Titanic is still a timeless classic
Titanic (in 3D)
- Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates.
- Director: James Cameron
- Rating: M
- Reviewer's last word: A visual spectacular that manages to seamlessly blend a love story with the large-scale drama of the ill-fated voyage of the supposedly unsinkable ship.
THE floating mountains of Pandora seem worlds away from the icy waters of the Atlantic.
But it was the process of making his groundbreaking 3D film Avatar that inspired filmmaker James Cameron to revisit his 1997 classic Titanic.
"We learned a lot from Avatar that helped us with the 3D with this," said producer John Landau, who worked closely with Cameron on Titanic and its 3D conversion.
"Even though fundamentally the movie was made in such a different way (to Avatar), the core of any movie is the story you're telling and through the process of Avatar I think we honed our craft of utilising 3D to enhance story."
The 3D re-release of the Oscar-winning film coincides with this month's centenary of the ship's sinking.
But this is no ordinary 3D conversion.
Cameron, Landau and their team went through the 194-minute film frame by frame to ensure every second looks as natural as possible.
It took them 60 months to go through all 279,000 frames - compare that to the average 3D conversion time of just six weeks.
But Landau said they approached the 3D conversion as a tool to enhance the original material. No new scenes or effects, other than the extra dimension, were added.
"3D doesn't make a bad movie better," he said.
"I think it exaggerates what's there, so if something's not good, then it's worse, and if something's good, then it's better.
"I think if you take a movie and handle it right then people forget the movie is in 3D.
"That's when it's worked, when technology makes you forget the technology."
The added depth brings out every wrinkle in actor Gloria Stuart's hands as she shapes clay on a potters wheel, and Kate Winslet's blue eyes pop in the scene where she's getting her corset tightened.
If, like me, you have not seen the movie since its theatrical release, then this is a great opportunity to enjoy it one more time on the big screen.
While some iconic moments, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Winslet standing on the railings of the bow with arms outstretched, are burned into my memory, there were plenty of other scenes that I rediscovered.
"Everybody remembers different things. There's some scenes people don't remember that hit them differently this time," Landau said.
"The scene with the mother talking to the kids as the ship is going down, a 30-something guy came up to me and said 'John I saw that movie three times and I never remembered that scene. I now have two kids and I cried through that scene'."
Seeing the film in 3D was also a trip down memory lane for DiCaprio when he watched it with Cameron and Landau in Sydney while he was filming The Great Gatsby.
"This movie changed his life, and I'm not talking about the career. I'm talking about personal life," Landau said.
"He couldn't go to the supermarket any more; he couldn't play basketball in a public park anymore. That was a big transition for a 21-year-old kid. Leo aspired to be a great actor, but I don't know if he ever aspired to be a star. Suddenly both fell on him."
Titanic (in 3D) is in cinemas now.
- Quirky fact: Her first acting job was dancing with the Honey Monster in a commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal.
- Best known for: Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mildred Pierce.
- If you like this movie you'll like these: The Young Victoria, The King's Speech, Avatar.
- Quote: "There's not an awful lot that embarrasses me. I'm the kind of actress that absolutely believes in exposing myself (in nude scenes)."
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