Saturday, April 7, 2012

My tear ducts will go on

I first saw Titanic when it first came out in theaters, making me six.  It's odd to say but I was fascinated by the Titanic when I was a kid, though for different reasons than I am now; I made my parents buy me books about the actual boat and its sinking, and though I didn't actually make it past the detailed descriptions, the concept of a ship sinking into the Atlantic was, I suppose, intriguing.  I begged my dad to take me to the theaters, and he did.  I remember little of my theater experience, save for the intermission in the middle of the movie - and if you have the movie on VHS with the two tapes, you'd probably be familiar with the point where the movie splits off ("Well, I believe you may get your headlines, Mr. Ismay") - so I guess 1997 was a time where to sit through a three hour movie uninterrupted was unheard of.  Seeing the spectacle of a ship flooding was exhilarating - my favourite part (for whatever reason) was when the ship splits - and to a six year old kid, the hour and a half beforehand with the entire romance plot was boring.

Here's what happens in the movie
Here's what I saw. My dad covered my eyes
I'd revisit the movie after I owned it on DVD, though again, I hated having to sit through the first half.  (or the first VHS tape, that is) I still watched it for the action of the sinking ship, though I know now that there are better movies to watch for action.  I distinctly remember one time I watched it with my sister, and she laughed at the shot of a frozen dead baby in the water, even though it's one of the more disturbing instances in the movie.  That, and Rose's mother's face.  It wasn't until a few years ago that Titanic became my 'thing' again, although this time, I cried harder than an Italian woman at a funeral.  Ever since I need emotional preparation before I decide to watch, but it's gotten to the point where I've seen it so many times that watching it is merely a countdown to significant scenes, and all the rest is filler.

(the only other movie that's turned into a waiting game for 'big' scenes for me is X-Men: The Last Stand, a movie I saw in theaters.. uh, five times, a movie I knew every time was complete and utter shit, and a movie I now absolutely loathe and will not watch unless I am intoxicated, or in the mood for a laugh; regardless, my point is watching that movie is now a task: oh, opening scene.. twenty minutes until Beast, another twenty until Jean flips out and bitch slaps her house..)

As upfront as I can be: I cry every single time I watch this movie.  Every damn time.  And every single time I cry at the exact same spots - and when I saw the movie last night, I counted, and there's five whole 'pressure points' in the movie that sends me over the edge (and many of them have to do with musical cues.. all of them, actually, which I guess speaks to the testament of a soundtrack's power and presence in a film), and they are:
  •  "I'm flying, Jack" - that's a given.  I get emotional during the entire scene but I only really shed a tear when the music is all depressing and the ship fades into the wreckage.  Damn beautiful shot.
  • Right as the drawing scene comes to a close, the camera zooms into Kate Winslet's eye, and slowly wrinkles appear until the eye becomes that of the old Rose's.  I blame the music.
  • "You're so stupid, Rose!"  Dear god.  From the slow motion flare over Leo's head to when Rose jumps from the lifeboat, I'm a mess.  It's all in the music.
  • The old couple on the bed.  The single most worst scene in movie history.  WHY DID I HAVE TO WITNESS THIS!?  Again, the music: the violin plays over the scene.
  • The ending scene.  As the camera pans over the pictures of Rose on her desk, to the wreckage, then the moment the light floods in and the wreck turns into the untouched boat I am a goddamn mess.  And by mess, I mean that this scene makes me weep every single time.  Then the music amps up and all the people are smiling and clapping and then oh jesus you see Jack at the top of the stairs and I'm just done.
Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Titanic 3D in a VIP theater.  I'd never been, and it really seems like a whole different world once you climb the stairs up to the 19+ section of the theater.  A bar which gladly served me beer.  Spacious rows and big, comfy leather seats with wide armrests.  In-seat service, which I was too nervous to take heed of.  The experience was really something, though it was essentially ruined by a group of five adults - adults - who didn't bother to whisper or turn off their phones; instead, they had loud conversations in Spanish (that language has been ruined for me, so it just made my blood boil), and until someone said "shut up!" halfway through the movie, they kept on talking and laughing.  Ridiculous, really; I shelled out extra money to experience a movie I care about in a theater without idiot teenagers ruining my experience - and if you're a teenager, then, shut up, because you're the worst and you ruin all movies - and it's rather disrespectful to think that adults who should be as respectful completely disregarded that respect.

Did I cry?  Oh, yes.  By the end I was using every muscle in my body to stop myself from letting out a wail, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I was shaking and almost felt like I was going to throw up because of my effort against outwardly crying.  Regardless, the tears came, at those very five points in the movie as I had listed, but as I said by the end as the light flooded into the ship and the souls of everyone who died started clapping as Rose entered the hall I could hardly even see because my vision was so obscured.  As I said to my two friends - who, I might add, were literally wailing and heaving as the lights came up in the theaters and Celine shrieked through the speakers over the end credits - "I'm keeping my 3D glasses on for a little while."  I don't think I'll ever become desensitized to this movie, even though I've seen it so many times: seeing it on the big screen was enough to make me positively emotionally distraught.  Great movie experience, though.  I can't imagine seeing movies in just regular theaters now - does that make me a snob? - and I can say that I'll gladly spend the extra money if it means I can watch a movie I care to see in comfort.

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