Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Jaws

Jaws (1975) is a great film. It's much like the shark actually. Streamlined, efficient and focused. Steven Spielberg directs it with an extraordinary confidence, the dialogue is witty, the cinematograhy is beautiful and it's full of tricks and treats, like the beach scene where we see chief Brody (Roy Scheider) sitting in a chair watching the water and Spielberg uses the people passing by in front of him like wipecuts, moving closer and closer to him by each person going by.

It's also rich on subtexts and allegory, if you like. City vs island, intellectual vs primitive, corruption vs integrity, where the shark, white as it is, can be used as a canvas on which we can paint our own meaning. It's also somethink like the revenge of the nerds, as neither Brody nor Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) are particularly manly or heroic, but actually rather, well, nerdy.

And then there's Quint (Robert Shaw) telling the story of the sinking of U.S.S. Indianapolis. Maybe the shark is sent as revenge for the sins committed during World War 2:

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