The Shark is Still Working (2007) -Erik Hollander

Oh Jaws.

There’s never not a good time for me to watch this movie, so I was delighted when it showed up in DK Canada’s The Movie Book. But having reviewed it for the blog previous to this I moved onto the What Else to Watch list, and there were only a couple of titles I hadn’t reviewed for the blog previous.

So, to see that the fantastic documentary, The Shark is Still Working was on the list gave me a chance to get my Jaws dose without watching the movie again (not that it would be a trial, I do try to see it anytime it is screened in the city).

Taking a look not only at the making of the film, but also on its lasting impact, the film takes us behind the scenes to look at some of the most iconic moments from the original blockbuster.

Whether it’s the U.S.S. Indianapolis speech, the Dreyfuss-Shaw problems, the mechanical sharks, the extended shooting schedule, the countless extras recruited from Martha’s Vineyard, John Williams enduring score, or the annual Jawsfest that takes up residence there all aspects of the film, and its impact are examined.

Narrated by Roy Scheider the engaging, entertaining and informative documentary takes us from the film’s preproduction, through Verna Fields editing, to the impact it has had on countless creative types through the decades.

jaws_bruce

Much like Carl Gottlieb’s Jaws Log, the documentary isn’t just about how much the film is loved, it is about the making of a classic, and could serve as a helpful guide to filmmakers and dreamers around the globe.

And also, seeing that so many others share the same amount of affection and appreciation for this film as I do, tends to heighten my emotions, and I get so joyous when the Jawsfest sequences, or little reveals about locations, or actors happen that I get a little teary-eyed.

That’s how much of an impact Jaws has on me.

Which puts me in mind of the time I met Richard Dreyfuss, and he signed my copy of the blu-ray (he delightedly made time for everyone in his line). I thanked him for coming to Toronto, and told him that this was the first movie I remember seeing as a four year old.

He got a shocked expression on his face, and exclaimed “This movie?!”

When I said yes, he inquired how much therapy I needed afterwards, I explained that I fostered my love of film, helped inspire the blog, and has been essential in my exploration of cinema, which we then discussed for a couple of minutes after.

Jaws was my gateway film to movies and cinema, and a documentary like The Shark is Still Working just constantly reminds me of why (as if that was needed).

If you haven’t seen this brilliant doc, I highly recommend it. And if that is not your thing, maybe pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book and find something amazing to watch tonight!

jaws

 

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