James Cameron’s Titanic: A remastered edition hits theatres in February

By Lucy Peoples

Galway cinemas along with many others around the world are screening James Cameron’s Titanic for it’s 25th anniversary.

The tragic love story revisits our screens as a tribute, celebrating one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Although the movie is set in 1912, certain thematic elements of the film still have a significant prominence today.

Themes explored in the ‘Titanic.’

Feminist attitudes, environmental issues and societal norms are explored throughout the film.

Dr Seán Crosson, a Senior Lecturer at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, says:

“The release of Titanic in 1997 was an important moment both for the event it re-enacted and for the development of mainstream film practice.”

The movie awakened an empathy among audiences all around the world. That is not often felt when reading about events of a historical nature.

Cameron’s portrayal of the love affair between Jack and Rose makes the event more emotional and relates to the humanity of the situation.

For 25 years, people have felt connected to the characters. The resurfacing of this movie awakens a respect for the filmmaking involved, as well as a reminder of the tragedy which occurred.

“It is unlikely that the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 would have the emotional impact it does today for millions of people around the world without the release and success of James Cameron’s film,” says Dr Crosson.

He says that the film’s continued relevance is related to the modern use of CGI.

“The film’s overall rendering of the ship and the events concerned were crucial to the impact it had on audiences.”



The impact on society after 25 years

Professor David M. Lubin, an American author and curator, has produced writings on the film in his book Titanic. He talks to The Galway Pulse about the film’s impact on society today.

“It remains relevant because of its core metaphor: there are looming icebergs out there that we need to avoid crashing into, such as climate change, environmental disaster, out-of-control gun violence and the demise of democracy,” says Professor Lubin.

The inability for the ship to avoid crashing into the iceberg in spite of various warnings demonstrates society’s need for awareness in relation to these issues.

This revival of the film on its silver jubilee holds with it a vital message in relation to teenage rebellion and self-awareness.

“When the movie begins, Rose is fed-up with the materialism and social-status anxieties of her class,” says Professor Lubin.

“Jack represents a meaningful alternative to that way of life and she literally jumps for it.”

In today’s culture, the younger generation can relate to the emotional angst felt by the main character as she is given the opportunity for a more meaningful life and shown the world through the eyes of a less fortunate yet grateful boy.

Professor Lubin says that the need for freedom among young people in today’s generation is expressed in the film and is still relevant in society today.

“Today, in the age of all-consuming social media, the need for young people to escape emptiness and find genuine meaning is greater than ever,” he says.

Titanic speaks to that need.”

In cinemas now.

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