Some interesting points about Camerons film from a well known Titanic author


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>>Yup we would not have had the footage of the wreck if it were not for him. And its the best footage so far. <<

Which is not what I said, Jon. Please refrain from contriving a strawman arguement and deal with what is actually said.

That aside, there is in fact footage, most all of it from the interior of the ship which we would not have were it not for the expeditions which James Cameron organized and led. That includes what's left of the Strauses stateroom and the Turkish Baths. Ghosts Of the Abyss would be a good one for you to watch if you want to get a sense of what they found as would Discovery's "Last Mysteries of The Titanic."

>>You say 'what he did' and 'two cutting edge remote operated vehicals' - but take into account he did not design or build these vehicles. You say 'what he did' as if it were just him and don't give the technical people any mention - the real genius behind them. It's funny how one man can take credit for so much.<<

Leaders and organizers who get things together have a funny tendency to get the credit. Dr. Ballard for example was the co-leader of the expedition which found the ship and opened the door for everything that followed. You don't see a lot of his people getting the press but I doubt you'll find anybody in this forum who isn't aware of the fact that they were there.

Same with James Cameron. He got the people together...some very bright, knowladgable, talanted and well informed people...and some of them are members of this forum or have been at one time. Were all mindful of the part they played, but were also mindful of the fact that if he wasn't doing the moving and the shaking, none of it would have happened, or it would have happened at a much later time if at all.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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>>>He's also writing to appease an audience that is first and foremost American. He's writing what people are going to expect<<<

Well if making the british crew appear to be whimps appeases the american audience then it does not say much for America people.

Funnily enough both you and Michael have not said if you think it was the decent thing to do to portray brave men, some of which saved many lives and died in the manner of which they were in Camerons film ? You have not given them a single mention. Do you honestly think this was the 'decent' thing to do town Tinsletown or not ? For me it's black and white. Without side stepping the question with a long answer do you really approve of the portrayal of them ?
 
>>For me it's black and white.<<

For me, it's not.

>>Without side stepping the question with a long answer do you really approve of the portrayal of them ?<<

I don't recall you asking the question in the first place though I do recall you making a declarative statement to the effect by quoting David Hutchings. I don't recall anybody disagreeing with it either. I certainly didn't. Why fuss over a point that's not in dispute?
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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I thought it was quite clear that it was a 'new' question of which I never claimed to have asked before, and I got the answer I expected. Cameron 'suportors' do not/will not admit the obvious - that the british crew were given a raw deal in the movie as it detracts from the argument they make. Hence they tend to side step the matter saying it was never in dispute (when it clearly was)or start talking about 'Hollywood' etc granted they make some very valid points. For me the point was always in dispute as I made my feelings very clear on why I thought Cameron was petty - in other words because of his portrayal of british in his movie. I am sorry if you got the wrong end of the stick but I thought it was obvious. Anyway you side stepped the question declaring it was never a point of dispute rather than giving a straight answer. And how you can not see that the portraying of brave british crew as useless wimps in this film is clearly a great injustice is to be frank quite beyond me -it's very black and white.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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And I think it quite understandable that someone who comes from England would be just a tiny bit annoyed by the unnecessary portrayal of the British crew in the film. I'm not saying all Brits are (but some obviously are - Hutchings included) and they have good reason to be. Just because that's the 'laws' of 'Tinsletown' or the realms of Hollywood fantasy does not make it 'right' ...

And Michael I can clearly see you won't budge on this. You won't admit the unfair treatment of the British in the movie although it is quite blatant but rather insist on making countless excuses for it. Maybe that is not your intention at all but it certainly comes across that way to me. That said forums are funny places and it's easy to get the wrong end of the stick when you are not having the debate in person. Hence I will leave it at that and call it a day.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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Sorry to keep "replying" to myself on this topic. I'm on holiday so have plenty of time at the moment. From reading back over what I have written I must say I do come across as a bit arrogant at times. And to be frank some of my remarks I have made about 'America' are just plain rude, yet I am the one complaining about how the english are portrayed in a film while insulting another country which ultimately makes me just as bad.

I do think you all get my view and reasons for them. After all I have repeated myself enough times.

Many thanks

Jon
 
From earlier:

>> I would have copied it all down but it was
>> a bit long. Why do you think so many people
>> have problems with Camerons film ? I suppose
>> they are just 'imagining' things!

#1: You haven't bothered to include a link or allow any of us to read the complete text, so I don't know how any of us would know what else Mr. Hutchings has to say.

#2: No one is imagining things. But listening to the Marshall/Lynch commentary on the DVD, they talk about accuracy and don't have many complaints. I guess I respect them more than Mr. Hutchings because they wrote one of the two definitive books on the ship and the disaster. They advised on the film and visited the sets and costumes going over them with extremely discerning eyes. They've seen the film itself many times and discussed how there were things that were wrong but there were many things that were right.

It's not perfect in the least. It's quite honestly a popcorn flick. But a great deal of care went into the physical production and the depiction of an era.


>> I do think you all get my view and reasons
>> for them. After all I have repeated myself
>> enough times.

Well you ARE storming about denigrating Americans, who make up a large population of this board. You're going to raise some blood pressures. Maybe diplomacy is the best option for you.

>> that the british crew were given a raw
>> deal in the movie

Please give an example. A hard and concrete example. I've seen the film many many times. While I dislike aspects of it, I admire others. I'm also not the type of American that thinks "America is best". I just do not see where it shows the British in an unflattering light.

Not many others did either, especially the British. It was highest-grossing film in British history up until the last couple of years.

>> Sorry to keep "replying" to myself on
>> this topic

It would be easier on us if you simply edited your post.

>> And to be frank some of my remarks I have'
>> made about 'America' are just plain rude

Now that's one of the first things you've said on this thread that I agree with.

In general, I think you need to calm down. Or maybe use the energy that you've exerted on this thread for something positive.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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>>You haven't bothered to include a link or allow any of us to read the complete text, so I don't know how any of us would know what else Mr. Hutchings has to say.<<

I can't as it is from a 1998 BTS magazine. It's to long for me to copy everything down. But if you really are that interested I would be happy to copy out out the positive bits.

>>Please give an example. A hard and concrete example. I've seen the film many many times. While I dislike aspects of it, I admire others. I'm also not the type of American that thinks "America is best". I just do not see where it shows the British in an unflattering light.<<

Did I not post a review pointing out the many so-called anti british elements of the film ? Agree with it or not it points out plenty. Maybe you missed it. It is at the start of the topic. Hence I fail to see why you are saying to me 'point out one' ??? Just one ??? There is more than one hard concrete example. I have made the same mistake as you - replying to topic's without even reading the content that started them. The fact that you clearly did not read the original bits of the review, commented on it and then said I had not even given you the chance to read the complete text does seem a bit odd. I say this because if you had read it - you certainly would not be asking me to supply 'just one' example of the anti British portrayal of crew. As said the whole review points out quite a few.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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And Jeremy Aufderheide - I apologised for being rude about the americans and admitted it was quite hypocritical. If you don't want to accept it then fair enough! Going on about how I should re-edit my posts etc is really not going to achieve anything but rather just carry things on.
Maybe you did not mean to be rude and were just offering some friendly advice but please note it's easy to get the wrong impression on forums :)
 
>>Cameron 'suportors' do not/will not admit the obvious - that the british crew were given a raw deal in the movie as it detracts from the argument they make.<<

Actually, it's irrelevant to the points that some of us have been making.

Jon, there are a lot of things I liked about the flick and a lot of things I didn't like about the flick. Most all of the characters were stereotypes of one sort of another, from the unflattering portrayal of the British characters to the wholly inaccurate portrayal of Margeret "Molly" Brown as a somewhat rough and ready course midwestern rube. (In fact, she was a very well educated and well traveled lady in many respects way ahead of her time.)

In fact, it's been pointed out by one of our own members that the most accurate portrayal of a contemporary 1912 individual, right down to the attitudes and worldviews was that of the villain one just luvs to hate: Caladon Hockley.

For all that, in the end, it's still only a movie. Tinseltown fantasy. The product of an industry which crosses international boundries to present unreality as entertainment. It's not real, and in all candor, I'd have to say it's really not even that important.

If you want to continue to get your knickers in a wad over what is ultimately trivial persuit, that's certainly your perogative.

However, if you wish to malign the character of a man who's gone past his flicks to go out and accomplish things which do matter, then you would be unreasonable to the point of being irrational in not expecting some resistance.

We're not confusing the movie for the man.

Why are you?
 
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Jon_dalbyball

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>>Jon, there are a lot of things I liked about the flick and a lot of things I didn't like about the flick.<<

There is plenty I like about the film also! The re-creation of the interiors and the special affects of the sinking scenes or the Titanic at sea are but three examples.

You are quite correct. There is no point getting my knickers in a twist over a film, but the internet is a funny place - you can find yourself getting quite worked up over what are essentially trivial things.

>>We're not confusing the movie for the man.
Why are you?<<

Sorry was not quite sure what you meant there :)

Cheers Jon.

ps glad that you acknowledged the unfair portrayal of the British crew in the movie. But as you said or should I say imply it's just Hollywood hence I should not really get all hot and bothered about it.
 
It is hardly surprising that Cameron's Titanic has elicited so much discussion on the board, Jeremy. Whatever its merits as a piece of film-making, it must have done more to generate interest in the story of the ship and her sinking than every other book and movie put together. Jon is a new member and it seems only natural that he wants to have his say. Even the veterans amongst us have returned to this thread more times than we'd care to remember!

'...But a great deal of care went into the physical production and the depiction of an era...'

Debatable. I'd agree that the general look of the film is stunning. It is obvious that huge sums of money were expended on the sets and costumes. But, to anybody with even a basic knowledge of the mores and nuances of the Edwardian period, its much-vaunted 'attention to detail' - in terms of dialogue...and movement...and the interactions between the various characters - was, in fact, almost painfully anachronistic. For a more 'credible' depiction of the era, I'd recommend Howards End, The Wings of the Dove or A Room with a View - emphatically not James Cameron's Titanic.

'...But listening to the Marshall/Lynch commentary on the DVD, they talk about accuracy and don't have many complaints...'

Well, they wouldn't have many complaints, would they? I imagine they were well-paid for their contributions - even if Cameron and his team were ultimately 'selective' about the bits they opted to use in their film.

And regarding that alleged 'anti-British' bias...

'Please give an example. A hard and concrete example. I've seen the film many many times. While I dislike aspects of it, I admire others. I'm also not the type of American that thinks "America is best". I just do not see where it shows the British in an unflattering light. Not many others did either, especially the British. It was highest-grossing film in British history up until the last couple of years.'

With all due respect, Jeremy, a great deal was written in the British press at the time of the movie's release on precisely this subject. Some commentators thought it was risible and laughed accordingly. Others were incensed. J. Bruce Ismay twirling his moustachios like a Victorian pantomime villain...Lightoller portrayed as a bungling incompetent...Murdoch portrayed as something infinitely worse...and then abused as 'a limey b*stard' by Tommy Ryan, just before his highly controversial suicide...pseudo-Cockney stewards, imprisoning third-class women and children behind metal gates...all contrasted with the good, honest, Irish contingent, dancing and drowning, in steerage...the sheer unsubtlety of all this was lost on no-one. Maybe you couldn't care less about it...but the bias is most definitely there.

I'll concede that Titanic has a lot going for it. But the points that Jon has made are, in my opinion, just as valid as any praise we can bestow.

Stage A Night to Remember on Cameron's sets...dress it with Cameron's costumes...and shoot it with Cameron's technology...and we might just arrive at the perfect Titanic flick.
 
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Jon_dalbyball

Guest
Not that it really matters now but here is a copy and paste for Jeremy Aufderheide as she asked for but 'one' example of the anti British vibe in the film. I suggest you read the review before commenting on it this time as that would help rather than complain that I had not even supplied the whole thing when you clearly could not be bothered to read the first bit :)

Any heroism that had emanated from the British officers of Titanic on that fateful night has been deliberately annihilated. Captain Smith is represented as practically ineffectual as he is portrayed meekly accepting instructions on the ships speed from an overbearing White Star chairman, Bruce Ismay. Second Officer Lightoller, who did so much in getting lifeboats safely away before demonstrating his own heroism on an upturned lifeboat, is shown as an arrogant, posturing individual rather like those Victorian military-sterotypes so often parodied on old style music hall stages. First Officer Murdoch, depicted as a nervous type, is scandalousy shown as accepting a bribe, and then shooting a Steerage Class passengers ( who just so happened to be Irish ) before committing suicide. The orginal script was had this gallant officers body floating in the water with dollar bills floating out of his pocket. Outraged representations had Cameron promising to cut this scene which he the rewrote in its current form, apparently, to the grief of Mr. Murdoch's desendants who are understandbly threatening to sue. Watching these caricatures of British officers and crew on the screen one wonders how the 'Ship of Dreams'managed to have sailed, let alone have been built, by such men of inferior courage!
 
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Jon_dalbyball

Guest
>>>>With all due respect, Jeremy, a great deal was written in the British press at the time of the movie's release on precisely this subject. Some commentators thought it was risible and laughed accordingly. Others were incensed. J. Bruce Ismay twirling his moustachios like a Victorian pantomime villain...Lightoller portrayed as a bungling incompetent...Murdoch portrayed as something infinitely worse...and openly abused as 'a limey b*stard' by Tommy Ryan, just before his suicide...pseudo-Cockney stewards, imprisoning third-class women and children behind metal gates...all contrasted with the good, honest Irish contingent in steerage...the sheer unsubtlety of this was lost on no-one. Maybe you couldn't care less about it...but the bias is most definitely there.

I'll concede that Titanic has a lot going for it. But the points that Jon has made are, in my opinion, just as valid as any praise we can bestow.<<<<

Thank you :)

I will agree with you about Howards End being a much better representation of that period. Can't quite remember when that film came out - I think it must have been quite a while ago, maybe 1992 ?
A lot was made by Camerons PR company in regard to how they 're-created 1912 life' on the Titanic. However for me personally I don't think they did very well in that department. For example women like Molly Brown or Rose or any other woman of that period would not have worn such thick dark red lipstick and eye liner. I don't think that happened until at least the 1920's, but I may be wrong.

I can well understand the 'masses' in the UK not noticing the anti british theme in the movie and it being the biggest grossing film. Very much so when you take into account the common 16 year old Traceys and Sharons that went along to the cinema it droves to watch the film. People like that would not have had a clue!

Cheers

Jon.
 
Jon, if you're seeking support for your views you might well find it in other threads where these issues of national stereotyping and misrepresentation have been debated at length long before they were resurrected in this new thread. I would advise you (and indeed any new member) to spend some time looking through the abundance of existing threads and archives, as it's rarely necessary to start a new one if you want to add your views to an existing area of discussion. For many of us who've been there before, and more than once, there's an understandable reluctance to repeat ourselves. But here's exactly what I had to say when the same issue cropped up in this forum 6 years ago:

<< Right now, the principal source of 'information' about the Titanic for John Q Public is James Cameron's film version of events. With class distinction as a major theme in his fictional love story, Cameron placed great emphasis on this element of the 'real' background scenario, to the extent of eliminating the intermediate 2nd Class passengers from the plot. Most viewers of the film (ie a large proportion of the population of Planet Earth) now believe that all of the 3rd Class passengers were held back in the bowels of the ship by gunpoint and locked steel gates while only the ruling class were loaded into lifeboats.

Their understanding of events will be coloured also by Cameron's perceptions of national character, which possibly reflect the expectations of his audience. His Titanic was crewed by English stereotypes - cold, uncaring, inflexible, often cowardly. Those shown in a better light are 5th Officer Lowe and (if we include him with the crew) Thomas Andrews, who were, respectively, Welsh and Irish. The large contingent of Brits among the steerage passengers are largely ignored, while Cameron concentrates on an Italian and an Irishman who are passionate, brave and resourceful. Film companies need to keep their audiences happy by giving them want they want, rather than what they might need. If the film had been in production right now, one wonders how its projected audience might have reacted had 'Jack's' companion been a brave and resourceful Frenchman or Syrian. >>

I would add that in my view Cameron wasn't demonstrating any personal prejudice, but rather doing the job he was paid to do. And that was to get the maximum number of bums on seats by giving the audience just what they wanted and offering no great challenge to their preconceived ideas. That policy might not be ideal, Jon, but it's commercially viable.
 
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