Half time has hit after forty something minutes and Boyfriend has flicked the TV set over to the best choice Channel 4 has made in a long time… Titanic. The iceberg has just hit, as though the schedulers knew that millions would be growing restless at half time and manipulated that ‘impossible’ moment to air just as viewers around the country started flicking.
For the record, I was able to enjoy Mr. Andrews circulating the ship in a state of abbreviated concern (as I now understand it through adult eyes, ‘gormlessness’), evil Cal framing Jack, Rose’s lips becoming puckered to a state of near apoplexy for every shocking turn of events within ten minutes (this particular portion shoved a lot in – the iceberg, the diamond emerging from Jack’s coat, the coat that she thought was Jack’s bearing a label with someone else’s name, Jack being taken away, Cal’s facial spank, Mr. Andrews’ timely reminder that she was the lead character in a tragic love story that also wanted to blithely comment on life and class).
As the ‘I’ve had enough of football thank you very much’ option the broken boat film is a lazily genius inclusion within the TV listings. In fact, I’m not sure why I’ve stayed down here where the second half’s started, instead of running upstairs and watching the film in bed. As Boyfriend is a massive sports fan, as opposed to a normal person I’ve endured many a World Cup inspired docuganda** slot generally focusing on the humble roots of now world renowned players, who have become sources of actual national hope. And now, because I watched but only ten minutes of the football fan’s black mirror, the comparisons between Titanic and my World Cup weeks are startling. Weeks of humble roots, national pride, national hope, the impossibility of Spain leaving so early, the shock that no one was shocked about England’s early departure***.
Such is the great comparator that Sports Fan Boyfriend at 79 minutes in has speculated,
I wonder what’s happening with that boat…
and we’re back to Channel 4 – Cal’s shooting at Jack. Boyfriend fact checked and now we’re back – still 0-0. I may have disappointed him with the lack of truth behind the World’s Greatest Love Story. Ever. IDST.
The last three weeks have been tiring, demanding of commitment and the suspension of reality – even as I have observed the elimination of countries that I’m convinced will be there to the end, I need to know what happens. Regardless of whether I care for the last ones standing. And I could be saying exactly the same if I had watched the film from the very beginning. Three hours can be just as much of a commitment as three weeks – the hope, disbelief humble roots and impossibility is loads more intense in a tight time frame. Honest. It’s true.
So, thank you Channel 4 for offering the absorbingly terrible film to cover the period stolen by the World Cup final. I saw this film eight times in the cinema, and cried every single time. It was like a therapy. It was permitted time to be devastated by the death of LOVE. There’s no doubt that within the next hour the roads from Brazil to London will be filled either with sobbing Argentinians or sobbing Germans****. Because the fans invested. They hoped. They made it this far. AKA, Jack and Rose on the wardrobe door*****. Because of the inevitability of tragedy, Titanic was always the only other viable option.
It is a mathematical certainty.
**Have I just made a word up? If so, docuganda is the preparation of facts that are true, including a series of familiar to the facts talking heads and pointed photo or video montages relevant to the fact. A docuganda is distinguishable from a documentary, as the facts are set up to show that the factual event is part of something with a universal, ethical, philanthropic heart.
***This used to be a source of domestic mourning – this tournament it was a clinical roll of the eyes and the hope that another European country would get there instead).
****Actually, do Germans sob? They seem so together the majority of the time?
***** A helpful lesson on what to do if you’re shipwrecked. The answer is ‘share the available space out of the water’.