Morgan Robertson is best known for his short novel Futility, first published in 1898. This story features an enormous British passenger liner called the Titan, which, deemed to be unsinkable, carries an insufficient number of lifeboats. On a voyage in the month of April, the Titan hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic, resulting in the loss of almost everyone on board. There are some similarities to the real-life disaster of the RMS Titanic. The book was published fourteen years before the actual Titanic hit an iceberg on an April night and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Titan is also trying to break the speed record.
Down to the most idiosyncratic detail, all this is familiar […] And yet it couldn’t be. Robertson published his book in 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic sailed. If she continues to haunt our imagination, it’s because we were dreaming her long before the fresh spring afternoon when she turned her bows westward and, for the first time, headed toward the open sea.
"Why Do We Love the Titanic?", David Mendelsohn, The New Yorker.
“You’re talking about propaganda,” Mina said.
“I’m talking about all movies. Propaganda is the word we use for the poor examples, the obvious manipulations. The real stuff, the truly potent stuff, doesn’t have a special name. We just call it Kino.”
“And my grandfather – ”
“Your grandfather was an exceptional, uncanny talent.
“Well, what do you think of this place–does it make you feel the weight of history, or is it more like a playground?”
As a part of the F.W. Murnau Foundation’s new series “Film trifft Buch,” I will read from Kino today, followed by a conversation with me and Andrea Wink and a screening of Helmut Käutner’s 1945 film Under the Bridges.
“Adolf Hitler became Reichskanzler on January thirtieth, nineteen thirty-three. The Weimar Republic had run out of time, und das Land der Dichter und Denker was about to sink into barbarism. I barely paid attention when those criminals took over. I was busy making movies.”