Sunday 14 October 2012

Movie & TV: JAWS and I

Image from Michael Offutt

I am a total shark lover as many of you know, I don't eat shark fins or any other shark products, I educate others to love sharks and protect sharks, but how did all that love begin?

Ironically, it all began in a movie, JAWS.

Image from Wikipedia
Originally written by Peter Benchley, JAWS was the novel that attracted then-27-year-old direction Steven Spielberg and turned it into a summer blockbuster in 1975. Audience around the world were horrified by the shark thriller and marked an extremely negative image of sharks in their minds like a scorch mark on the face.

Except for me. I just fell in love with sharks in first sight.

I just think they are extremely beautiful animals of the sea -- so powerful yet so gentle when they swim, so streamlined and smooth yet so rough and fearsome when hunting, so lonely yet so sociable, so complex their characters yet so unique in every individual; some eats seals, some eat whales, some eat human trash, some eat nothing but as tiny as planktons.

Not sure if Peter Benchley knew he had created love for sharks for people like me, I think most likely not, but definitely what Peter Benchley didn't know was that his story, after being blockbusterised by Spielberg, became the very root reason of decades of mindless shark massacre.  He himself was extremely upset after he discovered that his novel and the movie he co-screenwritten brainwashed the world, thus he went on to write many non-fiction works to educate and advocate shark conservation.

Discovery Channel celebrated Shark Week 25-Yrs and one of the episodes How JAWS Changed The World talks about exactly how a single movie changed the destiny of an entire species of fish, both in good ways and horrible ways.

One of the few good ways not known to many, was that the movie which eventually drove many people to maniacal shark killing was also the movie that sprung up the occupation of marine biologist, thanks to the character of Matt Hooper. I also dreamed about becoming a marine biologist one day, I still do, but for the living, that dream has to wait.
Long-fin Blue Sharks
Image from The Fine Art Print Gallery

How JAWS Changed The World is a must-watch for anyone especially for younger generations. The future of the sharks, the oceans and human race depend on the them. The show tells many sides of the story by adding the latest scientific researches and findings on sharks, correcting many misconceptions and even unravelling mysteries about these apex hunters that has lived since the age of the dinosaurs. Highly recommended!

If you too want to watch the show, here's a BT seed,

Footage seen at the end of every House M.D. episode
Image from House M.D.

Finally, I have watched the movie JAWS over 100 times in my life, sometimes twice a day when I was a child, this is how much I love sharks. But the last time I watched it was probably 15 years ago. It was only till yesterday when I watched it again that I found out exactly what every line in the movie was actually saying. To my surprise, I also discover the origin of the line "That's some bad hat, Harry!" which I hear every time when an episode of the drama House. M.D. ends.

Image from JAWS
And this is really cool! I never knew that this line was in fact from JAWS.

No Trading, No Killing.

blockbuster -- (n)[C] a book or film that is very successful, especially because it is exciting a book or film that is very successful, especially because it is exciting
scorch -- (vb) [I or T] to (cause to) change colour with dry heat, or to burn slightly
plankton -- (n)[U] very small plants and animals which float on the surface of the sea and on which other sea animals feed
decade -- (n) [C] a period of ten years, especially a period such as 1860 to 1869, or 1990 to 1999
mindless -- (adj) disapproving stupid and meaning nothing
massacre -- (n) [C] an act of killing a lot of people
advocate -- (vb) [T] to publicly support or suggest an idea, development or way of doing something
conservation -- (n) the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity
maniacal -- (adj) describes a cry or laugh that is loud and wild
unravel -- (vb) [I or T] If you unravel a mysterious, unknown or complicated subject, you make it known or understood, and if it unravels, it becomes known or understood
apex -- (n) figurative the highest point or most successful part of something


JAWS @ Wikipedia

Peter Benchley @ Wikipedia

The Inspiration for Jaws | How Jaws Changed the World -- Shark Week 2012

The Shark Cage from Jaws | How Jaws Changed the World -- Shark Week 2012

Shark Week 25 Yrs @ Discovery Channel

Michael Offutt: Is Jaws the only good shark story?