Saturday, June 27, 2015

70s cinema masterpiece

Last weekend was the 40th anniversary of Jaws. I went with my family to see the film at our local AMC theater and I think it may have actually been the first time that I've seen Jaws on the big screen - something that's totally worth it if you ever get the chance.

If you haven't seen Jaws you probably should. Like, right now. Or maybe next weekend - it's a Fourth of July film, after all. And it's amazing. I first saw it as a little kid; my parents sat my sister and I down and put it in the laserdisc player, telling us when to cover our eyes so we wouldn't see the really freaky parts. Not long after that my sister and I convinced our grandmother that we'd already seen the film so it would be okay for us to watch it while she was babysitting us. Unfortunately we didn't realize exactly how much our parents had edited out when we initially watched it. I was six, my sister was four, and she was literally scared of the bathtub for a few months after that un-cut viewing. And she STILL doesn't like going in the ocean.

Since then I've probably seen Jaws about a hundred times. For my sister it's probably closer to a thousand times (she saw four showings last weekend, watched it a month ago, and is going to watch it on the Fourth, none of which is unusual for her Jaws viewing patterns). Hell, her admissions essay for USC was about the movie, I'm not going to grudge her her obsession.

The reason we've seen the film so many times is because it's fucking amazing. There is nothing wrong with it, it's a 40-year-old horror/action flick and after all this time it's still incredibly perfect. The actors are perfect, the camerawork is perfect, and the music is horrifyingly, transcendentally perfect. Nothing whatsoever about Jaws is bad. Sure the mechanical shark looks a little fake when held up against things like Jurassic Park, but I think reality looks a little fake when you compare it to Jurassic Park. Bruce the shark is as good as could be gotten in 1975 and if he looks a bit rubbery these days that's okay because you don't see him much. The shark isn't the scary part, it's not knowing where the shark is that's the scary part. Well, that and John Williams' brilliant score.

     - Alli

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