Wednesday March 28th 2012
While Daz Sampson, Bernard Manning, Morrissey and a man in a flowery shirt queued for autographs behind the barriers, I walked the red carpet at the world premiere of Titanic last night. No, I hadn’t travelled through time and space to the 1997 Tokyo Film Festival (seriously, that’s where they unveiled it) — instead, I’d been invited to the film’s very first outing in three dimensions. Well, there was a press screening in Leicester Square last week, but who’s counting?
I never saw Titanic during its original theatrical release (even though it ran for eight years or whatever it was) and thanks to James Cameron’s perverse refusal to reissue the movie on any kind of superior home entertainment format, I’ve had to put up with my non-anamorphic bare-bones DVD release (‘Interactive Menus!’) for the best part of a decade. So arriving at the Royal Albert Hall last night to watch it in the company of thousands of Important Industry Types (and the cast of Made in Chelsea) was more than a little bit exciting.
Obviously, the film’s a masterpiece — that fact should need no justification at this point. (Seriously haters, what do you want, another fifteen years to work it out?) But what really struck me this time around was how little some of the obvious low points — the ‘Picasso won’t amount to a thing’ scene, the near-constant use of foreshadowing in the first half, Old Rose’s final little squeal when she drops the diamond into the ocean — bothered me. In fact, some of them even made a lot of sense. Remember that awful computer simulation that the Comedy Fat Guy shows Old Rose, presumably just to precipitate her big smug “the experience of it was somewhat different” line? Imagine for a second how illegible the action of the last act would be without it. When you stop and think about it, even Old Rose herself — undoubtedly the most irritating character in the entire movie — seems like a fairly realistic (if depressing) projection of what might have become of the spoilt little rich girl after she lost her renegade BF.
What you make of the 3D will largely depend on what stock opinion you subscribe to on that matter, but safe to say, it’s hardly going to inconvenience anyone. Completed over the course of a year at a resolution of 4K, it’s a flawless (if perhaps unnecessary) revision that, at the very least, gets the film back into cinemas for idiots like me who missed it the first time around.
Titanic is back on the big screen next Friday and it’s still the most breezy 194 minutes ever to grace the multiplex. Now all Cameron needs to do is reissue the original teaser poster and I’ll be happy:
COLLIDE WITH DESTINY indeed.