Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why JAWS is my favorite film of all time

It is Memorial Day weekend which is officially the kick off of summer. The beginning of summer always reminds me of my favorite film JAWS. Mostly because there is nothing that screams summer more than people at the beach getting eaten by sharks. I have been obsessed with this movie since I first saw it during the summer I was 8-years-old. Even though I closed my eyes for half the film there is something about predators that exist in the real world that I find absolutely amazing. Plus the fact that JAWS was filmed in Martha's Vineyard, which is where I watched it the first time and where I go every summer, that makes it more special. Sometimes I really think I could live in a small beach town all year round. There is something so special about seeing and hearing the water when you wake up in the morning. I also find that movies filmed in the 70's just seem so much more real because they are filmed in this gritty style and just seemed less manufactured. 

I suppose my favorite character from the film would have to be Chief Brody. Chief Brody could be described as a quieter version of Woody Allen who moves to a beach town. He has the neurosis of a New Yorker but with a slightly cooler exterior. You also have to love Richard Dreyfuss as , the plucky young oceanographer who loves sharks. And then there is Shaw. Every adventure needs a crazy. old drunk bafoon and he is ours. When he gives the speech with the eerie music in the background (I wish my scary stories had a perfectly appropriate score in the background) you are literally scared for your life and wonder why we ever thought swimming in the ocean was a good idea. Speaking of the score what would that film be like without John Williams' amazing soundtrack. In two notes he created the most terrifying vilain of all time. 

The movie made me love sharks, sea towns and white pants in the summer like the pair Lorraine Bracco sports as she runs away from the dock. If you have never seen it then you are missing out. JAWS was the first true summer blockbuster and it changed the way we thought about films. If you get the DVD I suggest watching some of the documentaries about the challenges surrounding the shoot. It is great to see young Steven Speilberg in action. 

Here are some of the best quotes from JAWS that I think teach lessons as well:

Mayor Vaughn: Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July. 
Christine 'Chrissie' Watkins: Come on into the water! 
Hooper: This was no boat accident. 
Brody: You're going to need a bigger boat

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