6:00 PM, 29th September, 2012
One of the oldest works in literature is "The Odyssey" by Homer, the story of the nautical journey home from the Trojan War by Odysseus and his many adventures en route. Abridged translations of "The Odyssey" are still eagerly read by students. Indeed the best-selling Young Adult novel and forthcoming 2013 movie Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters has a setting very much inspired by "The Odyssey".
One of the youngest works in literature is the animated feature-length movie. Ice Age: Continental Drift nevertheless borrows from its ancient Homeric predecessor. (Or perhaps that should be Homeric successor, since the Ice Age franchise of movies are set in prehistoric times well before the Trojan War.) As Odysseus sought to sail home to his wife Penelope, so Manfred "Manny" (Romano) the woolly mammoth seeks to sail home to his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah). And both Odysseus and Manny encounter the deceptively attractive singers, the Sirens.
Woolly mammoths are not usually nautical by choice. However, Manny and the other two protagonists Sid (Leguizamo), the stupid sloth, and Diego (Leary), the soft-hearted saber-toothed tiger, accidentally find themselves marooned on an iceberg. Yet worse is to come when they are 'rescued'...
Although Manny, Sid and Diego are - as always - the protagonists, the hero is - as always - the prehistoric squirrel-rat Scrat (Chris Wedge). The animators create increasingly inventive ways for Scrat to eternally pursue a nut; and eternally fail.
8:00 PM, 29th September, 2012
Forget the 3D conversion; we're rescreening the original in all its Oscar-winning 2D glory! One of the highest-grossing films of all time, Titanic had a record-breaking budget of $200 million, brought back ten-fold with box office takings of over $2 billion worldwide. You can see why, with its sumptuous sets and stunning costuming (The hat! The dress!), all shot with beautiful cinematography.
If you haven't seen the film and don't know the story, let me first congratulate you on avoiding spoilers for the past 15 years! The film follows the story of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Winslet); a survivor of the infamous sinking. The elderly Rose (Gloria Stuart) tells the story of her time aboard the ill-fated vessel to crewmembers of a wreckage recovery mission, who seek a legendary diamond on the ship but get caught up in the tale of her relationship with a young man named Jack Dawson (DiCaprio). While Rose is travelling in first class style, impoverished artist Jack is in steerage; yet the two bond, much to the consternation of her well-to-do mother and stuffy, controlling fiancé. Meanwhile, an iceberg lurks ahead...
James Cameron made this with a lot of love, recreating the original ship down to even the smallest detail. The film may have been overshadowed by its own hype (it did 'Go on and on'), but it still stands up as an enthralling story of young love made all the more gripping by impending disaster.
Come and revisit the film behind the phenomenon.