How much sentimental Boomer Nostalgia does it take to turn a gripping historical moment into a chore? Steven Spielberg’s The Post, hurriedly rushing onto the pre-fab Oscar dais, asks and answers this question: exactly an hour and 56 minutes worth.
In an online film community of which we are both members, my pal Liz Lerner suggested a novel and fascinating idea. For the entire month of September, we are watching and considering films from a specific, arbitrarily chosen year, attempting to locate their concerns, aesthetics, and quirks in the material conditions of their creation and examining what they might have to say to each other.
The original Jaws is a stone-cold classic. Its director, some guy named Steven Spielberg who probably has a promising career ahead of him, expertly paced the original summer blockbuster, drew nuanced performances from Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw, and had the good sense to show as little of the titular shark as possible, allowing dread to build and imaginations to run wild.