CMCI’s Dr Richard Howells has marked the centenary of the Titanic disaster with a new journal article: “100 Years of the Titanic on Film”. Here, Howells analyses all the major films on the Titanic since 1912, beginning with the earliest newsreels (some of which were faked) to James Cameron’s Oscar winning blockbuster, which is due for a 3D re-release this year. Along the way, Howells investigates many other films including the notorious ‘Nazi’ Titanic propaganda feature of 1943.
Two connected arguments underlie the article: First that from the earliest newsreels, films of the Titanic have always had a schizophrenic relationship with history. Second, that films about the Titanic are never really about the Titanic. What they do is use the use the ever-malleable myth of the Titanic to project the concerns of the presents and the cultures in which they were made onto a convenient metaphorical ‘vehicle’ from the past.
The full details are: Richard Howells, “One Hundred Years of the Titanic on Film”, in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Volume 32, number 1, March 2012, pp. 73-93. ISSN 0143-9685, DOI 10.1080/01439685.2012.648054.