Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reflecting on Jaws

I don't watch Jaws enough these days, really, and I still haven't sat down for a viewing of the new Blu-ray (I did scan through it a bit and checked out the documentary The Shark is Still Working, though).  But I think I watched it enough growing up to make up for my recent lack of Jaws-watching.

The first Jaws film I saw was Jaws 3D as part of a "double feature" with Octopussy.  (It wasn't really a double feature.  My friend's father took me and him to the movies, and paid for one ticket a piece for all three of us for Jaws 3D.  At the intermission, he snuck us over to watch Octopussy, then when that movie was over, he snuck us all back to the second half of a later showing of Jaws 3D.  I was extremely disappointed that I didn't get to keep my 3D glasses from Jaws 3D - my friend's dad kept them since he paid for the movie ticket.  Jerk.)

I honestly don't remember when I first saw Jaws, but I know when I became obsessed with it.  It was high school for me, so we're looking back at early-90s.  I'd been aware of the film, of course, and I'd seen it before, but when I first started renting it at the local video store, I watched that movie religiously.  I analyzed it.  I practically took notes.  I had friends over specifically for a Jaws-viewing-party.  The film's score is one of the first I bought on CD for myself, but that wasn't until after my friend Jerad bought it on cassette.

We were at the local mall (Cheyenne, WY, only had one), he popped the Jaws soundtrack tape in my car's radio, and we slowly cruised the mall parking lot.  The John Williams music blared from my car's meager speakers as we (and, yeah, this was probably not the nicest thing to do) slowly followed random people in the parking lot.  For some reason, this act stuck with me.  So much so that when I would pick my little brother Kevin up from school, I'd let him pick someone at random walking along the sidewalk, and we'd follow him, the car windows rolled down and the Jaws theme blasting as loud as we could make it go.

And since I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker when I grew up, I wrote a screenplay for a parody movie called Shocks.  In it, a killer car was loose in the mall parking lot during Cheyenne's Frontier Days, and mall security guard Cody was going to team up with bounty hunter Flint and someone named Cooper to stop it.

Fortunately, that movie never got made.

But I did revisit the idea a few years later while taking Video Production classes at Laramie County Community College when I turned it into a project for the assignment of creating a "Non-Verbal/Emotional" video.

Jaws' music, its visuals, its characters, its pacing - I found it inspiring and I'm VERY happy with the Blu-ray release even though I've not sat down to watch the movie in full.


1 comment:

quatermass said...

Jaws, still perhaps the scariest movie I ever saw. I first saw it in 1975 when I was 12 1/2 years old. What am impact.
Too bad movies now don't have that same impact.