Spielberg tells of guilt over the damage the film may have done to sharks

Whatever it takes to evoke an immediate sense of danger in anyone who witnesses Jaws It’s two notes, semitones apart, deftly deployed to indicate the imminent threat of a great white shark.

But now, nearly half a century later, director Steven Spielberg has acknowledged that the 1975 Oscar-winning thriller was so effective at evoking the fear of deformed creatures, admitting that he “really regrets” any impact it had on the world quickly. The number of sharks decreased.

Since the early 1970s, the world’s population of oceanic sharks and rays has declined by 71% as a result of overfishing, according to a global study published in nature Found last year.

“I really, to this day, regret the sharks that died because of the book and the movie. I’m really sorry for that,” says the American director. Desert Island DiscsIt is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sundays.

Asked by show host Lorraine Laverne how he would feel about having sharks running around him if he were sent to the show’s fictional desert island, the 75-year-old said: “That’s one of the things I’m still afraid of. Not being eaten by a shark, but These sharks are kind of mad at me for the crazy sport fishermen rampage that happened after 1975.”

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Global Red List of Threatened Species, more than a third of all shark species are threatened with extinction, while three quarters of oceanic shark species face this threat.

But Paul Cox, chief executive of the Shark Trust in Plymouth, said that although shark numbers have shrunk dramatically since the film’s release, to blame Jaws is “giving the film a lot of credit”.

He believes that most people are able to distinguish between life and cinema.

“It’s very clear that shark population declines are overfishing of fisheries,” he said.

Experts say Spielberg’s film is not the main reason for the decline in shark populations, but it did influence popular perception of these creatures. Photo: Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

While the demand for shark fins has diminished in recent years, the desire for shark meat is increasing.

where Jaws It may have had the effect, however, of withholding messages about sharks, as Cox puts it: “It led to conversations a bit of a trap of spending a lot of time talking about all the things sharks don’t have rather than things that are fish.” Shark.”

However, he is grateful for the positive PR that Spielberg’s comments provide. “For a celebrity to take on the challenge of communicating about sharks in a more positive way is very welcome.”

He said the film exploits pre-existing fear. “It’s a natural fear we have of the unknown. The sea, the marine environment, still has so many unknowns.”

Christopher Paul Jones, a Harley Street phobia specialist, is convinced of the film’s power. Most of the people he encounters with galliophobia, or fear of sharks, go back to movies like Jaws Because most people have only ever seen a shark in an aquarium.

“It’s a testament to the way it was done. You can’t see underwater, and the music creates a sense of fear.” “Movies are very good at reaching all of the senses – visually and acoustically and they can have a huge impact on how we feel.”

He said that films like Jaws It is often the “seed of passion”. “People will come to me—it may not be a fear of sharks but a fear of swimming or water. When you look at how I started, it could be Jaws. “

in another place Desert Island Discs Admittedly, Spielberg said filmmakers should not “manipulate” audiences by playing on their emotions, but he admitted he was guilty of this. Jaws. “A filmmaker should never manipulate an audience unless every scene has some kind of horror in it,” he said. “I’ve done that many times in evil soul And I certainly did that once jaws Where the head comes out of the hole. That’s fine, I admit it.”

Great white near sea surface, pictured from below
Great white shark. Populations of oceanic sharks and rays have declined by 71% since the 1970s. Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

Among his desert island discs was Bach’s “Little Fugue” in G minor, which his father used to blow when he came home from work; What the world needs now is love for Jackie DeShannon, which he said makes him “want a Republican hug”; and his daughter Sasha, whose stage name is Buzzy Lee, sings. He said that Colehand’s song reminds him of the “privilege of fatherhood”. His luxury item would be a vintage Bolex H-8 film camera.

He talked about childhood memories—including making a three-minute western to earn a Boy Scout badge, his mother dancing around the house, and being estranged from his father for 15 years after his parents’ divorce.

Spielberg, whose many other films include blockbusters ETAnd the Indiana JonesAnd the Jurassic Parkhe fears will be his latest project, a semi-autobiographical film called Fablemanswould be “the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever asked people to walk me through”.

Describing the project, starring Paul Dano and Michelle Williams, as “$40 million therapy,” he said, “I didn’t really know what I was doing, except that I was responding to a need I had — being orphaned or recently orphaned with the loss of both parents, to get some of those memories back.” In a way that doesn’t seem too forgiving of actors that I really respect. So it was a tightrope for a while.”

But the movie has already received widespread critical acclaim and Golden Globes and Critics Choice Award nominations.

He said he didn’t mind it being seen as sentimental and nostalgic, adding, “I think it’s more nostalgic than sentimental, but I never get upset when I hear that at all unless someone says it ruined the movie for them… no.” I like that.”

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