The populated earth is stranger than any science flicktion. Seems that in 1977 Spielberg was looking out at the world w/ the eyes of a child, and it served him well. Incidentally: how many shots are in this movie of people staring in wonder? The movie itself is a staring-in-wonder. Speaks to a market-driven post-ideological age that somebody'd follow up something as fascist as JAWS w/ something as Marxist as this.
Original release version. Celebrating its' 40th anniversary Spielberg's science fiction classic continues to provide a feeling of awe and hope. The degree of ingenuity in its creation is staggering and its practical effects stand the test of time quite well. Dreyfuss gives an iconic turn here as everyman Roy. One of the director's best.
What's Spielberg's obsession with the Paramount logo. First, it's in the beginning of Raiders and then one of the character in this film builds a replica of the damn thing. Which is why I feel this is actually a film about the experience of watching a film. From the way everyone is joining to observe the ships to the bright lights that the ship exude, it all seems to recreate the joyous experience of the cinema.
Can't believe I hadn't seen this in its entirety until today. It's wonderful, showing Spielberg at his big-budget, blockbuster best. The scene at the home of Jillian and Barry, when they have their encounter with the ship, is spectacular. I could go back and forth on whether this or Jaws is Spielberg's best of the 70s.
One of the few films that gets better as the film moves through its plot. This quality makes Close Encounters uneven and not a masterwork, but what the second half has to offer is a well paced sci fi suspense narrative that rivals the work of Hitchcock.
Jaws may have made his name, but this is where Spielberg found his voice and articulated a key part of his worldview: ordinary people coming into contact with something extraordinary, wondrous, and overwhelming, and ending in a way that gives cause for hope.