Monday, April 30, 2007

"You're Going to Need a Bigger Blog"



Man, I hate it when I'm out of the loop. Today, while browsing various blogs with my RSS reader, I come across today's Cinematical post about an early review of the uber-Jaws documentary The Shark is Still Working. At over three hours long, this sounds like a must see. There is no distributor yet, but if that never happens I know I will be buying the DVD. I don't want to just see it, I want to own it.

The film has a great website, and even it's own YouTube channel with exclusive clips. Where the heck have I been? I really like Jaws, bought the DVD the weekend it came out, and still want to get the most recent version which has the uncut Laurent Bouzereau documentary. If I do that, I can't discard the older disc, however, as it alone has the excellent original trailer. This new doc would make an excellent addiction, er addition, to my "virtual" collection.

My earliest memories of this movie weren't in the theater, as I was still a snot-nosed kid in 1975 when it was released. I remembered seeing the opening killing later on HBO and it scared my so bad I had to leave my neighbor's house. That incident prevented me from seeing the movie until I was older and bit braver. When I finally did see the flick, it was so thrilling, scary, funny and smart that it has been a favorite of mine ever since.

It's no secret that this is the film that created Spielberg's career and the term "blockbuster" all at the same time. The first release ever to gross $100 million domestically, it became the model for all other "big" movies to follow. Sadly, it did signal the end of an era of film, which replaced serious filmmaking for artists with the desire to rake in the almighty dollar. The good news was that Jaws was actually a combination of the two. It's a great film on many levels, and I defy anyone to tell me that film is not artistic.

I think the greatest lesson to be learned from Jaws is to never give up. The movie was so rife with problems, that everyone thought they were working on a flop, and Spielberg thought his young career was over. Everyone persisted, and the Shark Film That Could is now a classic, then and now. All filmmakers everywhere could learn from this lesson in sticktuitiveness.

I can't wait to see The Shark is Still Working, and hope that it comes to a theater near me soon. I would love to see the original movie on a big screen as well, but this will be a close second. Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women...

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