James Cameron’s award-winning masterpiece will return to movie theaters soon. Is it worth the re-watch?
For us nineties kids, Titanic was more than just a movie about a historical event. It was hugely popular because of the drama, action, and the story itself. Everything was so intense, that we didn’t even care if it happened in real life or not. The affair between the rich girl and the working-class boy who found love and misfortune onboard the enormous ship left us captivated. Then there's the whole emotional trauma about the fact that they both could've fit on the door. And how can we forget that ridiculously big diamond that caused so much trouble throughout the movie?
But, wait? Why are we talking about this movie right now? It may come as a surprise to you, but there is more than one reason to take out your Celine Dion CD again and belt out “My Heart Will Go On.”
First things first. This movie was released 20 years ago and this is why James Cameron, the mind behind this instant classic, decided to get Jack and Rose back on the big screen! The renowned director announced that, for this special anniversary, he made some technical upgrades to film, in order to improve the fans' experience while re-watching it:
"We mastered a few minutes of Titanic in Dolby Vision, and I was stunned. It was like seeing it for the first time. Now that the entire film has been mastered, I'm excited to share it with audiences across the U.S., this is beyond 3D, beyond 70mm, it's beyond anything you've ever seen before."
However, the audio enhancement is surely not the reason why we are going to cry with Rose as she gasps: “Come back!” No, the reason why we'll be buying a ticket is something much bigger and stronger than good sound: nostalgia.
Setting aside the fact that this may just be a marketing strategy, nostalgia is a very powerful tool in the media. Advertising, publishing, even the film and music industry make money off of it. In fact, any kind of audiovisual or printed content can become popular by drawing from our childhood memories.
This happens because remembering something dear to us makes us happy. And if we're happy, we buy more stuff. This is why all of those colorful and quirky nineties trends came back so easily. When chokers and crop tops became a thing again, women between the ages 25 and 30 went crazy. All of these products are popular now because their marketing appealed to us. They literally became tactile memories for us. It's the same thing with the re-release of Titanic. This movie was huge when we were growing up. The love story, a handsome young Leo, and of course, the door situation.
The door thing was such a big deal that a group of Australian girls even did the math. It began as an excuse for a school competition. Yet what Abigail Wicks, Christy Zhang and Julia Damato did was so much more. They took all the factors into account: the weight of the door and the bodies, the effect of saltwater, as well as the materials of the items at the time and their potential buoyancy. They concluded that if the Jack and Rose had tied their life jackets to the underside of the door, both of them could have floated to safety. He could have survived! Rose could have died of old age happily with him, and not after some trip on a ship with creepy, geeky dudes.
As a matter of fact, James Cameron got a little annoyed with all these theories and complaints. He tried to prove everyone wrong. Obviously, nobody listened to a guy that didn’t want Jack to survive in the first place. Even Kate Winslet herself publicly said that, in fact, Jack could have fit perfectly.
And sure, these kinds of discussions are also part of the nostalgia that will make us go and watch “Titanic” again 20 years after it came out. Who cares about the Dolby implementation (which is actually cool)? The fact that this movie will bring back good memories is the most important for why it's important to talk about it again.
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