Monday, September 24, 2012

#70 AFI's Top 100 Movies: 10th Anniv. #83 Titanic

Titanic is actually not on the original AFI Top 100 list, it's on the 10th Anniversary List that was made and included a bunch of new movies. Well, not a bunch. Maybe fifteen movies that aren't also already on the original list. But Titanic was one of them!

I went to see it when it came out in theaters again. Not because it was in 3D, although that was pretty cool for the most part, but because this is a movie that is worth seeing on the big screen, in so many ways.

What a freaking fantastic movie. I'd forgotten how much I loved it. Are there some historical inaccuracies? Sure. But the sheer amount of stuff they got right has always boggled my mind. I've had a minor obsession with the Titanic ever since I was a little girl, I read up on it, studied the schematics, and I still have the giant book that has all the information I could ever want to know and more, including eye witness accounts of what happened the night it sank.

It's such a dramatic story, not so much because of Kate & Leo's characters, although they do provide plenty, but because of the sheer amount of human choices that had to be made over so many hours. Even before it hit the iceberg, the captain and the ship designer were arguing about how fast the ship should be going, the iceberg warning came a little late thanks to a breakdown in communication between the telegraphers and the ship's officers. The boat did not go down quickly. There was time, SO MUCH TIME, for the earlier lifeboats that only had a few people in them, to return to the ship and save more lives. There was time for them to have been filled to capacity, and yet the crew sent the boats off with less than twenty people in them.

The captain stayed with the ship. The designer of the ship got on a lifeboat.  People in the third class cabins were trapped down below, along with the lower level workers, sealed in by the crew who were trying to keep the decks from becoming too crowded.  Women and children first, as long as they were first or second class. So many tiny human decisions that effected so many lives.

And the movie did such a good job showcasing all of that, even around the somewhat ludicrous love story. Although, I have to admit, I do enjoy the love story as well.

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