news culture Titanic: the director of Avatar 2 closes the board debate once and for all!
In 1997, James Cameron, already well known for having directed Terminator, Aliens The Return, Abyss, Terminator 2 or True Lies, was released at the Titanic cinema. A real thunderclap, which generates 2.2 billion dollars and which wins 11 Oscars. But for twenty-five years, a debate has raged.
Titanic: a film as legendary as the ship
As you surely know, titanic is based on the history of the famous liner that hit an iceberg and sank one cold night April 1912. The shipwreck claimed the lives of around 1,500 people, and it is one of the best known in history, in particular because it allowed the implementation of numerous security measures. Reputed to be unsinkable, the Olympic-class building has been studied and excavated on numerous occasions, which still today gives rise to very multiple exposures worldwide.
In 1997 therefore, James Cameron released in the cinema a film inspired by this legendary news item, telling the fictional story of Jack and Rose, two passengers who are opposed to each other, picking up 11 Oscars and occupying in passing the first place in the Box Office for 12 years. He was only dethroned by Avatar in 2009, then by Avengers: Endgame in 2019. In France, it is still the film that achieved the most admissions, with 21.7 million tickets sold.
One is poor and embarks at the last moment, the other is a young bourgeois, promised to a rich man. Their story is totally fictionalbut the secondary characters as well as the sequence of events are based (or at least inspired) on real people and events. But when the boat sinks in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic, there is not enough canoes rescues for everyone. Many people sank with the ship, others found themselves in the water in the middle of the night, water that was around -2°C.
“There was room for two on this board”… Not so sure!
Multiple passengers therefore died of hypothermia, and, in the film, this gives rise to a mythical sequence. Jack and Rose find themselves in the ocean, clinging to a floating piece of door. Rose is entirely on it, while Jack is leaning on it, and in water up to the shoulders. The latter therefore undergoes the cold, and ends up sinking and disappearing in the water. Since then, the debate has raged. Many spectators think that there was plenty of room for two people on this damn board, others think not, and that the board would not have protected anyone if the two had been on it.
As Cineserie reminds us, the famous show MythBuster, which attempts to validate or invalidate certain beliefs of this kind via scenarios, has even devoted an episode about the plank affair in 2013. But recently, it was the director of the film himself, who decided to provide an answer, which is intended to be definitive. During the many interviews he gave during the promotion from Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron told the Toronto Sun that a scientific experiment had been conducted to end the debate:
We did a scientific study to close the matter once and for all. A complete analysis was conducted with a hypothermia expert who reconstructed the raft of the film, and we will have something new to show in February. (…)
We worked with two stunt doubles with the same body mass as Kate (Winslet) and Leo (Leonardo DiCaprio), covered them with sensors, plunged them into freezing water and tested various methods to see if they could have survived. And the answer was: no chance that the two survived. Only one person could survive.
But where are the images and the written conclusions of this unprecedented experiment, carried out more than twenty years after the release of the film? According to the director, we will discover all this in a documentary which should be released who knows where in February 2023. Obviously, this date would correspond to the Return of Titanic to the cinema, screened in a new version. In the meantime, the Titanic, whose wreck is doomed to disappear, still fascinates as much, 110 years after its first and only crossing.
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Titanic: the director of Avatar 2 closes the board debate once and for all!