Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jaws Overtime

Jaws the movie turns 40 this year. Don’t expect that to happen without at least a little bit of hullabaloo. And it starts here. A new video essay series begins their journey with “An Absurdly In-Depth Study Of the Beach Scene In Jaws.

With that set-up, you wouldn’t necessarily think it worth watching, but this is stellar stuff. From Film School Rejects:
“Spielberg at his most Hitchcockian.”
That’s how the team behind The Discarded Image (a new video essay series focused on cinema) describes the beach scene in Jaws where Brody watches a ton of potential beach-loving victims, helpless to save a little boy who’s ripped apart by the shark. I can’t disagree. Mostly because Alfred Hitchcock also loved bad hats.
The video does a striking and thorough job explaining how Steven Spielberg tortures the viewer by forcing them to identify with a powerless figure caught in the middle of a violently chaotic moment. It’s about framing, camera direction and dramatic irony. It’s also about color coordination, foreground imagery and the culmination of earlier character decisions. It’s also about a dozen other things that allow us to marvel at Spielberg’s genius and allow aspiring filmmakers to shudder at the sheer level of detail that goes into making something this powerful.
Film School Rejects sets up and then shares this first episode of a new video essay series called The Discarded Image here. Want to see the beach sequence without commentary? That’s here.



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