Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, a tragic story told in history classrooms and on-screen by James Cameron in a film released in 1997. The film was re-released in theaters and in 3D last weekend.
I chose the above screenshot because too many of us remember Titanic as The Jack and Rose story. While the romantic plot was needed to focus this massive disaster story down to two characters we (hopefully) care about, the most affecting part of the film is undoubtedly the last hour and a half when the ship is sinking. The luxurious ship that served as an exquisite backdrop for the love story began to fall apart at every seam – water bursts through its crisp white walls, a cabinet full of china plates rattle to the floor as rushing water floods the lavish dining room, and ultimately we watch thousands of frozen bodies float lifelessly in the biting Atlantic.
Much has been written about Titanic, good things and bad things. Notoriously, the dialogue is a little silly at many points. But watching the film again for the first time on the big screen in fifteen years, I walked away marveling at what a talented visual storyteller James Cameron is. Titanic was one of the first epic, visual effects driven films of its kind, and today it remains an influential part of that history.