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Jaws - Analysis of the first two attack scenes

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Jaws Essay The film Jaws is based on the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley, and is directed by Steven Spielberg. It was released in the summer of '76, and it instantly became recognised as a must see film. The chart-topper was noted by many for its staggering SFX and the lasting effects on the audience. The film was so disturbing that sea-phobias became wide-spread, and beach tourism suffered for years after. It is also widely known to being responsible for the incorrect stereotypes about the vicious nature of sharks. Jaws is regarded as the start of the summer blockbuster movies, and one of the first 'high concept' films. The motion picture won numerous awards, including 3 Oscars, the people's choice Favourite Film and Outstanding Film of 1975. It was created on a relatively large $7 million, and managed to rake in a stunning $470.7 million gross profit. The film was so successful, 3 attempts at sequels were made. None involved Spielberg or Benchley, nor were they as successful. In this essay, I will be thoroughly analysing the first two attack scenes of the film. I will look at many aspects of the film, to discover how tension was created using various directing techniques. ...read more.


The scene instantly becomes quiet, only the sound of the waves, and the deathly rings of the buoy piercing the quiet night. There is one last wide shot of the ocean, showing the hopelessness of any sort of rescue. There is quite a gap between the end of the first scene, and the second attack. Here is a short summary of the events. Chief Brody is led to the body of the girl in the first scene, which is found washed up on the beach. The body is handed over to a coroner, who tells the chief that it looks like a shark attack. Brody then requests that the mayor shut the beach until the threat is removed. The mayor refuses, claiming it is too close to the summer tourist rush to inspire the panic of a shark in the water, which would ruin the town's holiday income. The doctor then changes his mind and says it's a boating accident, though whether he was paid to do so can only be discussed. And so, the beach remained open, with Chief Brody convinced of a shark in the water. The second attack scene opens with the camera tracking a large lady as she heads down to the water. ...read more.


The massive shark shoots up from the water; the boy obviously between its huge jaws, and crashes down again. There is an odd zoom shot of Chief Brody, which displays effectively a feeling of panic and disbelief from Brody. A murmur rises in the beach-goers, which then forms into dismay as everyone rushes to get their kids out of the water. The mother of the boy (who we saw earlier) steps forward and hopelessly begins calling the boy's name; Alex. The scene finishes on a shot of a torn, bloodied lilo, washing up against the beach. Jaws is certainly a film that is filled with tension, and when analysing it carefully it is easy to see how much of an impact Spielberg's directing had on it. The repetition between the two scenes is one major contribution to the edgy atmosphere. The point of view, paired with the attack tune let the audience know (in the second scene), that the shark was back. Even watching Jaws in our modern times, with advanced animation and special effects used in many current films, this classic is still a tense, nerve-racking thriller, which never fails to provide a fright or two. The skill with which it was directed was such that it has stood the test of time, and still is counted as one of the great masterpieces of cinema. ?? ?? ?? ?? Robbie Gore ...read more.

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