James Cameron’s film continues to generate debates, memes and parodies 25 years after its release
‘Titanic’ reaches 25 years of life this week and makes it more alive than ever. And not only because it returns to movie theaters (Telecinco has broadcast it twenty times but the experience of seeing it on the big screen again can be motivating), but because of the ability to generate debates and memes that some of its sequences continue to have. most iconic. Popular culture is full of traces of this film, which remain with unusual validity. We review several essential moments of the film to try to explain the reasons why they are recurringly remembered and arise in conversations of all kinds.
The orchestra that would not exist today
If the Titanic sank tomorrow, it would do so without an orchestra, because cruise margins are very tight in order to optimize prices for the thousands of families who entrust their summer vacations to an express tour with a free buffet through a dozen ports in the Mediterranean. The Wallace Hartley Band, which was what the famous Titanic orchestra was called, would not be on board, but instead a Spotify playlist would sound on the piped music in which at a given moment the version of ‘When love sets sail’ would appear. of Camel. And of course, Celine Dione’s hit with which the film won one of its eleven Oscars, despite the reluctance of the director, James Cameron, to include it in the film’s soundtrack. We didn’t even talk about live music, much less that the band, which would have gotten the job in exchange for visibility, would have stayed playing until the end, as happened with the one on the transatlantic.
Now, anyone would take their cell phone out of their pocket, record part of the shipwreck and upload to TikTok the images of the millennial ‘boy band’ playing from the same escape boat, that the rent is not paid by itself. The viral videos would serve to place them in some of the summer festivals on duty and they would specialize in closing the gig to the rhythm of ‘I want to get on your sailboat’, before appearing at Benidorm Fest 2024.
But, the Titanic orchestra has gone down in history for the opposite. Its eight members put on their final concert on the ship’s deck, with almost three hours of encores, while the cruise ship was sinking. Legend has it that they did it so that the drama would be balsamic, to distract the staff from the screams of an assured end. And for this reason, they went down in history as the protagonists of the museum of fame in which today the greatest are recognized: memes. Those of the orchestra are used for almost everything that supposes a distraction in the middle of a tragedy. The Valencian Government (nicknamed Botànic), the opposition even renamed it the Titanic, with the ministers as the head of the musical band, and the Getafe orchestra has made the repertoire of the ship’s latest songs a claim to bring the music to their neighbors on this 25th anniversary of the tragedy. Celine Dion’s ‘My heart will go on’, however, has remained a ‘trend’ on the Chinese social network, in an out-of-tune version played on the Hohner flute, which accompanies the memes in which everything goes wrong, and there is not even an orchestra to animate the roost. The world sinks and we lose heart.
The dance and the meme
Perhaps the most visible obstacle (sic) to the love story between Jack and Rose was the iceberg, but the real problem was that they belonged to different social classes. ‘Titanic’ will be a romantic drama but one that shows the different social strata of the time and the barriers to ascend to the highest.
This encounter between the two worlds was represented in a scene. After sharing the luxury of the deck and tablecloth restaurant with her, Jack proposed to Rose that they go in search of the party. They left the bored rich men talking about business and the women sharing gossip and descended several floors of the ship until they entered the third class tavern. The atmosphere there was very different: live music, Irish airs, alcohol in abundance, fights, shoving and a dance with which Rose definitely lost her tightness. It is as if James Cameron told us: “They may be poor, but they sure know how to have fun.”
Memes circulating on the internet /
Those subjective shots while they turned around happily without feeling that that same night everything would end -and it ended very badly- have become a good meme. It serves to ironize about the precarious, warn anxiety or celebrate bad decisions. Decontextualizing the images and using them to mock one’s own defects is the hallmark of an entire generation, even if they did not experience the premiere first-hand. Humor and irony filter well the ability to laugh at oneself.
Both of them could fit on the raft. and point
Few debates have given as much of themselves as that of the ‘Titanic’ raft. Did they both fit or not? Here is the question that has been feeding discussions, generating theories, encouraging controversies. 25 years later it is not easy to make a decision because depending on the answer the popular film changes its genre. Because if Rose allowed Jack to die, the James Cameron film would stop being the quintessential romantic production and become a huge drama and this is something that film history cannot easily assume.
The American director has spent a quarter of a century enduring being asked about that ending and being instigated about the measurements that table had. So much so that he has had to commission a scientific study to clarify what happened at that tragic moment. How will science be for this to have happened. To carry it out, the filmmaker has summoned an expert in hypothermia and two doubles with the same body mass as Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. He has not wanted to leave any loose ends and, above all, he has tried to settle forever the doubts that this outcome causes. Well, the experiment consisted of putting the subjects in frozen water with sensors everywhere to see if it was possible to survive. And the bottom line is that both could survive, there was room for both. A documentary will soon reveal the evidence on which they have relied to reach this determination. Did Rose have reason to let go of Jack’s hand? There are those who point to the class difference between them to find a certain logic to their way of acting. Others wonder if the boy was not an invention of hers who never got on the Titanic. Winslet herself has had to apologize, when she has been questioned in an interview, for not having thrown aside her and trying to get her lover to go up and take refuge.
This is supposed to end the controversy. Does anyone believe it? Of course not. They could present us with the most indisputable theses that we were going to continue sharpening that sequence. How were we going to give up a resource that has spawned hundreds of jokes and memes for more than two decades? No way. I predict that now the deniers will appear who will begin to object to this revelation and look for reasons that justify the ending: the board was not made of good wood, the two of them together would have sunk the raft, the poor boy was so frozen that he could not even move. ..
I’m flying, Jack!
Sometimes having a sense of the ridiculous can save your life. And getting vertigo: if yours truly had tried to recreate that scene from ‘Titanic’ where Jack grabs Rose around the waist on the bow of the ship while she yells “I’m flying, Jack!”, I would have ended up in the water. In fact, it happened to a Turkish couple: drunk as they were, they thought it was a good idea to be photographed imitating the protagonists, but he fell into the sea and drowned. I don’t know what causes us to do more nonsense, if love or Instagram.
Aware of how easy it is to jump off the railing of a boat (especially if passengers understand that ‘all inclusive’ means downing cocktails from breakfast time), on the mammoth cruise ships there is a sign that prevents the passage towards the bow. Frustrated, the 21st century Jack and Rose have to go to the stern to recreate the moment. But it is not the same behind as in front. Nor is it the same if, instead of ‘My Heart Will Go On’, an abominable reggaeton sounds, a hypo-hurricane wind blows and the sunset is clouded by clouds that threaten a storm. Despite this, couples do not give up on their titanic endeavor. Because love, in addition to working on it, must be immortalized in order to share it on the networks. And because that Rose from Navalmoral de la Mata still doesn’t know that she, seven months later, she will end up deleting that photograph when she discovers that her bargain Jack has made out with her best friend.
Horns aside, and although twenty-five years have passed since its premiere, the scene remains in the collective memory, both for those who buy ‘El Corazón del Mar’ on Amazon with the intention of giving it to their girl for Valentine’s Day and for those who enjoy watching the sequence turned into the fodder of memes and parodies: if Leslie Nielsen blessed her by recreating her in ‘What a fugitive!’, it was Leonardo DiCaprio himself who, along with Jonah Hill, raised her to the altars of comedy by playing her in the presentation of an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’. That’s why there are teens in their mid-2000s who haven’t seen the movie (and if they have, it’s been three times as fast), but they recognize the scene to the point of trying to recreate it while rollerblading. pedalo by the Mar Menor. ‘Titanic’ has reached so high because it is history of cinema and pop culture. And we have to recognize that even those of us who have vertigo.