Close Enconters of the Third Kind

I’ve decided to do a classic this time ’round. It’s nice to visit something from the past you find inspiring, just ask my wife about my Lord of the Rings viewings.

For your reading pleasure, I decided to jot my thoughts down about Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1977 classic directed by Steven Spielberg. This for me is one of Speilberg’s more influential films, along with later films such as ET and Poltergeist. Bear in mind he was just coming off of Jaws too.

Richard Dreyfus, Teri Garr, Francois Truffaut are all part of a very talented lineup. The storyline revolves around a number of individuals who all have an experience with extraterrestrial beings and experience a calling to the same mountain location (Devil’s Tower National Park which, despite the ominous name has an amazing landscape). Once at the destination of their visions, the movie reaches it’s climax as the alien visitors meet their human diplomats. The drama of this plays out not only in the alien encounters but in the lives inter weaved with the event and how some of their relationships are effected.

If you haven’t seen this movie by now, for shame. This is a classic (and Oscar winner) for numerous reasons. Besides a well written story, and engaging performances (Dreyfus is especially spirited, Teri Garr plays the role of doubter very convincingly), the effects were groundbreaking for their time. This is the beginning of what effects were always supposed to be: believable. It’s great to see an early Spielberg flick like this and then War of the Worlds and note the evolution of his filmmaking from ’77 to ’05.

Be sure to check out this movie and see one of the films that influenced generations of upcoming filmmakers as well as being the work of Speilberg’s in the beginning of his first heyday.

reviewed by Sean McKnight