Are there any people in the civilised world who haven't seen the blockbuster "JAWS"? If you're like me, you're probably pretty sick of it being trotted out at every opportunity by satellite companies. Like ‘James Bond’ movies, it seems there's never a holiday passes without yet another rerun doing the rounds on one station or other.
Having just said that, I found myself quite bemused a few weeks ago as I pressed the record button on it yet again. I've no idea what came over me. Later, I'd meant to delete it, especially since we were getting a bit low on recording space on our digital recorder, but for some reason hadn't got round to that either until looking through the planner with the lovely G for something to watch. I was just about to delete it when the lovely G volunteered that she'd never seen it before. Considering we've been together for 25 years I was pretty amazed that despite all the conversations about movies we've had and all the movies we've watched together that this vital part of her cinematic education was lacking. The reason? She'd always thought it would be too scary.
That was a surprise too, particularly considering some of the films we've been to see over the years. She's always seemed impervious to me but, having been too young to see "JAWS" when released, she later wasn't allowed to watch it on TV as her parents thought it too gory. Somehow that imprint remained firmly fixed in her mind.
Earlier today we were watching a BBC nature documentary called ‘Earth flight’, a beautifully filmed series following migrating birds. In the episode there was a scene showing seabirds scavenging remains from shark kills. That she was watching this at all was a surprise in itself as she's usually too squeamish for reality like that, yet for the first time she seemed comfortable watching sharks or crocodiles successfully capturing their prey. At the end of the programme she further astounded me by suggesting that tonight we should watch "JAWS" although with the proviso that she would snuggle up next to me on the sofa in case she got scared
“JAWS” is a classic cinematic milestone and technologically it was a marvel in its day. I loved it when I first saw it at the cinema. That first time it was scary, exciting, incredible and ground-breaking. Now having spawned generations of similar stories – “Aliens” was famously described as being “JAWS” in space – it seems simple, clichéd and a bit naive. The acting of the main cast is great but some of the lesser characters leave a lot to be desired, especially through repeated viewings. Because of the countless similar films over the years, the scene set up is highly predictable and those teaser ’scary' scenes are clearly signposted by the absence of the shark’s signature music.
Tonight for the second time, I got to experience it for the first time!
With G tucked up against me, an arm around my waist and mine around her shoulders I got to feel every shiver; every fright; every sharp intake of breath. I shared her excitement; through her reaction it was all fresh, all new. I jumped too when that head appeared through the hole in the boat for the umpteenth time of watching. I left my jaded perception behind and was thrilled anew by a great big plastic shark. It was brilliant! And I got cuddled to bits!What a shame she’s seen Star Wars………
What movie would you want to see again for the first time?