Creating the myth of the man-eating machine


Duration: 2010 – 2012

Research Areas
Cinema Studies


Jaws (Universal Studios, 1975) set a new standard for Hollywood film production by introducing the concept of “summer blockbuster,” for a film that changed the way inwhich people thought about sharks. 37 years after the release of the movie, the idea of sharks as ferocious man-hunters still looms large in public opinion. This conceptualization of sharks as ruthless killers is mythical rather than factual, and thisresearch tracks the mechanisms that propelled the idea deep into popular culture.The dissertation addresses the problematics of media constructions through a case study of the movie Jaws departing from its production process, and by applying Barbara Klinger’s interpretation of epiphenomena. The thesis studies how cinema travels into popular culture, by following the traces of the movie into other media, andits dialogue with the surrounding texts generated by PR, marketing and merchandising; simultaneously, the thesis seek to demonstrate the connection between the movie as mythmaker and the stigmatized portrayal of sharks.

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About the Member

Elizabeth Castaldo Lundén

I am a fashion, film, and media historian, currently working as a lecturer in the film and media sections of the Department of Media Studies. I hold a doctoral degree in Fashion Studies and a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies, both from Stockholm... Read more


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