Today the Glamwire news team began inexplicaly watching Blade Runner 10 minutes at a time on Netflix…and now this.
Ridley Scott Takes Aim at ‘Blade Runner’ Project
By DAVE ITZKOFF
From the New York Times
Blade Runner Partnership
A vehicle flies between Los Angeles skyscrapers in both the 1982 and 2007 versions of “Blade Runner.”
“It’s too bad she won’t live,” Edward James Olmos tells Harrison Ford in “Blade Runner.” “But then again, who does?” And then again, there are those movies that just live on forever: Ridley Scott, who directed that moody 1982 science-fiction film noir, will direct and produce a new feature that is being described as a “Blade Runner” follow-up for Alcon Entertainment, a Warner Brothers-based financing and production company, its press representatives said on Thursday.
The original “Blade Runner,” which was adapted from the Philip K. Dick story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, starred Mr. Ford as a human bounty hunter (or is he?) charged with hunting down lifelike androids in a future version of Los Angeles (where Atari is apparently still a major video game publisher). Though the film got a mixed reception in its day (Janet Maslin called it “muddled yet mesmerizing” in her review for The New York Times), it has become a cult classic and released in at least seven different edits, with different endings depending on who was wielding the scissors.
Mr. Scott, whose 2010 feature “Robin Hood” nabbed about $320 million in riches at the worldwide box office, has lately been getting reacquainted with his sci-fi roots. Next year, Fox plans to release his film “Prometheus,” an outer space adventure which is at least loosely connected to his 1979 chest-bursting thriller “Alien.” (Mr. Scott, the film’s stars and its screenwriter have all offered varying descriptions of just how closely the new movie is tied to the earlier one.)
In keeping with that tradition, a news release from Alcon said of the new “Blade Runner” project, “The filmmakers have not yet revealed whether the theatrical project will be a prequel or sequel to the renowned original.”
I remember seeing “Eraserhead” in St. louis somewhere between 1980 and 82 and thinking……whoever made this should be lynched. Sometimes no previous or even post movie can explain a stunning phenemonen within an auteur’s canon. Nothing by Baz Luhrman could have prepared me for Moulin Rouge.…Romeo and Juliet no matter how much I dig Dicaprio today…did not in any way rock my world…and nothing aftewards by Baz made any sense at all, tho I’d like to see if Australia is worth a look again…..it wasn’t worth a look when I first looked at it. Yet Moulin Rouge is one of the greatest movies ever made, and so is David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet. I’m sure twin peaks is great but could never get into it…have had trouble really understanding Wild at Heart which seems like a cool flick…but I absolutely love every frame of Blue Velvet. It’s a masterpiece. It’s theme is expressed in one shot very early on: beneath the lawn of Lumberville, savage bugs are noisily trying to destroy each other, getting high on the submission and total destruction of their neighbors. And that… is what Frank Booth, argugably the most interesting cinematic character in the 1980′s* is all about .*( I mean you have things like the Joker and the Penguin to compare him to). In the 80′s if any of us could breath through an inhaler that got us to fabulous places we would…and many of us did. Booth is committed to personal pleasure though several fetishes, among them, Blue Velvet, Roy Oberson, topping–to the point of holding hostages….for lengthy periods of time….and eventually killing a nice slice of the cast as the fullest expression of enjoying these fetishes. Then of course there’s the inhaler…and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Some times these movies with their offbeat pace and Cornhusker appeal…like a Napolean Dynamite…which u watch 6 times when it comes from Netflix…don’t hold up when u return to them…ur like, Ok, I get the gimmick, ciao. Pedro…call me when you’re, like, 35. ”Blue Velvet” is not like that….because it speaks to the fetishist within us all…and there is a fetishist within quite a few of us….it goes perfectly to our strange side and celebrates it, crystalizes it splendidly to the point that it gets to that place, not an easy place to reach in such and un-base way…. and mocks it, which, considering how seriously we take it, is also not easy to do….and thus, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet is the 97th best movie ever made.
- Tributes paid at producer funeral (bbc.co.uk)
- Blue Velvet: Oh So Sexy (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Dino De Laurentiis: the godfather of movie gamblers (guardian.co.uk)
- Schwarzenegger, Luhrmann eulogize De Laurentiis (cbc.ca)
- Dino De Laurentiis: a career in clips (guardian.co.uk)
This picture is written and produced by Jennifer McDonald, who appears in Glamwire’s: “Notorious #9.” MORE on “Anywhere U.S.A.” to follow.
Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley‘s novel of the same name. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen.
Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster film and one of the first “high concept” films. Due to the film’s success in advance screenings, studio executives decided to distribute it in a much wider release than ever before. The Omen followed suit in the summer of 1976 and then Star Wars one year later in 1977, cementing the notion for movie studios to distribute their big-release action and adventure pictures (commonly referred to as tentpole pictures) during the summer. Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.
During a late night beach party on the fictional Amity Island in New England, a 23-year-old woman named Chrissie Watkins (Susan Backlinie) goes skinny dipping only to be pulled under by an unseen force. Amity’s new police chief, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), is notified that Chrissie is missing, and deputy Lenny Hendricks (Jeffrey Kramer) finds her remains. The medical examiner informs Brody that the death was due to a shark attack. Brody plans to close the beaches but is overruled by town mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season. The medical examiner reverses his diagnosis and attributes the death to a boating accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation.
A short time later, a boy is brutally killed by a shark at the beach. The boy’s mother places a bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). Brought in by Brody, ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) examines Chrissie’s remains and concludes she was killed by a shark.
A large tiger shark is caught by a group of fishermen, leading the town to believe the problem is solved, but Hooper is unconvinced that the shark is the killer and asks to examine its stomach contents. Vaughn refuses to make the “operation” public, so Brody and Hooper return after dark and discover the dead shark does not contain human remains. Scouting aboard Hooper’s boat, they come across the half-sunken wreckage of a boat belonging to local fisherman Ben Gardener. Hooper explores the vessel underwater and discovers a massive shark’s tooth, but also Gardener’s severed head, which makes him drop the tooth in a panic. Vaughn refuses to close the beaches, and on the Fourth of July numerous tourists arrive. After a prank by two boys causes a panic, the shark enters an estuary, kills a man and causes Brody’s son go into shock after witnessing it. Brody forces Vaughn to hire Quint. Brody and Hooper join the hunter on his fishing boat, the Orca, and the trio set out to kill the shark.
Brody is given the task of laying a chum line while Quint uses deep-sea fishing tackle to try to hook the shark. As Brody continues chumming, an enormous great white shark looms up behind the boat; the trio watch the great white circle the Orca and estimate it weighs 3 short tons (2.7 t) and is 25 feet (7.6 m) long. Quint harpoons the shark with a line attached to a flotation barrel, designed to prevent the shark from submerging and to track it on the surface, but the shark pulls the barrel under and disappears.
Night falls without another sighting, so the men retire to the boat’s cabin, where Quint tells of his experience with sharks as a survivor of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The shark reappears, damaging the boat’s hull before slipping away. In the morning, the men make repairs to the engine. Attempting to call the Coast Guard for help, Brody is stopped by Quint, who destroys the radio with a baseball bat. The shark attacks again, and after a long chase Quint harpoons another barrel to it. The men tie the barrels to the stern, but the shark drags the boat backwards, forcing water onto the deck and into the engine, flooding it. Quint harpoons the shark again, adding a third barrel, while the shark continues towing them. Quint is about to cut the ropes with his machete when the cleats are pulled off the stern. The shark continues attacking the boat and Quint heads toward shore with the shark in pursuit, hoping to draw the animal into shallow waters, where it will be beached and drown. In his obsession to kill the shark, Quint overtaxes Orca’s engine, causing it to seize.
With the boat immobilized, the trio try a desperate approach: Hooper dons his SCUBA gear and enters the ocean inside a shark proof cage in order to stab the shark in the mouth with a hypodermic spear filled with strychnine. The shark destroys the cage but gets tangled in the remains, allowing Hooper to hide on the seabed. As Quint and Brody raise the remnants of the cage, the shark throws itself onto the boat, crushing the transom. As the boat sinks, Quint slides down the slippery deck and is eaten by the shark. Brody retreats to the boat’s partly submerged cabin. When the shark attacks him there, he shoves a pressurized air tank into the shark’s mouth, then takes Quint’s M1 Garand and climbs the Orca’s mast. Brody begins shooting at the air tank wedged in the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode and blow the shark to pieces.
As the shark’s carcass drifts toward the seabed, Hooper reappears on the surface. The survivors briefly lament the loss of Quint, then cobble together a raft from debris and paddle to Amity Island.
Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown, producers at Universal Pictures, heard about Peter Benchley’s novel at the same time at different locations. Brown came across it in the fiction department ofCosmopolitan, a lifestyle magazine then edited by his wife, Helen Gurley Brown. A small card gave a detailed description of the plot, concluding with the comment “might make a good movie”. The producers each read it overnight and agreed the next morning that it was “the most exciting thing that they had ever read” and that, although they were unsure how they would accomplish it, they wanted to produce the film. Brown claimed that had they read the book twice they would have never have made the film because of the difficulties in executing some of the sequences. They purchased the film rights to Benchley’s novel in 1973 for approximately $175,000.
Zanuck and Brown had originally planned to hire John Sturges to direct the film, before considering Dick Richards. However, they grew irritated by Richards’ vision of continually calling the shark “the whale”; Richards was subsequently dropped from the project. Zanuck and Brown then signed Spielberg in June 1973 to direct before the release of his first theatrical film, The Sugarland Express (also a Zanuck/Brown production). Spielberg wanted to take the novel’s basic concept, removing Benchley’s many subplots. Zanuck, Brown and Spielberg removed the novel’s adulterous affair between Ellen Brody and Matt Hooper because it would compromise the camaraderie between the men when they went out on the Orca.
When they purchased the rights to his novel, the producers guaranteed that the author would write the first draft of the screenplay. Overall, Benchley wrote three drafts before deciding to bow out of the project (although he appeared in the final film, a cameo appearance as a news reporter). Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Howard Sackler happened to be in Los Angeles when the filmmakers began looking for another writer and offered to do an uncredited rewrite, and since the producers and Spielberg were unhappy with Benchley’s drafts, they quickly accepted his offer.Spielberg sent the script to Carl Gottlieb (who appears in a supporting acting role in the film as Meadows, the politically connected editor of the local paper), asking for advice. Gottlieb rewrote most scenes during principal photography, and John Milius contributed dialogue polishes. Spielberg has claimed that he prepared his own draft, although it is unclear if the other screenwriters drew on his material. The authorship of Quint’s monologue about the fate of the cruiser USS Indianapolis has caused substantial controversy as to who deserves the most credit for the speech. Spielberg described it as a collaboration among John Milius, Howard Sackler, and actor Robert Shaw. Gottlieb gives primary credit to Shaw, downplaying Milius’ contribution.
Spielberg offered the role of Brody to Robert Duvall, but the actor was only interested in portraying Quint. According to Spielberg, Charlton Heston expressed a desire for the role, but Spielberg felt that Heston was too large a personality, as Spielberg intended the film’s primary “star” to be the shark. Roy Scheider became interested in the project after overhearing a screenwriter and Spielberg at a party talking about having the shark jump up onto a boat. Spielberg was initially apprehensive of hiring Scheider, fearing he would portray a “tough guy”, similar to his role in The French Connection.
The role of Quint was originally offered to actors Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden, both of whom passed. Producers Zanuck and Brown had just finished working with Robert Shaw on The Sting, and suggested him to Spielberg as a possible Quint. For the role of Hooper, Spielberg initially wanted Jon Voight. Richard Dreyfuss initially passed on the role of Matt Hooper, but after being disappointed by his own performance in a pre-release screening of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a film he had just completed, he immediately called Spielberg and accepted the role, fearing that no one would want to hire him once Kravitz was released. Due to the film’s dissimilarities to the novel, Spielberg asked Dreyfuss not to read the book before offering the role. The first person actually cast for the film was Lorraine Gary, the wife of then-studio chief, Sid Sheinberg.
Principal photography began in May 1974. Three mechanical sharks were made for the production: a full version for underwater shots, one that moved from camera-left to right (with its hidden side completely exposing the internal machinery), and an opposite model with its right flank uncovered. Their construction was supervised by production designer Joe Alves and special effects artist Bob Mattey. After the sharks were completed, they were shipped to the shooting location, but had only been tested in controlled conditions in a pool. The platform used to tow the two “side model” sharks capsized as it was being lowered to the ocean floor, forcing a team of divers to retrieve it. The model required 14 operators to control all of the moving parts.
Location shooting occurred on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, chosen because the ocean had a sandy bottom 12 miles (19 km) out at sea and never dropped below thirty-five feet.This helped the mechanical sharks to operate smoothly and still provide a realistic location. The film nonetheless had a troubled shoot and went considerably over budget. David Brown said that the budget “was $4 million and the picture wound up costing $9 million”. Shooting at sea led to many delays: unwanted sailboats drifted into frame, cameras got soaked, and the Orca once began to sink with the actors onboard. The mechanical shark frequently malfunctioned, due to the hydraulic innards being corroded by salt water. The three mechanical sharks were collectively nicknamed “Bruce” by the production team after Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Raimer. Disgruntled crew members gave the film the nickname “Flaws”.
To some degree, the delays in the production proved serendipitous. The script was refined during production, and the unreliable mechanical sharks forced Spielberg to shoot most of the scenes with the shark only hinted at. For example, for much of the shark hunt, its location is represented by the floating yellow barrels. Spielberg also included multiple shots of just the dorsal fin due to its ease of filming. This forced restraint is widely thought to have increased the suspense of these scenes, giving it a Hitchcockian tone.
Footage of real sharks was shot by Ron and Valerie Taylor in the waters off Australia, with a dwarf actor in a miniature shark cage to create the illusion that the shark was enormous. Originally, the script, following the novel, had the shark killing Hooper in the shark cage, but during filming one of the sharks became trapped in the girdle of the cage and proceeded to tear the cage apart. The crew found the footage of this incident to be so visually stunning, they were eager to incorporate it into the final film. However, no one had been in the cage at the time, so the script was changed to have Matt Hooper escape, thus providing an explanation for the empty cage.
Although filming was scheduled to take 55 days, it eventually ended in September 1974 after 159 days. Spielberg, reflecting on the extended delay, stated: “I thought my career as a filmmaker was over. I heard rumors … that I would never work again because no one had ever taken a film 100 days over schedule.” Spielberg himself was not present for the shooting of the final scene where the shark explodes. He believed that the crew were planning to throw him in the water when this scene was complete. It has since become a tradition for Spielberg to be absent when the final scene of a film he directs is being filmed. Many people agree that Jaws had one of the hardest film productions of all time. 
A fourth shark model was built months after the original three were built. It was later placed at the entrance to the Universal Studios Theme Park until it was removed in 1990. It was recovered at a Sun Valley junkyard in June 2010, with Alves and Arbogast confirming its authenticity.
Box office performance
Jaws was the first film to successfully use “wide release” as a distribution pattern. As such, it is an important film in the history of film distribution and marketing. Prior to the release of Jaws, films typically opened slowly, usually in a few theaters in major cities, which allowed for a series of “premieres.” As the success of a film increased, and word of mouth grew, distributors would forward the prints to additional cities across the country. Some films eventually achieved a wide release, such as The Godfather, but even that blockbuster had originally debuted in just five theaters.
Jaws was the first film to successfully open nationwide on hundreds of screens simultaneously, coupled with a national marketing campaign—a then-unheard of practice. (A month earlier, Columbia had done the same with a Charles Bronson thriller, Breakout, but the box office was middling at best.) The film became the first to use extensive television advertising. The media blitz “included approximately twenty-five thirty-second advertisements per night on prime-time network TV” between 18–20 June 1975. Universal executive Sidney Sheinberg‘s rationale was that nationwide marketing costs would be amortized at a more favorable rate per print than if a slow, scaled release were carried out. Sheinberg’s gamble paid off, with Jaws becoming a box office smash hit and the father of the summer blockbuster.
After the release of Jaws, journalists and critics detailed its impact on how films were released in theaters. Peter Biskind wrote, “[The film] diminish[ed] the importance of print reviews, making it virtually impossible for a film to build slowly, finding its audience by dint of mere quality. … In a sense, Spielberg was the Trojan horse through which the studios began to reassert their power.”Author Thomas Schatz also wrote on the film’s impact: “If any single film marked the arrival of the New Hollywood, it was Jaws, the Spielberg-directed thriller that recalibrated the profit potential of the Hollywood hit, and redefined its status as a marketable commodity and cultural phenomenon as well. The film brought an emphatic end to Hollywood’s five-year recession, while ushering in an era of high-cost, high-tech, high-speed thrillers.” Following the success of Jaws, major studio films have almost universally been distributed and marketed on a national scale. In addition, when summer was usually a season to dump films likely to be poor performers, the success of Jaws caused studios to shift their action and thriller films out of winter releases.
When Jaws was released on June 20, 1975, it opened at 464 theaters. The release was subsequently expanded on July 25 to a total of 675 theaters, the largest simultaneous distribution of a film in motion picture history at the time. During the first weekend of wide release, Jaws grossed more than $7 million, and was the top grosser for the following five weeks. During its run in theaters, the film beat the $89 million domestic rental record of the reigning box-office champion, The Exorcist, becoming the first film to reach more than $100 million in U.S. box office receipts.
Jaws eventually grossed more than $470 million worldwide ($1.9 billion in 2010 dollars) and was the highest grossing box office film until Star Wars debuted two years later. It is currently the 92nd highest grossing film of all time. Jaws and Star Wars are retrospectively considered to have marked the beginning of the new business model in American filmmaking and the beginning of the end of the New Hollywood period.
The film received universal aclaim. It holds a rare 100% “Fresh” rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. In his original review, Roger Ebert called it “a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it’s populated with characters that have been developed into human beings”. Variety‘s A.D. Murphy praised Spielberg’s directorial skills, and called Robert Shaw’s performance “absolutely magnificent”. Pauline Kael called it “the most cheerfully perverse scare movie ever made… [with] more zest than an early Woody Allenpicture, a lot more electricity, [and] it’s funny in a Woody Allen sort of way”. Frank Rich of The New York Times wrote “Spielberg is blessed with a talent that is absurdly absent from most American filmmakers these days: this man actually knows how to tell a story on screen. … It speaks well of this director’s gifts that some of the most frightening sequences in Jaws are those where we don’t even see the shark.
The film was not without its detractors. Vincent Canby, of The New York Times, said “It’s a measure of how the film operates that not once do we feel particular sympathy for any of the shark’s victims…In the best films, characters are revealed in terms of the action. In movies like Jaws, characters are simply functions of the action. They’re at its service. Characters are like stage hands who move props around and deliver information when it’s necessary”, but also noted that “It’s the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun”. Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin disagreed with the film’s PG rating, saying that “Jaws is too gruesome for children, and likely to turn the stomach of the impressionable at any age.” He goes on to say: “It is a coarse-grained and exploitative work which depends on excess for its impact. Ashore it is a bore, awkwardly staged and lumpily written.” The most widespread criticism of the film is the artificiality of the mechanical shark.
Jaws won Academy Awards for Film Editing, Music (Original Score) and Sound. It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In 2008, Jaws was selected by Empire magazine as the fifth greatest film ever made. Quint was also placed at #50 on Empire’s list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. In 2003, The New York Times included the film on its list of the best 1000 movies ever made. In 2010, Total Film selected the film as one of The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. Jaws was number 48 on American Film Institute‘s100 Years… 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It was ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years… 100 Thrills. Jaws was number one in the Bravo network’s five-hour miniseries The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004). Similarly, the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 6th scariest film ever made. The shark was anointed number 18 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 2005, the American Film Institute voted Roy Scheider’s line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” as number 35 on its list of the top 100 movie quotes. John Williams‘s score was ranked at number six on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores. In 2006, the screenplay of Jaws was selected by the Writers Guild of America as the 63rd best screenplay of all time.
Inspirations and influences
Jaws bears similarities to several literary and artistic works, most notably Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. The character of Quint strongly resembles Captain Ahab, the obsessed captain of the Pequod who devotes his life to hunting a sperm whale. Quint’s monologue reveals his similar vendetta against sharks, and even his boat, the Orca, is named after the only natural enemy of the white shark. In the novel and original screenplay, Quint dies after being dragged under the ocean by a harpoon tied to his leg, similar to Ahab’s death in Melville’s novel. A direct reference to these similarities may be found in the original screenplay, which introduced Quint by showing him watching the film version of Moby-Dick. His laughter throughout makes people get up and leave the theater (Wesley Strick‘s screenplay for Cape Fearfeatures a similar scene). However, the scene from Moby-Dick could not be licensed from Gregory Peck, the owner of the rights. In the novel and original screenplay, when the Orca, like the Pequod, is sunk by the creature, only the character of Brody survives. Some have also noticed the influences of two 1950s horror films, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Monster That Challenged the World.
Critics such as Neil Sinyard have noticed similarities to Henrik Ibsen‘s play An Enemy of the People. The Ibsen work features a doctor who discovers that a seaside town’s medicinal hot springs, a major tourist attraction and form of revenue, are contaminated. When the doctor attempts to convince the townspeople of the danger, he loses his job and is shunned. This plotline is paralleled in Jaws by Brody’s conflict with Mayor Vaughn, who refuses to acknowledge the presence of a shark that may dissuade summer beachgoers from coming to Amity. In the film, Brody is vindicated when more shark attacks occur at the crowded beach in broad daylight. Sinyard calls the film a “deft combination of Watergate and Ibsen’s play”.
Jaws was a key film in establishing the benefits of a wide national release backed by heavy media advertising, rather than a progressive release that let a film slowly enter new markets and build support over a period of time. Rather than let the film gain notice by word-of-mouth, Hollywood launched a successful television marketing campaign for the film, which added another $700,000 to the cost.
Similar to the fear of showers created by the pivotal scene in the 1960 film Psycho, Jaws caused many viewers to be afraid to enter the ocean. The film was credited with reduced beach attendance in the summer of 1975.
Although it is considered a thriller-horror classic, the film is widely recognized as being responsible for perpetuating negative stereotypes about sharks and their behavior. Author Peter Benchley stated that he would not have written the original novel had he known what sharks are really like in the wild. Benchley later wrote Shark Trouble, a non-fiction book about shark behavior, and Shark Life, another non-fiction book describing his dives with sharks. Conservation groups have bemoaned the fact that the film has made it considerably harder to convince the public that sharks should be protected.
Jaws set the template for many future horror films, so much so that the script for Ridley Scott‘s 1979 science fiction film Alien was pitched to studio executives with one tag line: “Jaws in space.”
John Williams contributed the film score, which was ranked sixth on the American Film Institute‘s 100 Years of Film Scores. The main “shark” theme, a simple alternating pattern of two notes, E and F, became a classic piece of suspense music, synonymous with approaching danger (see leading-tone). Williams described the theme as having the “effect of grinding away at you, just as a shark would do, instinctual, relentless, unstoppable.” The soundtrack piece was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. When asked by Johnson why the melody was written in such a high register and not played by the more appropriate French horn, Williams responded that he wanted it to sound “a little more threatening”. When the piece was first played for Spielberg, he was said to have laughed at Williams, thinking that it was a joke. Spielberg later said that without Williams’ score the film would have been only half as successful, and Williams acknowledges that the score jumpstarted his career. He had previously scored Spielberg’s feature film debut The Sugarland Express and went on to collaborate with him on almost all of his films.
The score contains echoes of Igor Stravinsky‘s The Rite of Spring, particularly the opening of “The Adoration of the Earth” and “Auguries of Spring”. The music has drawn comparisons to Bernard Herrman‘s score for Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho and the ominous music for the off-screen hunter in Bambi, in which the music enhances the presence of an unseen terror, in this case the shark.
There are various interpretations of the meaning and effectiveness of the theme. Some have thought the two-note expression is intended to mimic the shark’s heartbeat, beginning slow and controlled as the killer hunts and rising to a frenzied, shrieking climax as it approaches its prey. Others have stated that the music at first sounds like the creaking and groaning of a boat, and therefore is inaudible when it begins so that it never seems to start, but simply rises out of the sounds of the film. One critic believes the true strength of the score is its ability to create a “harsh silence”, abruptly cutting away from the music right before it climaxes. Furthermore, the audience is conditioned to associate the shark with its theme, since the score is never used as a red herring. It only plays when the real shark appears. This is later exploited when the shark suddenly appears with no musical introduction. Regardless of the meaning behind it, the theme is widely acknowledged as one of the most recognized scores of all time.
The original soundtrack for Jaws was released by MCA in 1975, and as a CD in 1992, including roughly a half hour of music that John Williams redid for the album. In 2000, two versions of the score were released: one in a re-recording of the entire Jaws score performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conducted by Joel McNeely; and another to coincide with the release of the 25th anniversary DVD by Decca/Universal, featuring the entire 51 minutes of the original score. Many fans prefer the Decca release over the Varèse Sarabande re-recording.
Releases, sequels and merchandise
Universal “devised and co-ordinated a highly innovative plan” for the first film’s distribution and exhibition. The studio and publisher Bantam designed a logo which would appear on both the paperback and on all film advertising. “Both publisher and distributor recognized the mutual benefits that a joint promotion strategy would bring.” Producers Zanuck and Brown toured six cities to promote the paperback and the film. Once the film was released, more merchandising was created, including shark-illustrated swimming towels and T-shirts, plastic shark fins for swimmers to wear, and shark-shaped inflatables for them to float on. The Ideal Toy Company produced a game where the player had to use a hook to fish out items from the shark’s mouth before the jaws closed.f
The first Laserdisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws in 1978. A second Laserdisc was released in 1991, before a third and final release came under the MCA/Universal Home Video’s “Signature Collection” imprint in 1995. This release was an elaborate boxset, which included the film, along with deleted scenes and outtakes, a new two-hour documentary on the making of the film, a copy of the novel Jaws, and a CD of John Williams’ soundtrack. A year after its MCA DiscoVision release, it returned to theaters for a special 2 week limited engagement. It was also released on VHS by MCA Home Video in the mid-80s and in 1995 by MCA Universal Home Video as a Collector’s Edition featuring a Making-of retrospective. MCA Universal Home Video released it on VHS again in 1997 as a THX-certified Special Widescreen Edition featuring a 10-minute special introduction at the beginning of the tape which was shown previously on the 1995 VHS.
Jaws was first released on DVD in 2000 for the film’s 25th anniversary. It featured a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film (an edited version of the one featured on the 1995 laserdisc release), with interviews from Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Benchley and other cast and crew members. Other extras included deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, production photos, and storyboards. In June 2005, on the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, a festival named JawsFest was held in Martha’s Vineyard. Jaws was then re-released on DVD, this time including the full two-hour documentary produced by Laurent Bouzereau for the LaserDisc. As well as containing most of the same bonus features the previous DVD contained, it included a previously unavailable interview with Spielberg conducted on the set of Jaws in 1974.
In the 2000s, an independent group of fans produced a feature length documentary. The Shark is Still Working features interviews with a range of cast and crew from the film, and some from the sequels. It is narrated by Roy Scheider and dedicated to Peter Benchley who died in 2006.
The film spawned three sequels, all of which failed to match the success of the original. Indeed, their combined domestic grosses barely cover half of the original’s. Spielberg was unavailable to do a sequel, as he was working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss. Jaws 2 was directed by Jeannot Szwarc; Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton reprised their roles from the original film. It is generally regarded as the best of the sequels. The next film, Jaws 3-D, directed by Joe Alves, was released in the 3-D format, although the effect did not transfer to television or home video, where it was renamed Jaws 3. Dennis Quaid as Michael Brody and Louis Gossett, Jr. starred in the movie. Jaws: The Revenge, directed by Joseph Sargent, featured the return of Lorraine Gary and is considered one of the worst movies ever made. While all three sequels made a profit at the box office (Jaws 2 and Jaws 3-D are among the top 20 highest-grossing films of their respective years), critics and audiences were generally dissatisfied with the films.
In February 2010, film website Cinema Blend reported that a source from Universal Pictures has indicated that Universal is “strongly considering” remaking Jaws in 3-D, following the commercial success of Avatar. The source also reported that 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan was considered to portray Matt Hooper in the remake, which they say could be more comedic and make more use of special effects. The studio has not officially commented upon the rumor. Aristocrat made an officially licensed slot machine based on the movie.
The film has been adapted into two video games, two theme park rides at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Japan, and two musicals: JAWS The Musical!, which premiered in the summer of 2004 at the Minnesota Fringe Festival; and Giant Killer Shark: The Musical, which premiered in the summer of 2006 at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
- Best Movie Speeches: Jaws – The Story of the Indianapolis (anyclip.com)
- Movie Review: Jaws (1975) (carefuleugene.blogspot.com)
- Jaws Game Comes to IPhone, Needs Bigger Boat (pcworld.com)
- Film: Scenic Routes: Jaws (avclub.com)
- Why we’re fascinated by animal attacks (salon.com)
The film is the best and funniest interpretation of a toy line ever….and next to Tim Burton’s Batman, the best comic book interpretation out there…effects wise it is one of the very best film ever made.
Transformers is a 2007 American live-action film, based on the Transformers toy line. The film is directed by Michael Bay and written by John Rogers,Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the evilDecepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery. The Decepticons desire control of theAll Spark, the object that created their robotic race, with the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth. Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson and John Turturro also star, while voice-actors Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving voice Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.
Producers Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto developed the project in 2003, with a treatment written by DeSanto. Executive producer Steven Spielberg came on board the following year, hiring Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The United States Military and General Motors (GM) loaned vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes. Hasbro organized an enormous promotional campaign for the film, making deals with hundreds of companies. This advertising blitz included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of prequel comic books, toys and books, as well as product placement deals with GM and eBay.
Transformers was a box office success despite mixed critical reaction to the radical redesigns of the characters, and reviews criticizing the focus on the humans at the expense of the robots. It is the thirty-seventh most successful film released and the fifth most successful of 2007, grossing approximatelyUS$709 million worldwide. The film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Editing.
The film spawned a sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which was released on June 24, 2009 to negative reviews but was a commercial success and grossed more than its predecessor. A third and final film is set to release on July 1, 2011 in 3-D.
The Genesis of the Film series
Transformers: G1 includes both the animated television series The Transformers and the Marvel Comics comic-book series of the same name, which is further divided into Japanese and British spin-offs, respectively. Sequels followed, such as the Generation 2 comic book and Beast Wars TV series, which became its own mini-universe. Generation 1 characters underwent two reboots with Dreamwave in 2001 and IDW Publishing in 2005, also as a remastered series. There have been other incarnations of the story based on different toy lines during after 20th-Century. The first was the Robots in Disguise series, followed by three shows that consist of the “Unicron Trilogy” (consisting of Armada, Energon, and Cybertron). A live-action film was also released in 2007 and a sequel has since been released in 2009, again distinct from previous incarnations, while the Transformers Animated series merged concepts from the G1 story-arc, the 2007 live-action film and “Unicron Trilogy”.
- 1 Transformers: Generation 1 (1984–1994)
- 2 Robots in Disguise (2000–2001)
- 3 The Unicron Trilogy (2001–2006)
- 4 Transformers: Universe (2003–present)
- 5 Film franchise (2007–present)
- 6 Transformers Animated (2007 – 2009 / 2010)
- 7 Hunt for the Decepticons (2010-present)
- 8 Cyber Missions Webisodes
- 9 Transformers: Prime/War for Cybertron (2010-present)
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Greatest Movie Ever Made
8 1/2/Frederico Fellini
While this is most certainly the greatest film ever made about filmmaking, we do not….as the great writer on film, Derek Malcom from the Guardian (Below), consider this Fellini’s best film…but actually his 3rd best film. It’s strange because this film cuts so deeply into anyone who cares about film…but for Fellini watchers it really should be the starting point….it was his 8 and a half picture…he was working through an amazing canon…and he did things here with the imagination that no one in film had ever done before. But we argue…it is not the film that it is at core of his greatness. The film that is at the core of his greatness definitely will turn up here…but for now, Frederico Fellini’s 81/2 is the Glamwire’s 100th Greatest Movie ever made.
and here is wonderful story about the film.
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