Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Tale of Titanic, Christmas Party Presentation, and An Episode Memory of High School

The RMS Titanic in the movie.
 "Go to your room now, Jun-Jun and we will watch Titanic," said by my high school classmate Brian (not his real name) to his little brother, Jun-Jun (not his real name, too!) as he commanded his little brother to remove himself from the sala of their house and went straight to his room. Not long after that, the then pirated VHS tape has found its way to the VHS player, and the next thing we knew, we were hooked on what's the "IN" thing during that time. Titanic was such a huge success back in 1997 when it was first released, video pirates actually had it in VHS tapes format! Just imagine.

Fifteen years ago

Fifteen years ago, we were a bunch of 14 and 15 years olds, and Jun-Jun was still at age 9! It was December 1997, when James Cameron's Titanic was released. The only thing I knew about the movie back then was that Leonardo DiCaprio was in it, and that Kate Winslet actually wanted to be painted in the nude by Leonardo DiCaprio. We were a bunch of high schoolers who were trying to explore the possibilities of watching something so good, yet we didn't mind the totally of the story of the movie, but instead, actually waited when will Kate Winslet undressed her rob and readies to be painted.

High school was such a silly experience... yet fun and exciting. We all experienced high school, aren't we? And we know silly things do happen during high school years, right? The only things that made the difference back then were that, fifteen years ago, we didn't have a digital camera to take photos of our silliness or shoot videos and upload them on youtube; we didn't have gadgets to share with, not even social networking sites to be busied about; and most of all, we didn't have digital formats of movies yet, thus, watching Titanic in clear pirated VHS tapes format was really a luxury for us.

December 1997 was when Titanic was first released in cinemas. It was also the year and month when my high school classmate Brian, invited us to practice in their house for our upcoming Christmas Party presentation. But instead of practicing for our group's presentation, we ended up watching Titanic.

The year 1997

1997 was a year when boybands and girlbands dominated the billboard charts and MTV was still showing popular music videos. (MTV wasn't called Music Television if it wasn't showing music videos. MTV has evolve from televising music videos from time to time to an all-reality show TV network, and it sucks!)

When my classmate Brian, invited us to practice in their house for our upcoming Christmas Party presentation, we already knew in mind what our presentation will be. The superhit during that time was Backstreet Boys' (BSB) "As Long As You Love Me" single. We knew this was the perfect dance song for our presentation. The music video has already been released. All we have to do was to imitate the steps or improvised our own dance steps, and voila! Instant popularity in our room! For your reference of the BSB's "As Long A You Love Me" music video, please see the video below.

Jam-packed with testosterone levels

"Brian" was our leader and choreographer. He was a good dancer. He was also the more popular person I had known among our classmates because of his bad boy image look, son of a businesswoman, and his strong appeal to girls in the school campus. A typical high schooler with a rich bad boy-brat attitude and a dance machine combined into one. The moment we were assigned to our group, we knew, "Brian" can become our leader because he can dance, can kick some ass, and can literally set the dancefloor's mood.

The all-boys group was probably composed of around 10 members or so. It was really a crowded group. But who cares. The purpose of us going to his house was to practice and perfect the dance steps for our Christmas Party presentation that will be happening in a few days. The meeting has already been set. The music has already been readied. The dance steps has already been sequenced. However, Titanic has stopped what has already been planned.

But the stopping of the dance practice was good. Well, I guess for a bunch of high schoolers who were loaded with so much testosterone, who can decline such a good movie, right? (Back then, our super special class considers a particular movie a "good movie" if it has sex or intimate scenes or nudity exposures in it... hahaha.. silly us!) Some may have disagreed with Brian's decision to stop the practice but majority of the group gladly agreed to watch the movie, even though we didn't really understand what the movie was all about due to our pre-occupied anticipation of the world's most famous painting scene ever in a movie!

"I want you to paint like one of your French girls wearing this... wearing only this..."

My heart will go on

Even though the watching of Titanic has halted our practice, the dance presentation still pushed through and the number of days were counting and we were running out of time. We only had so little time to practice and we still have to memorize the dance steps. The practice was moved on a later date, and we only had a few more days before the Christmas Party presentation.

The day of the Christmas Party has finally arrived. One by one, the number of groups performing for the Classroom Christmas Party of the 3rd Year Special Science Class of 1997 has already trimmed down to a few. Finally, it was our time to perform.

It was a surprise hit! I remember our classmates were screaming like crazy when they heard that familiar tune of the first few notes of BSB's "As Long As You Love Me". In my peripherals, I can see my computer teacher, who invited himself in our Christmas Party, was also doing the dance steps that Brian choreographed. I was proud of what we have done. We won... I think... I don't clearly remember if we won or not, because that was fifteen years ago. But I think we won.

"I will never let go..."
I was not part of the dancing team, but my support to the group was clearly seen during the production of the dance steps. I know, whenever I hear that familiar tune of that famous Backstreet Boys song, I can still move my arms and legs, and dance my heart out, but only to myself. Hahaha. I can dance, but I was never a dancer.

Fifteen years later, Titanic was coming back to me and this one episode of my life is slowly showing a much clearer picture, in 3D format perhaps. I can now understand why the Titanic has become part of me. If it wasn't for that pirated VHS tape format of movie in 1997 and the Christmas Party presentation, this movie is just another movie that was shown, watched, and totally forgotten.

Now that Titanic has been re-released in 3D movie format, memories of high school fifteen years ago are also vividly appearing in my mind! Not that I am one of the survivors of the tragic shipwreck, but because I know, in my heart, I can move on forward with my life and I can always look back to the fond memories of my simple high school life, and I will never let go of it. Watching Titanic will never be the same again —literally and figuratively!

P.S. I found a funny Titanic 3D parody on youtube. You might want to check it out! Hehehe! Enjoy!


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