I already wrote a bit about Jaws and my long connection to it, but I don’t think I’ve yet got around to the student reactions. It’s hard to keep track of things in the midst of the mad swirl of the summer intensive. I’ve made things even tighter by planning to run down to Connecticut this weekend to see folks before I go off to the UK June 1. The quick Connecticut dash is meant to include a quick hello to Marko at the Punk Rock Jukebox, girlie night with Miss Wendy and the Queen of Everything, Saturday lunch or something with Miss Wendy and Elena, then Sunday brunch with the Boojums.
It will be more relaxing than it sounds.
Okay, Jaws: the students were not accustomed to thinking of this as a horror film, since most of them saw it as kids. The music has become so iconic, it’s hard to imagine hearing it the first time or the impact it had (all kinds of impacts). The two halves of the movie complement each other so well, yet are completely different: we go from the crowded beaches of Amity to the endless ocean, from a whole town of people to just the three men and yet you don’t feel that transition as a jarring change. It’s a well-constructed film. Good thing they had so much trouble with Bruce the shark and had to keep him out sight for longer than they planned. It works.
Suspiria, on the other hand, is a spectacle but a far less coherent narrative on the whole. I expected to have a bit of trouble getting the students to appreciate it, so I was pleasantly surprised to have spontaneous expressions of appreciation for it. It’s a Technicolor feast, it’s an expressionist blood bath, where the glory of the gory explodes all over the screen — often at the cost of logic or reason (not to mention the often utilitarian dialogue) and of course, the true crime of dubbing Udo‘s voice with some bland American’s. Nonetheless, the students appreciated it. I think they’re getting to be real connoisseurs, which is very cool.