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Jaws

Jaws

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Published by MeganHowett
Film Review
Film Review

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Published by: MeganHowett on Feb 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/27/2014

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Jaws, 1975
Set on the small island Amity, a tourist location that relies on it's summer season, 'Jaws' begins with thesavage shark attack on a teenage girl. Police Chief Martin Brody, who is shown as an outsider, new to theisland, is called to the beach where the girls remains have been discovered. With the town mayor stoppingBrody's attempts to close the beaches, a young boy is killed by the same shark. Te attacks spur the townsshermen into action, all hoping to receive the bounty placed on the shark's head. Ultimately Brody teamsup with oceanographer, Hooper, and shark-hunter Quint to track and kill the great white. Te trio set o aboard Quint's vessel, the Orca. Te beast proves more dicult to capture than any in Quint's experienceand succeeds in sinking the boat and devouring the sherman. Brody saves the day, using a canister ofcompressed air to kill the shark. Directed by Steven Spielberg, 'Jaws' is a fast paced horror, fuelled by aFigure 1.
 
powerful score and fantastic cast, that's been terrifying audiences for the past thirty years. Spielbergmanaged to achieve a level of tension and fear in a Hitchcock-like style.Spielberg was working with extremely thin material let's face it, Peter Benchley's source novel is prettylousy — and the potential for disaster was enormous (more so since the mechanical shark didn't work mostof the time). But the director, drawing from a screenplay (by Benchley and Carl Gottlieb) that improvedupon the book, in the end fashioned an instant classic whose success owes as much to his superborchestration as to the substantial jolts and knockout performances by Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw andRichard Dreyfuss.” (Brunson, 2012)It is widely agreed that the power of 'Jaws' does not lie in the shark, but the score and cinematography thatFigure 2.Figure 3.
 
represents it. Te shark is far more frightening before the audience lays eyes on it. Trough the use of anunder-water camera, focusing in on the legs of unsuspecting swimmers, Spielberg create tension in thesuggestion of the shark's point of view. “Te fast-moving 124-minute lm engenders enormous suspense asthe shark attacks a succession of people; the creature is not even seen for about 82 minutes, and a subjectivecamera technique makes his earlier forays excruciatingly terrifying all the more for the invisibility.(Murphy, 1975) During the lm's climax, Quint's death is far less scary than the earlier attacks, as the shark'sunrealistic appearance is distracting and almost comical.“Best of all is Steven Spielberg's direction: the camera moves like a predatory animal, gliding eerily acrossthe surface of the vast Atlantic, creating sequences of almost unbearable suspense (never mind that thescariest scene was shot in a swimming pool). Its no wonder a generation of holidaymakers still thinks twicebefore stepping into the water.” (Huddleston, 2012)John Williams composed perhaps one of the most famous scores of all time.
Before we see anything, ourears are chilled by composer John Williams' menacing two note soundtrack which then builds into thatunforgettable frenzy as the unseen shark savages its rst victim. Never has a lm score so perfectly propelledthe action or us to the edge of our seats.” (Martin, 2012) Earning the composer an Academy Award, thesoundtrack builds tension and stays with audience long aer the screening has nished.Figure 4.

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