Wednesday, October 17, 2012
You can't hear the aliens. You can't see the shark.
Here's a quick little video of Spielberg talking about how the sound of a film can do more to frighten an audience. Or, I should say in this case, the lack of sound.
Again, at the end, silence.
The shark was supposed to be seen many more times than made it to the final cut. Sadly (but lucky for us!), the mechanical sharks broke down frequently, forcing Spielberg to shoot many scenes with a hint of shark, rather than the actual thing.
And, I think, the shark is a more powerful and frightening monster when you can't see it. It's a nightmare, hidden and horrifying, but with great effect over the lives of those it encounters. The boat gets knocked around and everyone is afraid of something they can't see. It taps into our fear of the dark, of shadows, of what might or might not be lurking under the bed.
You cannot fight what you cannot see.
I'd like to dedicate this clip to Jim Lehrer and his creepy, creepy eyes.
Taken out of context, this is just a heart-breaking retelling. I love the language--the cadence--of it: almost musical. I'm getting all sappy listening to the hurt and fear of something that was just under the surface.
You didn't see a shark attack; you saw the result. Sometimes, you didn't see anything at all, just a man screaming in the night.