Sunday, June 25, 2023

Titanic to the IMAX

Early last Monday morning I fired-up my computer, clicked onto Twitter, and saw the news: all contact had been lost with a submersible 1 hour and 45 minutes after it started its descent to the Titanic. I spoke out loud with nobody to hear my take: "It imploded. They're all dead."

My natural inclination was to tweet out, "It imploded. They're all dead", but I decided that such a tweet so early would be construed as being negative, not to mention, ghoulish. However, that was the only answer possible. James Cameron, the Canadian deep sea explorer and filmmaker, admitted a few days ago that he knew what happened, but decided to keep a lid on it for the time being ― after all, perhaps there was another possible explanation for a total communications breakdown with the submersible Titan.

With terrible news confirming that the tiny ship had indeed been crushed instantly by tons of water pressure, I did not tweet "I knew it", but rather: "With the horrible loss of the OceanGate submersible Titan, and crew, Morgan Robertson's 1898 novella 'Futility' has come full circle."

Thirty years ago I attended a CSC (Canadian Society of Cinematographers) meeting, here in Toronto, that had, as guests, a film crew that visited the wreck of the Titanic in order to shoot footage for the IMAX film Titanica.  (I enjoyed the finished film; saw it with friends at Ontario Place's "Cinesphere".) Around a mockup of the submersible dangled a netting, the kind one could use for a grocery shopping trip. We attendees gathered around, and all of us, no doubt, took notice of what cargo was in the netting: miniature Styrofoam coffee cups. We listened as the filmmakers talked about going deep down into the consuming darkness. Eventually one of the explorer chaps pointed out the 'reformatted' cups. He explained that they were normal-size Styrofoam cups when they were on the ocean surface. We all laughed, and pondered....

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