Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A-Z #47: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and understanding why I own the films ... or you can tell me why I should sell 'em

#47 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind 

Why did I buy it?

An important film in the Spielberg canon. And it was £3. Double-disc, basic pack. Unfortunately I have not yet picked up the sweet - is it 5-disc? - blu-ray version with 342 different edits. Though, I hope, one day I will. But I doubt I will watch the once-screened, TV-edit, with blooper-reel included-in-the-cut [Producers Edit] version.

Why do I still own it?
I have watched it twice so far - and I do believe that the first watch isn't easy. I think the film is a difficult watch as it is rooted in more symbolic foundations. The 'intruder' taking away Richard Dreyfuss is a clear connection, as many have pointed out, to Spielbergs own childhood - as his parents went through a divorce themselves. The obsessive mountains - basic and abstract - that are littered throughout the film (even the picture I selected is an upside-down triangle framing the central characters). On a second watch I enjoyed the film alot more - you can simply marvel at some incredible visuals from Spielberg (the little toys moving shortly before the child is kidnapped, the desert landscape and epic vistas). It seems that the bombastic John Williams score at the end becomes the pay off - the entire film shooting out those random notes only to build up to what must be the most satisfying theme of Williams career. I have a funny feeling that I will watch this film many more times before considering selling it off...
Maybe this is the weaker Spielberg effort? The anti-ET? Should I shift this film to make way for less abstract Sci-Fi?
Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. My favorite Spielberg film, one I saw only last year. Beautiful and moving. Keep it!

  2. If you sell this masterpiece off...this genius bit of directing (dive into those feautrettes!) ...I will board the next flight to London, loiter the lobby of the Clapham Picture House, just to slap you upside the head.

  3. I shall keep it - or, more likely, sell it and buy the blu-ray edition.

  4. then again, maybe i will sell it to see if mad hatter will come all the way over to the UK! The funniest moment would be in the clapham picturehouse seeing this guy and not-really-but-kind-of-recognising him - only to be hit round the head and then, seconds later, in his canadian, matineecast-voice "i told you not to sell it"...


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