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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

: A series of unexplained encounters with U.F.O.s sets in motion a global search for answers...Whilst a family man, Richard Dreyfuss seeks answers to his own close encounter with an unknown object.

Review: I first watched Steven Spielberg's opus to extraterrestrial first contact back in the early 80s. I was blown away by what I saw. After all these years I rewatched this classic sci fi...and yes I was still blown away by it! Thanks to Spielberg's mastery of film making.

You know usually the director gets all the credit for the movie, but it's the intelligently written, multi story layering of the script that impressed me most of all. And guess what? Steven Spielberg wrote the movie! That's probably why his movie comes close to perfection as it's his unified vision...and according to him based on a childhood experience.

But of course Spielberg is also skilled as a director. I love how he imparts us with the emotion of the scene by cutting to a reaction shot as he does in the above photo. It's the tears welling up in the son's eyes that tells us how deeply affected the father is by the UFO encounter.

Nothing makes us feel the pain or joy of the moment more than by seeing the emotions in the other character's eyes. Spielberg works magic here with his reaction shots.

Bob Balban foreground, Francois Truffaut background.

I love how the movie interweaves the different stories of those who had extraterrestrial encounters of the 1st kind. Especially powerful was the story line of the international team investigating the re-appearance of long missing planes and ships in the deserts. It gives an all important and serious feel to the context of the movie. Very cool that the renowned French director François Truffaut, leads the investigation team.

Another secondary story that's hauntingly effective, is due to the mother's fear of losing her son. Both mom (Melinda Dillion) and the little kid are instrumental in building the story arc that questions: what the aliens real intentions are?...And her little son (Cary Guffy) was so good an actor that Stanley Kubrick decided to use him in The Shining.

I think of Richard Dreyfus as a comic actor but he's so good here. I instantly believed he was an average family guy with kids and with the charmingTeri Garr for a wife. The way he descends into his obsession after his close encounter is powerful. The scene where he's in the shower having a mental break down and the son is screaming at the top of his lungs, while slamming the bathroom door in anger, is some of the most realistic family crisis drama I've seen put on film. All thanks to Dreyfus and Spielberg.

And Teri Garr was great as the loving suburbia wife, who's pushed to the edge by her troubled husband. She was great in this...and I realize she looks a lot like Blake Lively, or is that the other way around?

Gosh, there's so many well done scenes that each moment in this movie is a real treat. I loved the setting at Devil's Tower, which in itself is more amazing than any modern CG effect. And the alien ships!...with all of those beautiful lights and the way they moved and rolled over before landing, so very cool.