Ghosts of the Abyss
James Cameron's "Ghosts of the Abyss" reminds us that early films about Titanic were amazing just for having been made, but his more ambitious documentary expedition goes miles down with a powerful "chandelier" hanging over the wreck, and two remote-controlled cameras ("Jake" and "Elwood") that get into tight corners to explore the ship's inner chambers.
Expedition crews in deep-diving submarines guide the "camera-bots," and Bill Paxton, who starred in Cameron's feature film "Titanic," narrates the spellbinding documentary - and shoots some of it. The camera-bots snake into the ship's grand ballroom where, astonishingly, Tiffany cut-glass windows are intact. Later, Cameron puts a mini-sub outside the ship, and shines its light through the windows for the camera inside, so we see the window's colors brought alive for the first time since the ship went down.
There's also footage of the brass bed in the "unsinkable" Molly Brown's suite (she had a Broadway musical named for her), of a bowler hat still waiting on a dresser, glasses and a carafe where they were left after a last drink.
Cameron shoots the Titanic's now-empty corridors, a deserted grand staircase, and abandoned decks, then populates the ship with a ghostly overlay of the restored ship and elegant passengers on the cruise to doom. (The movie is impressive, although it's being shown in some places in 3-D is a mistake, and distracts attention from the content. You won't be deprived if your theater or home system does not have 3-D.(
Narration by Bill Paxton
Exploring the wreck of the Titanic; class privilege; histori
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