Close Encounters of the Third Kind BY AKA97 Synopsis: After a mysterious re-appearance of World War II era fighters resurface in Mexico, cableman Roy Neary has a strange encounter with a glowing light during a routine service call. He chases the light, almost causing him to hit a small child with his car. The boys mother, Jillian Guiler, found the boys room empty and came to find him. After the incident, Roy is sunburned from the mysterious light, and is plagued by images of a mountain and the sound of the same 5 notes. Roys town is cleared ut by the government due to suspicions of a forthcoming alien landing.
The reports on the news show the same mysterious mountain that Roy has been seeing in his head, so he decides to head out to the mountain. He is soon captured by the military, along with Jillian, whom he reunites with, learning that her son was abducted “by the clouds. ” Roy and Jillian escape to the mountain, where they find a large military operation. Soon, hundreds of UFOs appear in the night sky, descending upon the mountain. Government scientists begin using a keyboard to play the 5-note sequence hat Roy had heard (common among others who have encountered the UFOs) in an attempt to communicate with the ships.
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The smaller UFOs disappear, and are soon replaced by a large mothership-like UFO. The scientists, again, attempt communication with the large UFO, and succeed. After a brief musical conversation, the ship opens, and several people emerge, all of whom had been reported missing, including Jillian’s son, Barry. Then, a tall, gangly alien appears in the opening, followed by a large group of child-sized aliens, who gather a group of people who ad volunteered to go with them, including Roy.
The ship leaves, and disappears into the night sky. Genre: Science Fiction: Science fiction (sci-fi) films are normally films with scenarios that are based on scientific speculation; things like aliens and interstellar travel are common. Common themes would include the creation of the universe, parallel universes, and often parallels to current social issues. CEotTK: Close Encounters of the Third Kind is very heavily based in the belief that aliens exist, a theory that science and space exploration can’t confirm or deny Just et.
Aliens are quite prevalent in the film, and the movie explores “openness in the face of the unknown,” as Charlene Engel wrote (The Films of Steven Spielberg). If Barry and Roy could be so open with the aliens, how could the U. S. be so open with the Soviet Union? (Referencing the Cold War) Significance: Close Encounters is included as one of the best films of all time due to its memorable imagery. When someone carves a mountain out of mashed potatoes, most people would think of Close Encounters. When the 5-note sequence is played, many people will think of the cene where the mothership begins communicating.
When Steven Spielberg was asked to select an image to sum up his film career, he selected the shot of Barry opening his front door, shortly before he’s abducted, and seeing the bright light of the UFO. Close Encounters also helped science fiction films reemerge, along with Star Wars and Superman. Audience: The intended audience of the film could be described as those who do believe that there’s intelligent life among the stars. The Tllm Is aoout people’s experlence wltn extra-terrestrlals. I nere Is a very suDtle omance towards the end of the film that could entice female viewers.
Purpose: The purpose of the movie is to entertain. Many would want to know what an actual alien encounter would be like, and this movie entertains that idea. Realism: I feel that this film conveyed a realistic setting as well as it could, given its genre. The sci-fi genre is difficult to put realism into, so it relies mainly on characters to convey it. In this case, Spielberg did an excellent Job of making these characters seem very real. Roy slowly develops a psychotic obsession with the mountain image, and Richard Dreyfuss (Roy) ives a spot-on performance of what that would look like.
Not only do we see Roys reaction to the alien encounter, but we also see his familys reaction. As Roy goes slowly insane, his wife, Ronnie, begins to fear for his safety, and the safety of their children. Teri Garr (Ronnie) gives a great portrayal of a mother and wife that is torn apart by her husband’s destructive obsession. These 2 characters give a very realistic portrayal of a family that’s torn apart by, again, destructive obsession. Awards: Oscar for Best Cinematography, BAFTA for Production Design, Saturn Award for Best
Director and Best Music, Grammy for Best Original Motion Picture Score, Golden Reel for Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects. Currently, Close Encounters has been preserved in the National Film Registry for its cultural influence. It is also referenced in many pop-culture staples, such as: James Bond (Moonraker), South Park, The X-Files, That 70’s Show, and The Simpsons. Involvement/lnterest: This film was very interesting to me. As a kid I was fascinated by the possibility of aliens visiting Earth, and this movie paints a vivid picture of what might happen if aliens chose to land in a small town.
It was also interesting to see Roys descent into madness after his encounter, and the results that come with it. The movie was rather slow-paced, but it helped me get a good idea of what was going on and gave me a chance to predict what the consequences would be for certain actions. Production Techniques: The film is very linear, and doesn’t use flashbacks. It uses 2 different perspectives; one is Roy, who’s searching for answers, and Jillian, who’s searching for her missing child. Many of the effects were practical, such as the UFOs. Many were just common objects with lights attached to them.
Critique: I definitely liked the film. It was very interesting to me, as a 16-year-old. Plenty of sci-fi movies try to go for a shock factor to reel in the audience without offering a good plot or characters, but this movie abandons the initial shock factor for a great story that explores the reaction of humans to visiting alien life. The final scene with the UFOs is one of the most memorable scenes of any movie IVe seen in a while. While the movie is quite slow, it keeps you engaged with a great story. I feel that it’s very deserving of its 91% Metacritic rating.