Friday, April 8, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3523: Jaws - "You're Going to Need a Bigger Boat" - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)





"You're going to need a bigger boat". It's an iconic scene from a groundbreaking film. And this particular line has become a classic metaphor. Jaws was one of the most memorable movies of the 1970s. It also held the highest grossing spot until it was supplanted by Star Wars.

Roy Scheider was an excellent actor (nominated for two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award) and Steven Spielberg is incredibly gifted (winning two Academy Awards for best director  - and he's also the highest grossing director of all time) - but they got a crucial part of this scene wrong.


In this moment, Chief Martin Brody displays a mild amount of nasal flaring and a moderate amount of pulling together and lowering ("knitting") of his lower forehead and eyebrows. While these changes are indeed seen with fear - they never occur without the additional corresponding necessary changes of the eyes/eyelids and mouth (if the underlying emotion is fear). This is not the face of fear.

What emotion(s) does Scheider's face convey?





To slice this expression even  thinner, Scheider's eyelids are mildly closed here - which is completely incongruent with fear or surprise.







Captain Brody would have never kept that cigarette in his mouth either. The dynamics of the mouth and lips during fear or surprise would not have allowed it.

If, with respect to human nature and context, this moment would have been accurately directed and acted, we would have first seen surprise - rapidly replaced by a fear expression. Here Scheider shows neither.

When the body language doesn't match the scene in a film we call it bad acting. But when the nonverbal behavior is disparate from the words or vocal qualities in the real word - other alarm bells should be sounded.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3522: Felicity Jones in New Star Wars Trailer: "Rogue One"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3198: Sepp Blatter, FIFA, Subtle Fear & Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 357: Fear in his Eyes

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1106:  Subtle Fear Display of al-Assad

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2955: Adrian Peterson - a Telling Body Language Cluster

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3190: Taylor Swift's Body Language of Feigned Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3509: Bernie Sanders meets Birdie Sanders

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3331: Mila finds out Adam Levine got married - Rapid Transitioning of Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2997: Halloween Haunted Houses - Transitioning from Expressions of Surprise to Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3524: Paddleboarder's Encounter with Spinner Shark


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