Tuesday, July 5, 2005

A Confession

I never saw Jaws until it was on TCM this past weekend.

I spent the summer of 1975 in northern Michigan, thirty-five miles from the nearest movie theatre. By the time I got back to civilization and had moved to Minneapolis to start grad school, it was out of the first-run theatres and into the stuff of legend.

I did catch bits and pieces of it as it was on TV (pun intended) over the years, but I never saw it end to end until Saturday. I now agree with my friends who say it is one of the best films made, that it has all the ingredients of a classic, and that the 29-year-old Steven Spielberg did an amazing job. To this day I know people who won’t go swimming in the ocean because of that film, just like people who won’t take showers because of Psycho. (To be fair, there are some who won’t go into Lake Michigan because of Jaws. They need help — or at least a course in fresh-water ictheology.) That’s the sign of art reaching humanity.

Oh, and yeah — “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” is a great line.