over for Captain Smith after Jack and Rose do the nasty in the back seat of that car. But as per usual, I started crying at some point, and I think that bothered Sebastian, too. At first he was making fun of me because I'm a Titanic cry baby, but then he said his eyes hurt and he didn't know why. Then the floodgates opened and it was a sob-fest for both of us.

I went back to the theater to see it again on April 14, with two of my really good friends. I held it together pretty well, and I thought I was actually going to get through the whole movie without crying, but when Rose let go of Jack and she swam to the whistle, I cried. I should put it on my Bucket List to get through the movie without crying.

I have a theory about why I cry every time I watch the movie. My grandmother passed away on December 22, 1997, three days after the movie premiered. I think one of the reasons I went to see it so many times, why this movie made me feel all of the emotions that it does, is because of her passing. I needed to grieve, and Titanic helped the tears flow. It gave me an excuse to cry. Or maybe her passing gave me an excuse to cry at the movie. I don't know. I do know that the two are related.

I have to wonder how I would react in a situation like Titanic. I'm pretty good with unexpected chaos but I have never been all that great in an emergency situation. Watching the movie, I can't even imagine how the people on the ship felt - the survivors and those who were lost. I think about dying all the time, and it scares the hell out of me. I often wonder if I would want to know in advance when and/or how I was going to die. I don't think so. Just thinking about the fact that I will die someday depresses me and makes me panic. I don't even want to think about it right now to blog about it. I know I would have been one of those poor steerage people. After all, I am a person of limited means.

While I am not obsessive about Titanic (mostly because I lack money and space for such a hobby), I do have more stuff than I realized. Pardon the mess. I'm storing all this stuff in our spare room. When we move to Montana, or wherever the hell we end up that's not east coast of North Carolina, I am going to have a Titanic room. Actually, it will probably be my office, with all my crap on display. Maybe I'll have a laptop with nothing but Titanic bookmarks and programs and documents and pictures. Okay, maybe not.

My step-daughter drew two of the Titanic pictures when she was younger. The empty spot is where a model of the boat once hung, but when my husband was closing in the window, it fell off the wall and broke. He didn't even realize it. I found it shattered under the bed a year later :(

My son made this for me all by himself.

This was a college graduation gift from my husband. I also have matching earrings and a ring.

The model is actually the second one I've had. We started working on one and didn't finish, and it broke, so we got a new one. We haven't taken it out of the box, but the box is smashed. The board game is pretty fun. I also had a 3D foam puzzle but it got lost when we moved from New York to North Carolina.

I used to have a "regular" copy of the DVD but I gave it away when I got the special 10 year anniversary edition. I have quite a few specials recorded to VHS. At one point, I had a PC game but I could never figure out how to play it. 

The black binder is a printed copy of the script that I got online before I bought a copy of the screenplay.

Yes, I have two copies of that one book LOL
This is the Titanic Sebastian drew for me just today. I could have sworn he drew one for me that was very much like the one Brandy drew, but I couldn't find it.

So why so much emphasis on the movie and not so much on the real thing? I've been interested in Titanic ever since I read about it in a very old Encyclopedia Brittanica (Not to be confused with the Britannic, a sister ship to Titanic). Back then, the "facts" were that an iceberg tore a 300 foot gash in the side. Of course, now we know it didn't happen quite like that, and what we continue to learn from the wreckage is astonishing. For all the love I have for Titanic, there's still so much I don't know. I need to spend some time getting to know the real history, the real people, to look beyond the the grandness and beauty of James Cameron's film. Watching the movie in theaters is amazing. The attention to detail in the replications, the sheer size of the ship's propellers as it lifts out of the's all to me. 

And let us not forget the love story. I am absolutely, madly in love with Kate Winslet. I love Kate Winslet, even though Titanic is the only thing I've ever seen her in. (Kind of like the way I love Gillian Anderson but have only seen her in The X Files.) And who knew Kate could sing???

It makes me wonder if she could sing Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. Oh wait...

Not the love story between me and Kate. The love story between Jack and Rose. I don't think Jack is really all that and a bag of chips, but I can definitely see how Rose would be attracted to someone so different from Cal. When you feel stuck and unhappy, it's easy to fall for someone (or even think you've fallen for someone) who is not at all like the person you're with. Rose's courage to walk away from wealth and security in favor of passion and adventure is something I wish I had. Not that I have wealth to walk away from...

But at the same time Cal seems to love her. Sure, he's a possessive ass but in the end, he still wanted her to get on the lifeboat. He sacrificed his sure shot at survival to make sure she was safe. Of course, she got off the damn lifeboat to be a whore to a gutter rat. That's usually the part that makes me stop crying...when the lifeboat lowers and the music starts again and the flares light up her face as she stares up at Jack. The music is always what gets me. 

I think the "best" part of Titanic is James Horner's soundtracks. They are haunting. The music is so stunningly beautiful that it often takes my breath away. The Deep and Timeless Sea, in particular, moves me. I've often thought that this track is birth and life and death and eternity all in 12 minutes 37 seconds. I could listen to it forever. It's on my list of songs that must be played at my celebration of life party once I'm an urn full of ashes.

I walked down the aisle to this song, beginning at the 7:20 mark.

I realize I'm all over the map with this post but I've been having a hard time organizing my thoughts lately. My love for this movie is beyond ridiculous. I'm going to try to go see it one more time in theaters, hopefully next Sunday after my stressful weekend is over. I also want to take the time to learn more about the ship, its passengers and crew, the science and the theories behind this fascinating piece of history. It would certainly be a better use of my time than getting pissed off on Babycenter. Then maybe someday I can come back and do a post about Titanic that's actually meaningful instead of this stuff I just vomited up. That's the thing I don't like about blogging, and why I don't do it very often. Stuff sounds so awesome in my head, then I get it down and it's like, damn, I am such an idiot. I have no idea how I got through college without critical thinking skills and the ability to synthesize information.

Come on! It wouldn't be a Becky blog post if I didn't include something offensive.