Friday, July 9, 2010


The fact that Jaws used to scare me so much I couldn’t watch it is funny now that my film vocabulary and appreciation has grown to the point that I count the film as one of my favorite of all time. I can’t get through a 4th of July weekend without watching it.

If I were to teach a film class, and show examples of films that could be counted as “perfectly made” I know I would show Jaws & Annie Hall. Jaws may have had continuity issues once they got to looking through the footage, and the mechanical shark rarely worked, but Jaws is a lesson in suspense, good acting, story and the fact that less really is more.

As the sequels prove, in the hands of lesser directors, ones who aren’t afraid of showing us the big bad wolf or don’t concentrate on the emotions other than fear, a story about man v. shark is not all that appealing.

I’m glad Spielberg got the first go.

Brody: It doesn't make any sense when you pay a guy like you to watch sharks.
Hooper: Well, uh, it doesn't make much sense for a guy who hates the water to live on an island either.
Brody: It's only an island if you look at it from the water.
Hooper: That makes a lot of sense.

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