Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I heard yesterday that Craig the Philosopher will be leaving the office next month to go to work at a big law firm. Congratulations, Craig.

Check out http://www.villaaquilea.com One of my roommates from law school lives there with his DW and their three kids. The place had been abandoned for years when they bought it. Now it looks like something in a Merchant Ivory film. However, my ex-roommate isn't a snooty British expatriate -- far from it, as I recall.

I was thinking this morning on the drive in about a little joke I had with the office film fanatic a few years ago. I suggested that we think about how different directors would do that worst of all big movies, "Titanic." We didn't get too far with it back then, but here are a few of my ideas:

-- Martin Scorsese: Leonardo and Kate have sex in the backseat of the car, then Leonardo drags Kate to the kitchen and shoves her head into a pizza oven.

-- Brian de Palma: Kathy Bates stands up at dinner, grabs a baseball bat, and clubs Billy Zane to death as the assorted high-society dinner guests look on in horror.

-- Jonathan Demme: The White Star Line official who gets away in a lifeboat gets the munchies. He viciously kills, then eats, the other lifeboat passengers. He opens a small box that he brought along and has a snack of fava beans and a nice chianti.

-- David Fincher: As the ship starts to sink, Leonardo begins spouting puerile philosophy about masuclinity in modern America. Leonardo and Kate stand on the door in the water and beat the hell out of each other until they both fall into the water and freeze to death.

-- Michael Moore: After hearing that the ship has hit an iceberg, the Titanic's captain continues to listen to a child read a book about a goat for seven full minutes. During that time, Moore speculates aloud what must be going through the captain's head. Much of Moore's film focuses on the murky ties between the captain, a Serbian terrorist group, and Tsar Nicholas II. Moore builds a case for the proposition that the sinking of the "Titanic" was used as a pretext for World War I.

A few more:

Billy Wilder: Kate murders Leo upon hearing that the ship has hit an iceberg. She descends the grand staircase and says, "I'm ready for my closeup now, Mr. de Mille."

David Lean: Keeps the movie as long as it is; however, we get gorgeous vistas of sea and sky throughout. Also, Leo kills Billy Zane and is disturbed that he enjoyed doing so. Russian Navy appears and drags Leo off to fight for the Bolsheviks (okay, my timeline is off on that one).

Federico Fellini: Everybody dresses in circus attire and parties as the ship sinks. Nobody attempts to get away. Life is absurd, so why bother?

Ingmar Bergman: The sinking ship is a metaphor for the existential crisis within us all. Nobody leaves the ship; instead, everybody commits suicide.

Anybody else have any movie thoughts?

3 comments:

Phoebe said...

I tried, Randy, but I can't come up with anything as good as what you've already written. I was thinking about the way Robert Redford would have directed it, and all I can think of is that he'd probably cast himself as the young boy who won the passage on the Titanic in a card game.

Dave said...

Dude, those are hilarious! The Kathy Bates one especially cracked me up.

Oliver Stone: Kate and Leo are rarely seen since most of the movie is spent in third class interviewing the lesser citizens about the living conditions in the lower decks. The whole movie is focused on class demarcation. At one point, someone accuses the crew of intentionally hitting the iceberg, and a bunch of amateur detectives figure out the entire conspiracy just before the boat goes down.

Francis Ford Coppola: The Titanic makes a quick side trip up some remote river in Vietnam as Leo’s character writes his ever increasing insane thoughts. One morning, he wakes up to find Kate’s favorite horse’s head in bed with him. He jumps up and screams, “That’s not what I wanted!!”

George Lucas: No “half boat” set would ever have been constructed. The whole movie would have been done in CGI. Leo’s character is this strange floating wasp creature. When the ship hits the iceberg, he keeps saying, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

Stephen Spielberg: Kate and Leo would never have been cast. The film would have represented the actual events of April 14, 1912. It just would have been set to some really good movie music.

Randy said...
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