Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Steven Spielberg, Jaws And 'God Light'
Spielberg's signature trait is missing from Jaws. Or is it?

submit to reddit

It is perhaps the signature of Spielberg’s visual style. Images flooded with what he calls “God light”, shafts coming out of the sky (or usually bubbling clouds) or from a spaceship or through a window or doorframe. Yet Jaws isn’t really interested in the powerful possibilities of light, most scenes going for a naturalistic, never calling attention to itself realism. Except one.

  1 of 1  

When Brody and Hooper take the latter’s boat out to search for Ben Gardiner’s boat, Spielberg displays his first penchant for using light to reveal mystery, danger and wonder, accompanied by John Williams at his airiest (musically it is about get heavy very soon). Like the rest of Jaws’ lighting scheme, it has a realistic light source — Hooper’s super-duper lamp — but set against the high-key look of the rest of the film, it has an otherworldly, sci-fi feel to it.

This light peering through the window of BG’s boat is maybe the most Spielberg-y thing in the whole of Jaws

When we cut to a wide, top shot of Hooper’s gadget-filled boat, the lights creating pools of yellow around the boat andturning the black sea a milkier blue. A retro reading might recast as Spielberg’s first space ship — a technological wonder filling a dangerous world with light and magic. Surely it should take off leaving a rainbow trail behind it?

1 of 1

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)