Cats on the Titanic

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Jim Kalafus

Member
>This adaptation has legs, Jim.

Oh yes, lots of them. And also torsos, backs, and simulated sex. AND, exposed buttocks for the "expanded director's cut DVD version."

Amazing how I can consistently come up with such brilliant projects for Demi Moore just by thinking about the Scarlet Letter and then letting my mind go blank.

>Happy endings are just so yesterday.

This ends with a prolonged sex scene, followed by them cuddling, and watching the sun rise beyond Big Ben. (Yes... I KNOW... but its just such an integral part of London that I'll fudge a tad on historical accuracy)

But, dear, think SEQUEL. Henry dies, and Catherine masks her grief by throwing herself back into journalism and sees her comeback book, Lamentacions of a Synner, become a bestseller. She marries Thomas Seymour, and soon finds herself locking horns with his b!~~~ sister-in-law, Anne Stanhope, who is just the sort of jewelry hoarding Stepford Wife that she has always detested. THEN, Catherine becomes pregnant, unexpectedly, and, at 35, finds herself the champion of a cause: Womens' Right to Choose.

She then hears rumors that her husband is sexually interested in her step-daughter!

Sizzling stuff... but a lot more Jackie/Joan Collins Power b!~~~ material and far fewer soft focus, artsy sex interludes than in the first film.
 
B

Bob Godfrey

Member
Go for it. There's no need for another authentic treatment of the Henry saga - it's been done.

youtube.com/watch?v=5rmsj7BOxR8
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
>The only war film I've ever refused to watch, in a rage, only to find it sneaked up on me on TV without my realising.

Ehhh... I avoid "Based on a true event" films as a rule. I may have mentioned, once or twice, disliking Titanic... well, I feel the same way about most of the genre. I like exactly ONE film pertaining to WW2, the German film Das Schreckliche Mädchen (1990), and I wish that I could order the entire Western World to view it. (English title: The Nasty Girl) I tend to like one film per decade, other than as "camp," and that was my film for the 1990s. I'm losing confidence that a film which isnt total garbage will emerge before the end of the current decade....

Kitty: A Return to Auschwitz (1979) was brilliant, too. Having watched that, there was subsequently no need to watch the dramatizations during the 1980s and 1990s since I had viewed a piece of film making which could not be surpassed.

At the other extreme sat Pearl Harbor, and Midway, both of which could be adapted, into comedies without much script alteration, like Zero Hour/Airplane.

Sad to say, I was unaware that there WAS an Enigma film. My revulsion over the Tom Cruise Valkyrie project was such (The assasination attempt was NOT inspired by This Is Monstrous sentiments, but by Oh s~~~ We're Losing realizations, and I did not view the central character as in any way heroic) that many lesser WW2 disasters passed beneath my radar while I was fuming...
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
>Go for it. There's no need for another authentic treatment of the Henry saga

Well, Demi and I are following the broad outline of the story. We've tried to stick as close to the facts as possible. BUT, we're trying to make this a tale of female empowerment and male "awakening" and, as such, a few tiny liberties have been taken. If even one girl chooses to follow her dream, after watching the Catherine Parr segment, or realises that someone calling you ugly doesnt MAKE you ugly, unless you let it (our spunky Anne of Cleaves), then we feel we've done our work.

Miley Cyrus is lined up for the Catherine Howard role, btw.
 
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monica e. hall

Member
How I now realise that my own paltry screen-writing pretensions are totally devoid of imagination or originality, Jim. Maitre!

Mind you, I'm a bit surprised to see the you've omitted Catherine Parr's well-documented claim to have formulated the general theory of relativity in 1547 following a mad dash on horseback, in pursuit of the panicked Seymour, when she suddenly noticed a church clock etc. etc. To his eternal credit, Thomas pulled up, and trotted back in awe to take her dictation. Sadly, he lost her notes after she died not long afterwards.

But credit where it's due, Jim. This is not revisionism, after all.
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
I omitted that entire episode, to focus on her struggles to get Lamentacions of a Synner published without the extensive "dumbing downe" her publisher initially demanded. And, on her heartbreak when the stage adaptation proved to be slick, commercialized, and superficial. And, on her guilt when it proved to be a money-spinning hit.
 
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monica e. hall

Member
Well, editorial decisions are always difficult and, as Bob has pointed out above, the bar for production values has already been set very high.

Miley Cyrus as Catherine Howard is good casting, though, as little-known research has recently revealed that Henry unaccountably lost his diminutive bride amongst the bedclothes whilst honeymooning anonymously in the Great Bed of Ware and began to dementedly wonder if he hadn't imagined the whole thing.
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
Waxing nostalgic. Once, during a period of extreme dementia, my work friends and I composed an entire operetta around the horrors of managing a video store in the suburbs.

The New York Woman was a number dedicated to the massively irritating sort who acted as if living 50 miles from midtown was the equivalent of being stranded on a desert island, as if their former life in "The City" had been a 24/7 whirl of intellectual fulfillment, and who asked rather offensive questions such as "What do people do for fun here?"

Without exception, they'd ask the annoying question "Do you rent foreign films?" which was such a ridiculous blanket statement (posing as intellectual one-upsmanship) that I'd, invariably, direct them to our selection of Z-grade Mexican wrestling films from the 1960s. Blood of the Aztec Mummy was, after all, a foreign film.

Our New York Woman, while clutching her Bloomingdales Big Brown Bag, trilled:

"Do you
rent foreign films?

Give me Fellini, and "Tati Danielle"
and Gerard Depardieu.

I want subtitles and non-linear plots.
Now, Demi Moore won't do."

That, of course, was BEFORE The Scarlet Letter. After the release of that film, we saw Demi for the genius that she truly was/is... the film was a brilliant deconstruction of a classic, AND a wry piece of social commentary: a "guerilla" parody which most unelightened viewers saw only as pure crap.
 
J

Jim Kalafus

Member
My favorite "Foreign Film" of that era was Baxter. Not for its content, but for the unending disruption it caused in the homes of the idiotic.

Baxter was a French black comedy about a cuddly dog that happens to be a serial killer. People, ignoring the big sign that said "French Language Films Only" and the equally large "All Films In This Section Rated Pg-13 Thru NC-17" sign, would see the cuddly dog and grab the R-rated film off of the shelf as an electronic baby sitter for their brats. And then bring it back, while screaming at me, because the cuddly dog gleefully murders his owners.

When I would show them that the cuddly dog on the box cover had a dialogue balloon coming out of his mouth reading "My owner is a sweet old lady. She treats me well. Today I think I will kill her" and that the film was clearly marked rated R AND in a section filed with French language movies, it wouldn't abate the screaming at all.

"I OUGHT TO HAVE YOU ARRESTED. THAT FILM IS DISGUSTING AND IT DISTURBED MY KIDS. YOU OUGHT TO TAKE IT OFF THE SHELF OR PUT IT IN THE p~~~ SECTION"

My rehearsed response was an admittedly borrowed joke:

"I hope you dont apply that brand of consumer logic to Windex. 'Attractive looking blue liquid in transparent bottle. Looks tasty. Down the hatch, kids.' "

All of which made me long for people who just rented their Demi Moore films and went home....
 
H

Haowei Shi

Member
Is the ship's cat run away before the yoyage?

[Moderator's note: This message, originally a separate thread, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing, on occasion, the same subject. MAB]
 
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M.A.S.

M.A.S.

3rd class
Member
I read in a non-fiction book about the Titanic (I forget which one) that a sailor-like dude (not sure of his name) decided not to be on the crew after allegedly witnessing the ship's cat ("Jenny") carrying her new litter of kittens OFF the ship, one by one, down the gangplank. He apparently felt it to be a bad omen regarding the safety of the voyage ahead, since she didn't want to stay there.

In contrast, I'm almost done reading a historical fiction book called Survivor Tails: The Titanic (by Katrina Charman). In this imaginary story, the captain's cat, "Clara," looks after three kittens ("Cosmos," "Jack," and "Violet") which are already on board (not her own litter), but were abandoned there by their mother-cat. In a very dramatic (think heroic-wet-cat-saves-the-day) rescue scene from lower in the ship, she eventually leads them onto the lifeboats to hide, hoping they'll be able to survive without her since she plans to go down with the ship with the captain. So that's kind of the opposite of the Jenny legend. (I don't know if the author had heard of the story of Jenny's kittens or not, but I know that fictional works often changes names and details so that it's more of an original tale).

It's a bittersweet "tail," told from the perspective of a plucky pooch named Mutt, who stow-aways himself onto the Titanic to follow his 3rd class little Irish owner ("Alice")... whom he ends up helping onto a lifeboat. The 3rd class dad had to plead with her to get on the lifeboat, lying to say that he and Mutt would be right behind her. Mutt had to pull her towards the boat; he's like Lassie, but on the Titanic. :) Happily, after jumping off-board and floating on a trunk, Mutt hears the 1st class yappy little dog alert him towards the lifeboat with Alice on it, to be re-united. There was a teary-eyed moment in which they almost didn't let him on, but they did after Alice pointed out that she should be able to have her dog, too, even though she was 3rd class. (By the way, they also pick up the dad, who swam to the over-turned lifeboat. These are made-up main characters, mind you).

This book is a non-romantic, family-friendly, age-appropriate way for animal-loving young readers to be introduced to the tragedy. Like having a teddy bear to hold in the dark-- this book will help them through the cold, hard facts of the Titanic which they are ready to learn. There's lots of chapters and only a couple illustrations, so not for the youngest readers who needs plenty of visuals. Another cute thing about Clara is that she not only alerts the lookout about the iceberg since cats can see better in the dark, but she also is the captain's comfort to his very end. (Be still my heart!) I'm about to find out whether or not Clara makes it or not (although I know it's not even non-fiction), but I'm pulling for her to survive, somehow...

p.s. I hope Jenny-cat took care of her wee little kitties after carrying them off, so that they all missed the trip? :)
 
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M.A.S.

M.A.S.

3rd class
Member
...a sailor-like dude (not sure of his name) decided not to be on the crew after allegedly witnessing the ship's cat ("Jenny") ...
... (I don't know if the author had heard of the story of Jenny's kittens or not, but I know that fictional works often changes names and details so that it's more of an original tale).;

---Okay after the story is over, the author of Survivor Tails: the Titanic shares a factual timeline and fun facts (well, sad facts). Yes, she had heard the story of the real kittens, and she even provided a name for the dude. (She provides a lengthy list of other books/ online resources --including this here Titanic Encyclopedia-- but no footnotes, so there's no way of knowing where she read about it). This is her paragraph on the subject of the "true story:"

"There was a ship's cat called Jenny on board. Jenny's job was to keep the ship free from rats and mice, and she slept in one of the galleys. She is said to have joined the ship at Belfast, Ireland, where the Titanic was built, after leaving her sister ship, the Olympic. While on board, she gave birth to a litter of kittens. When they reached Southampton, Jenny was seen leaving the ship with her kittens. One of the stokers, Jim Mulholland, saw this as a bad omen and decided to leave the ship at Southampton, too, Mulholland later credited Jenny with saving his life."

There's lots of chapters and only a couple illustrations, so not for the youngest readers who needs plenty of visuals.

---I can't believe I forgot about the other three illustrations. I flipped back and think I found all of them-- five in total. Some of the most thrilling scenes.

I'm about to find out whether or not Clara makes it or not (although I know it's not even non-fiction), but I'm pulling for her to survive, somehow...

Aww sadness. :( As far as we the readers know, Clara did indeed go down with the captain who went down with the ship. :( After a few harrowing paragraphs describing the water rising around the captain and Clara in the bridge, it ends with:

"Clara took a deep breath, telling herself to be strong. To be brave. She gave the captain a final, small meow to let him know that she was with him. That she would be by his side until the very end.
Her beloved captain.
And as the water rose up to meet them, the captain gave Clara a kiss on the head and said: 'Farewell, old friend.' "


But that's the last we hear of her, other than the survivors (Mutt and the kittens) missing her on the Carpathia. The kittens were hoping she would make it. She had to tell them she'd see them again in order to get them onto the lifeboat. Poor lil kitties. :( Thankfully they were adopted by a little girl and her mother on the Carpathia. :) Mutt had kept his promise to Clara, to look after them for her. Then when Alice and her dad were leaving the Carpathia with Mutt, and he was almost taken away by the pet-police guy, others rallied around them to let them take Mutt home, even though 3rd class passengers weren't supposed to have their pets on board. After all, Mutt had gone all that way to be with Alice, and had saved their lives (when he led the way through the freezing maze-- from steerage up to the boat deck). Happy ending: Good triumphs in the end. :)

-------

And that's how historical fiction for children's books goes; 1,500 people really died, but there I was, crying over a made-up cat. It's not just the cat itself, though, but what she represents: friendship, love, and loyalty. That cat deserved a claddagh collar.

The main characters were like tour guides at an exhibit, showing us just a selection, not everything. There were some real facts mixed in with some made-up happenings. The author explained what and who were only fictional after her story, so the kids know the difference. She added a double dose of cuteness, a lump or two of extra love, because "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

I know not everyone is a fan of historical fiction or of children's books, but there may be folks with youngins who might want to read stories like these. I'd say this book is for elementary/ middle-school age. (Or, the young at heart!) :) Plus, the writers of children's books are grown-ups. And they should be knowledgeable about the Titanic. There may be aspiring writers on here who want to read children's books for ideas of what they could write about the Titanic for younger readers.
 
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Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
Ran across this article reading The Big Four by Mark C. Seems sometimes cats are too attached to their ships. Cheers.

SHIP'S CAT REMAINS ON DESERTED CELTIC; p~~~~ Refuses to Leave the Ship Which Is Being Pounded by Heavy Seas.​

Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
  • Dec. 16, 1928
 
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M.A.S.

M.A.S.

3rd class
Member
Ran across this article reading The Big Four by Mark C. Seems sometimes cats are too attached to their ships. Cheers.

SHIP'S CAT REMAINS ON DESERTED CELTIC; p~~~~ Refuses to Leave the Ship Which Is Being Pounded by Heavy Seas.​

Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
  • Dec. 16, 1928

...And then what happened? :O The poor pussycat!
 
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