Monday, February 11, 2008

"That's Some Bad Hat, Harry"

11 February 2008

My cousin Ryan was over the other night, and I wanted to make him watch STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN. It is among a handful of movies that doesn't get a little less impressive every time I watch it, but actually gets better with each subsequent viewing. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is also on that list.

As is JAWS, my all-time favourite horror film.* I pick up on some subtlety or nuance, a line delivery or a camera angle I'd never appreciated before, and its all the better for it. I remember a couple of years back, when I was home from L.A. for Christmas, JAWS started playing on TV at eleven p.m., and even though I own the movie on videocassette and DVD, I sat there and watched it. My mother did too, even though she had to have preferred sleeping. It was on TNT, I believe, and they jammed it to bursting with commercials, so that it ended at 1:30, but we stuck through it, 'cause it's just that good.**

I read today that Roy Scheider, who played Chief Brody, just died, apparently from cancer. He was seventy-five.
That's a good age, really, but it's still sad to lose someone--anyone involved in such a lasting, iconic project. As far as I recall, the only person involved in JAWS that I ever met was Carl Gottlieb, who wrote the screenplay (he signed my copy, which was later stolen). But I feel a connection with those who have entertained me since childhood, who made an indelible mark on my psyche during my formative years . . . and I think that's what they're supposed to do.

So long, Chief Brody. It's only an island if you look at it from the water.

Rish Outfield

*You don't consider it Horror? Please don't make me use the f-word on this solemn occasion.

**One day soon Universal will remake it, and I will have yet another reason to feel sorry for myself.

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