Posted by Tom Kilbane on January 16, 1998 at 20:44:12:
In Reply to: Re: Opinions on Titanic? / A bit of a stretch! posted by Carin on January 16, 1998 at 01:19:14:
I am sorry for my "Kevin Baconesque" approach to linking LOTM with Titanic but I could not resist it. But I am not going to apologize for calling the film Titanic an historical romance. The Titanic is Romance. It represents a much less cynical time when humankind thought it was moving forward to a better world. A time when it was thought that technology and science would unlock the secrets of nature. And when the largest man made moving object ever created graced our seas. The Progressive period is what historians call this time of eager anticipation for the future. Then a collision with an iceberg sank the Titanic and killed 1,500 people. Two years later mankind would plunge joyfully into the horrors of World War I with its resulting 22 million dead ushering in much more sobering and cynical age. The opulence, mystery, and the final tragedy of the Titanic has captured the imaginations of millions throughout the world for generations. The box office receipts of the recent film back this fact up.
I have lectured long and hard on the subject of Hollywood's approach to history.(Check out the 1997 board if you doubt me.) But I can't help but smile about someone complaining about Hollywood romanticizing the past on a board dedicated to the Last of the Mohicans. I am quite sure the dangers and horrors of the French and Indian War was a wonderful time to meet the love of your life!!! The opulence and splendor of the world's greatest steamer ship on its maiden voyage is a much more likely place for romance than the Fort William Henry Massacre. No one on the Titanic gave much of a thought to dying in the frigid North Atlantic until a very short time before the ship went down. Unlike the French and Indian War where one had to constantly worry about one's safety.
Finally I think you are being overly harsh on a film you admit you have never seen. I assure you the film Titanic does not make the final moments of that doomed ship feel like it would have been fun. The stunning sights of hundreds of people in the frigid water screaming in panic and pain and then later the field of silent half submerged corpses bring a very sobering reminder of the horror of this tragedy. The romantic plot is fictional but it serves a purpose of getting the viewer involved in these characters so much so that by the end of the film you really care about the fates of "Rose" and "Jack."
Sorry to "pick on you," Carin, but I truly feel you are doing a terrific film an injustice. Also I will reiterate my personal belief on films and history: I think it is simply riduculous to hold films true to the facts of films. They are works of fiction. If, by chance, they use a story to tell us a greater truth about ourselves and our past then they have succeeded as art. If they give us a momentary diversion and make us smile or tug at our heart, then they have succeeded admirarably at what they are- popular entertainment. This holds true of LOTM, Titanic, and virtually any other period film you could mention.
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