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Discussing Jaws

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Introduction

The film I am writing about is Jaws, which was directed by a young Steven Spielberg in the year of 1975.The story is about a man eating great white shark who is terrorising the people of Amity Island. The film is set on Amity Island, New England, United States of America on 4th July which is also Independence Day. I believe it is set on Independence Day because it is a holiday for the whole of America to celebrate. People will be attracted to Amity Island for the great local businesses, its beautiful golden beaches and its supposedly safe waters. In this essay I will show you how the director has created suspense, excitement and horror for audiences around the world. He does this by certain positioning of cameras, the sounds played in the background, not showing such a great deal of the shark and the actors' reactions to seeing the shark and the attacks. At the beginning of the film, in the title sequence, there is a point of view shot from the shark as it swims through the reeds on the bottom of the sea bed. This makes it look like the shark is searching for prey and as then chasing it when the music starts to get faster and louder. The music in this scene is non-diagetic and is also in time with the sharks heart beat. ...read more.

Middle

The way this creates suspense is very similar to how the film makers created the huge amount of suspense in the first attack. It makes you feel like you know there's going to be an attack but, the only problem is, you don't know when! Spielberg also gets the actor, who plays Chief Brody, to react as if he thinks there's going to be an attack when there isn't. For example, when the old man swims under the fat lady with a swimming cap on, he could be mistaken for a shark if you were watching the film or you were the lifeguard that day. Another example of this is when the girl shrieks as the boy lifts her on his shoulders out of the water. These are all red herrings and are there to trick your mind into thinking that they were the shark. There is also another red herring when the man walking his dog and throwing the stick into the water for it to chase, is shouting for his dog that seems to have disappeared. He starts to call for it but the dog doesn't come running. You then immediately think that the dog has been the sharks' second victim although it hasn't. This is where the genius of Spielberg shines through with all the tricks that play on your mind. The next scene to cause horror is when Hooper, the shark expert, goes with Brody to find the shark. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is then down to Chief Brody to save the day. The audience are now willing him on to defeat the shark and as it climbs further into the boat, Brody starts to panic as he feels himself slipping towards the shark, so he decides to throw 1 of 4 gas canisters into the shark's mouth. The shark swims off and Brody takes out the rifle. He climbs up onto the deck and takes his aim. This is where you think it is all going to end and you are hoping that it does and as the bullet fires into the gas canister there is an almighty explosion sending shark carcass into the air. This is very exciting and makes everyone want to celebrate the death of the shark. To conclude I would like to say that Steven Spielberg managed to create huge amounts of suspense, excitement and horror from the different camera angles and the way the camera moved to the reactions of the actors. This is still a great hit and would have been even better in 1975 when it was first released as the technology wasn't great. The way they got round this obstacle was to not show too much of the shark. I believe this made it even better because if they had actually shown the whole shark for a long time, it would have made it very unrealistic. Ben Faye 10 RB Words 1,827 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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