Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Remembering "Titanic"

History was made today when James Cameron's Avatar became the highest grossing film of all time, grossing $601,142, 000 domestically as of this writing. It became the highest grossing film worldwide a while back, but there was just something about this milestone that struck a chord. Just a little more than 12 years ago, Cameron's other box office shattering epic, Titanic became the all time box office champion, capturing the hearts of moviegoers worldwide and becoming a pop culture touchstone.


In the ensuing years, it has became popular to make fun of Titanic, much as it has with Avatar. But no matter what anyone says, Titanic will always be dear to my heart. I was 11 years old when it hit theaters, and I still remember the feeling of seeing it in a theater for the first time. I had never seen anything like it. I was swept up, enraptured, transported by this tragic tale of star crossed lovers aboard the most famous doomed vessel of all time. The romance, the danger, it had everything, and my little 11 year old heart fell head over heels. I was most fascinated by the history, the real story of the Titanic and its people, and it was something of an obsession for me through my middle school years. But the movie was the focal point, the key that brought it all together.

I ended up seeing Titanic three times in theaters, and countless times on video. I still own the old two-tape VHS copy that I picked up on its first day of release, even though I have since upgraded to DVD. To this day I can still quote every line of dialogue, and each time I see it, I remember that old magic. It was my favorite film for many years, and while better films have come along and my tastes have grown and expanded, there will always be a special place in my heart for Titanic and what it meant to me. It is my generation's epic, our Gone with the Wind, a shared, collective experience that united us all. We went back again and again not because of the special effects, but because of the characters and their story. And while Avatar will never be able to claim that, if anyone was to claim Titanic's I'm glad it was Cameron. It's a bittersweet moment for me really. Nothing else will ever rival the spell it cast over the world. Titanic was something truly special and unique, a once in a lifetime moment. And as amazing as Avatar, it will never affect people the way its predecessor did. For me, for always, Titanic will remain the king of the world.

3 comments:

Danny King said...

I really should re-watch this film. I've only seen it on television.

I can agree with you that, even though I enjoyed Avatar very much, it can't really compare to the emotional impact that Titanic packs.

Still trying to wrap my head around how Avatar was able to gross this much this fast. It's scary.

Daniel Getahun said...

Only seen it on television, Danny!?! Almost like not having seen it at all! (Just kidding - there are few instances when I can actually make that statement so I had to here.)

Well I'm on record at my place praising Titanic in two different posts, so I'm on board with you here, Matthew. Over the years I've begun to roll my eyes a lot more at the dialogue (compared to say True Lies or T2), but on balance the scale of the production still floors me every time.

nate said...

my thoughts exactly.