Jeff Smith 2 p.m., May 22
Titanic, the Musical!
No, not really. But there is news! Back in 2008, Reader writer Josh Board attended a party at director James Cameron's Malibu mansion. Board reported:
"My girlfriend went into Cameron’s “screening room,” as everyone called it. I’d call it a movie theater because that’s what it is, with comfortable couch-style seating. She watched Ghosts of the Abyss...Cameron then showed us footage of the Bismarck that had never been seen...After 45 minutes of footage, which included Gwen Stefani singing in 3-D, people asked Cameron questions. One was about the original Titanic movie in 3-D, but no studio wanted to pay the $12 million it would cost. The guy said, 'It would easily make that money back. Studios should know it has a built-in audience.' Cameron said, 'Yeah, well, they need to take their heads out of their asses.'"
Apparently, the $2.7 billion worldwide gross of Cameron's 3-D epic Avatar was all it took to successfully free the studio's cranium from the iron grip of its sphincter. Because on April 6, 2012, Titanic will be launched for a second time. (Once again, art improves on life.)
Cameron, displaying the touching regard he has always held toward you, the audience, noted that "there's a whole generation that's never seen Titanic as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen. And this will be Titanic as you've never seen it before, digitally remastered at 4K and painstakingly converted to 3D. With the emotional power intact and the images more powerful than ever, this will be an epic experience for fans and newcomers alike."
What makes this extra-interesting is that Cameron has gone on record as being generally opposed to 3D conversion:
“There’s an evolution, and people are starting to not accept inferior forms, which is good. But it’s typical of Hollywood to get it wrong. We do a film that’s natively authored in 3D — it’s shot in 3D. So they assume from the success of that, that they can just turn movies into 3D. In 8 weeks. You know, just throw a switch on 3D and that’s gonna work somehow. If you wanna make a movie in 3D, MAKE the movie in 3D. It should be a filmmaker-driven process and not a studio-driven process.”
Fascinating. Also fascinating: Duncan Shepherd's black-spot review, from back before the film made all that money and won all those awards and made Cameron the King of the World: "High-tech re-enactment of the 20th Century's most storied shipwreck, re-enacted well enough by the British in semi-documentary style in A Night to Remember. Director James Cameron's self-deluding bright idea seems to have been to humanize this spectacle, and to do so he has fastened onto the most hackneyed have-and-have-not romance between a free-spirit third-class traveller who came by his tickets at poker ('We're the luckiest sons of bitches in the world') and a stifled Philadelphia debutante sulkingly engaged to a stuffed-shirt industrialist out of Pittsburgh.
"The three-hours-plus have plainly not been necessitated in order that Cameron can get to know the victims of the tragedy in greater number and at greater depth. He has time only for these two cardboard cutouts (Leonardo DiCaprio, admittedly at his most cavalierly charming, and Kate Winslet, who appears to be convinced she has a role as rich as The Portrait of a Lady's Isabel Archer or The Wings of the Dove's Kate Croy) and of course their chief tormentors (Billy Zane as the Gestapo-esque fiancé and an amusingly glum David Warner as his ask-no-questions henchman) and their lone cheerleader (Kathy Bates, at Ethel Merman volume, as the soon-to-be-dubbed Unsinkable Molly Brown). Some of the exorbitant running time may be blamed on the present-day framing story, which rounds up the now centenarian heroine to recount the events from the inside. (Not surprisingly, Cameron can't be troubled to stick to his own premise, and instead flies off at will or at whim into areas of which the first-person narrator could have no knowledge.) There is a vaguely Somewhere in Time feeling about this angle of approach, and nowhere more so than in the lovers' ultimate reunion in the afterlife, in that Great Ocean Liner in the Sky. With Bill Paxton, Suzy Amis, Gloria Stuart. 1997."
More like this:
- Filmmaker James Cameron Admits to Practicing Engineering Without a Degree — June 1, 2013
- Reviews! — April 12, 2012
- The Interviewer's Anxiety at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla: An Interview with Wim Wenders, Pt. 2 — Feb. 27, 2012
- Coming Soon: Titanic Sinking in 3D at a Theater Near You! — Nov. 22, 2011
- Feature: Local Company 3D Film Factory Looks to the Future — Aug. 31, 2011