JAWS

JAWS_Movie_posterFew films have had such an influence upon the commercial cinematic world as JAWS, establishing what would be later known as the summer “Blockbuster”. Even today, theaters worldwide follow a yearly distribution path established by this film, releasing their heavy-hitters midyear in the hopes that hype will attract big crowds and bigger profits. Even so, Spielberg’s contribution to the arts is made apparent with JAWS, as the simple small town story harkens a divisive theme of capitalist interests vs safety concerns, spelling a universal message from the beginning. The director’s use of the unknown as the ultimate medium for transmitting fear is flawless, not showing the main antagonist for most of the movie itself, while his strict depiction of likeable and unlikable characters helps audiences define who to root for, who to care for, and who to despise. Another aspect of significant importance in its institution as a symbol in the world of cinema comes from the masterful musical score created by John Williams. The depth of every melody has been crucial in the film’s transcendence as a cultural icon throughout the years, exemplified by its memorable main tune. On a final sad note, the excellence of JAWS as a cinematographic achievement and financial success has meant that sharks as a species have been shunted by the media and their reality moulded by public perception, transforming them into evil, menacing enemies of humankind. This, in turn, has seen the rapid decline of the species, while conservation efforts struggle to overturn the false image inadvertently created by the film. The conclusion, then, is of the immense responsibility that films have as transmitters of messages, and the huge influence those very messages have for the audiences that they cater (for better or worse).

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