For your consideration: a couple of stories regarding directors, budgets and Hollywood executives. On the set of one of his productions, Alfred Hitchcock was confronted by a studio exec panicked by spiralling costs. "What are you going to do about this?" he demanded of the director. Hitch turned to the upstart and said, "I shall do whatever is necessary to make what, in the due course of time, you will come to refer to as our film."
A good three decades later, on the set of one of his larger productions, James Cameron was approached by a similarly anxious suit who asked pretty much the same thing. Cameron turned to the upstart — and shouting, "shut the fuck up" promptly attempted to asphyxiate him. Different reactions maybe, but to the same problem. Huge productions attract the attention of first the money men desperate to slash scenes, but shortly after that, the press. Knives are drawn, the dreaded words "troubled production" raise their ugly heads and, when it comes to release time the movie has to battle against a positive lynch-mob of hacks out baying for blood.
Had he had the decency to deliver the expected flop, to play to the critics' and industry-watchers lust for a truckload of hubris dumped over a director playing fast and loose with hundreds of millions of dollars, then the reviews might have read differently.
Titanic wears its flaws as boldly as it does its abundant strengths. Sure, the dialogue is often nearer to teen soap than Merchant Ivory (leading Beverly Hills 90210er Jason Priestley to remark that the verbiage was so dire that, "I half expected myself to walk through the door.") James Horner's score often lists towards faux Celtic parpings and all Billy Zane needs to complete his personification of silent-movie villainy is a top hat and a waxed moustache to twirl. But then, ironically, Titanic was never meant to be a "deep" film. It is, however, like the ship itself, a bloody big one.
At heart Cameron is a kind of celluloid engineer; his films habitually act as showrooms for the latest technology (and thus his keen interest in the cutting-edge maritime engineering — witness the loving shots of the ship's engine room: no character ever goes there and the hugely expensive sequence was an obvious candidate for cutting, but Cameron just couldn't sacrifice the pounding pistons) and his screenplays are masterpieces of structure rather than style. Titanic is no exception, masterfully employing match-dissolves backwards and forward from the salvage operation to the sumptuously designed sets of the ship herself and thus engrossing an audience whose previous dramatic stamina had probably been 50 odd minutes of Dawson's Creek. Equally Cameron turns what could have been a major flaw (notwithstanding current educational standards, even the thickest teen is dimly aware that the ship sinks) into a strength, teasing the audience for over an hour and a half, and losing some in the romance, before the iceberg actually hits, and sacrificing no opportunity to ratchet up the sense of grim inevitability.
The casting of DiCaprio was visionary. At the time the studio had demanded Matthew McConaughey but Cameron, who had seen early cuts of Romeo + Juliet, shrewdly saw a matinee idol in the making, and resisted his star's attempts to deepen the character — Leo apparently at one point demanding a lisp or a limp or something to engage his acting gears. Cameron though realised that it wasn't Leo being anyone else that was going to have women swooning, it was Leo being Leo. And then there is the sinking...
There simply is not, and never has been, any filmmaker who can direct prolonged dramatic action with such exuberant flair. Unlike his imitators, Cameron never loses sight of character in the midst of spectacle; thus a sustained action sequence of well over an hour doesn't even approach longeur. The traditional directors' nemesis, water, is literally putty in his hands. As in The Abyss (1989), he turns it into a living, almost breathing monster. It crashes through corridors, seeps through doorways, gushes up stairwells, and in one of the movie's best shots, trickles along the floor like the mildly inconvenient product of an overflowing bathtub. And the money shot, of Jack and Rose perched on the upended stern as passengers plunge into the boiling brine is as spectacular as anything in action cinema.
Titanic may have left many of the jaded critics unimpressed, but there's a fair chance that if, in a decade or so's time you ask the generation then producing, directing or hacking out reviews what turned them on to movies in the first place, more than a few will answer "Titanic." And only a very few directors who leave a legacy like that.
It should be no surprise then that it became fashionable to bash James Cameron's Titanic at approximately the same time it became clear that this was the planet's favourite film. Ever. Them's the facts.
Most people remember and liked the movie, “The Titanic”. Perhaps this was because the movie was based on a real story. And, of course, it was a movie that contained drama; action, adventure and we cannot forget the romance.
Titanic, had been branded as the ship of dreams and was also known as being “Unsinkable”. The ship was beyond doubt considered to be unsinkable by all passengers aboard on its grave departure to Cherbourg, France and then to Queenstown, Ireland to pick up additional passengers on April 10th, 1912. During this epic journey a poor thriving artist named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a 17 year old rich girl named Rose DeWitt Bukator (Kate Winslet) fall in love, until one tragic night, their enchanted love for one another turned into a desperate struggle for survival on a ship that was about to plummet to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.
During the film Rose had found several different ways to escape away from her former fiancée Caledon Hockley to be with Jack, but when the Titanic suddenly collides with the gigantic iceberg on April 14th, 1912, and then swiftly sank on April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning, Jack died and Rose survived along with about 700 other members that were aboard the ship. Then Rose came back 84 years later to recapture the story about her life aboard the Titanic by telling the delightful tale to her granddaughter and friends explaining to them how it was the first sight of Jack that helped her fall hopelessly in love and she then continued to discuss with them her fight for survival.
With knowing that the Titanic was the largest and most luxurious moving object ever built by the hand of man, the writer and director James Cameron tried to recapture the true life of this fabulous ship. The Titanic included various amenities that many of its passengers had never enjoyed in their own homes, such as electric lighting and heat in every room. The size and magnificence of the Titanic swiftly acknowledged this ship as being a legend, even before anyone had been on the ship. Of course it would have been quite difficult for James Cameron to rebuild the actual Titanic so he had a replica built of this amazing beauty just shy of 775-foot. It was truly inspiring to watch the passengers board the ship, being able to see a piece of history come back to life.
Cameron accurately used his ingenious technological experiences towards this film by the structure of the magnificent rooms, the glorious ballrooms and chandeliers, and the unmistakable differences between the many classes of society aboard the ship really showed that he knew what he was doing when creating this film. From the explicit details of the ship to the smallest trinket seen it was truly a delight since I do not get to see such astounding gems very often. Cameron had made sure that this film was very defined and detailed you could see every pore on DiCaprio’s face, every rivet of the ship, and every droplet of sea spray.
Not to mention that the sinking of the ship was every bit as spectacular as it would have been to see it on the giant theater screen. (Armstrong, 2007)Cameron’s cast selection was a great choice by placing the young DiCaprio with the new talents of Winslet was truly captivating. Though this was the breakthrough for Winslet she was a bit rough-edged for some of the scenes, making the 1920’s figure of a women look a bit uncontrollable. Then with Leonardo DiCaprio this too was one of his biggest eye openers to the public, but to me he has performed better in different roles since his role in the Titanic.
The soundtrack that was chosen for this film was a true and amazing piece of work. This soundtrack truly highlighted and enhanced every portion of this film. Cameron could not have picked a better group of musical talent to put into his film, with Céline Dion, Michael Smith and many more artists. The soundtrack CD for Titanic was the biggest selling primarily orchestral film score in history.(Wikipedia)The Titanic has become a classic movie mainly for its focus on the historic disaster and this tragedy as being a classic tale and now it has become one of modern day folktales, but like many folktales it has been somewhat clouded by the way the distaster has been recounted over the years.
This movie will always be remembered not only for its memories of this tragedy but for the being known as the one of the Best Films Ever. Titanic eventually won 87 awards and had additional 47 nominations from various award giving bodies all around the world. I would recommend this movie to everyone and hope it gets passed through the next generations to come.
Armstrong, R. (2007). Titanic 1997. Movie Gallery US, LLC and Hollywood Entertainment Corporation. http://www.reel.com/movie.asp?MID=40719&PID=10047797&Tab=reviews&CID=18#tabshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_(soundtrack)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanic_(1997_film)#Awards