Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two If By Sea

Hooper: ...it doesn't make much sense for a guy who hates the water to live on an island...
Brody: It's only an island if you look at it from the water.
~Jaws


Last night, after an all too busy day, my mate and I settled in for some couch time and watched the movie Jaws. It's one of those movies that's kind of a guilty pleasure of mine - completely outlandish, but entirely satisfying. Besides, Roy Scheider (aka Chief Brody) rocks my boat. Pun intended. Watching the constantly changing sky in the film is distracting to me. Filming must have been a logistical nightmare. For example (and this happens consistently throughout the film), there's a shot of Brody - the camera is looking up at him as he bends over the chum bucket. Behind Brody, the sky is clear blue. The camera pans away to Hooper who is steering the boat. Behind Hooper the sky is gray and menacing.


Even so, it's one of those ridiculous films that I just have to love. I think that's partly because it was the first PG film I was allowed to see, and it's the only movie I ever saw in a theater with my Dad. He got such a kick out of me jumping every time something startling happened on the screen.


Dad. I was thinking of him right when Hooper and Brody spoke the lines above, and the combination damned near made my eyes mist up. For so long, my view of my Dad was almost purely one of an intimidating monster. It took some time for me to pull back far enough to see more. It took discovering water, the ebb and flow of personalities and how I perceive and deal with them. When it came to my Dad, I couldn't see the water for the island. I now know there was a deeper world in him, along with a beautifully acerbic sense of humor, fierce intelligence, and breathtaking artistic ability. 


Hooper: ...if we're looking for a shark we're not gonna find him on the land.
~Jaws


I wish I'd waded out into these waters long ago. Sure, they can be treacherous, but it's a whole other world and there's so much to discover.

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