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Jaws Film Review

Jaws Film Review

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Published by vikkikerslake
by Vikki Kerslake
by Vikki Kerslake

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

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11/01/2014

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Jaws Film Review1975Directed by Steven Spielberg
Jaws was the film that for a long time, caused people to be too afraid to go in the water. Anadaptation of the novel by Peter Benchley of the same title, the story is essentially about agiant great white shark which attacks locals in a small fishing village. This is a relativelysimple story, but what makes the film so engaging seems to be a combination of naturalacting, unique and clever use of camera angles, and the main feature, the shark itself. Thisfilm proves that less is more; there are more POV shots and shots of oblivious swimmers,than the actual shark. John Williams provided the theme score for the shark. Whenever heis present, the audience can hear the familiar and frightening music.Fig.1: The MovieFig.2: Brody Vs. Shark
 
The shark was originally designed to be a mechanical shark. Spielberg hired Bob Mattey,creator of the giant squid from film 20,000 leagues under the sea, to work on building threeindividual sharks for the film. Due to many problems during production and the sharksactually malfunctioning, this led to Spielberg making the decision to film only a few shots ofthe shark. The scenes that do feature the shark can seem a little dated and fake at times,though overall the clever and tactical editing by Verna Fields, made the shark appear real;by for example cutting a shot just at the right time to prevent the audience from taking inthe shark fully. The image above is one of the few moments in the film where the audienceactually sees the shark close up; even here the shark is only on screen for a shortmoment.The image above shows a more unrealistic moment in the film. We see the sheer size ofthe shark at last, and it is a bit unbelievable and takes the audience out of the moment.The film presents the idea of a killer shark as something that could actually happen, andwhich brings the point that the idea of a giant killer shark is a rather goofy idea, which hasbeen played for laughs in films such as Deep Blue Sea. Spielberg seemed to be aware ofthis, and incorporated humor in the film. Writer Carl Gottlieb co-wrote the screenplayalongside Benchley, the original author.Spielberg juxtaposes humor with suspense in jaws. In the scene where Brody is feedingfish into to the sea in order to attract the great white, he makes a quip to the others aboutthe dirty job they’ve given him to do “ why don’t you come down and chum some of thissh*t?” This the cue for the audience to laugh. But instantly that laughter is quelled by thefirst real appearance of the shark followed by the stunned and shocked reaction of Brody.This is followed by yet another joke “we’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
 
Siskel
 
says thatthis is an example of the
 
clever way Spielberg ‘manipulates’ his audience ‘guiding anddirecting’ them throughout the film.
 
Fig.3: Quint Vs. Shark

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