They have for some reason rereleased the Steven Spielberg classic Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind theatrically. It is competing against such other classics as Nut Job 2. Rather than doing a traditional review, I am going to bring up some questions which came to mind while watching this on the big screen 40 years after the original release.
- The first thing which is striking about this film by today’s standards is the extent to which Spielberg trashes the middle class traditional family. The husband is being accosted by his spoiled brat kids, who will not compromise with him regarding family outings and such. The kids and wife are always bugging and nagging him about little things and don’t allow Dreyfuss to realize his full potential as a human being.
- The husband leaves the wife (Terri Garr) for Melina Dillon, whose child he saves. He does this to feel like a man and to be a hero. Does Spielberg feel that men should leave their wives in pursuit of adventure and for a higher purpose? The way Dreyfuss leaves with the aliens is not unlike how Jesus’s Apostles were called upon and left everything behind, including their wives and children.
- Which brings us to the next point, why was Dreyfuss chosen by the aliens as the sole human to be allowed entry to the spacecraft? The aliens swarm around him in with his arms extended wide (in a messianic fashion). Is Spielberg saying that Dreyfuss becomes the messiah as the aliens decided to share advanced technology or thought with him. Am thinking this has to do something with the telekinesis he has in terms of having been sent the idea to meet the aliens at Devil’s Canyon. Perhaps telekinesis would allow the aliens to speed up the communication with humans to a great extent.
- An interesting side-note is that the only other character the aliens choose to interact with in the film is the French scientist played by Trauffaut, a great French director. He does the hand signs that correlate to the notes. Why did the aliens choose him to speak to? Because of his intellectual curiosity??
- At the press conference the older cowboy dude discredits the UFO siting by bringing up his Bigfoot experience. Was this guy a nut, genuine, or a government spook who was planted at the news conference in order to discredit the eyewitnesses? Does Spielberg believe in Bigfoot? Poltergeist, A.I., and Close Encounters were the only screenplays he actually wrote by the way. So he was into far out stuff.
- The cow mutilations in the film. What’s up with that? The one dude with the glasses does get gassed by the black helicopter. However, the other people take their masks off when they are by the military. Were the cows gassed or precision slayed like in real life? Was the government testing the cows for radiation?
- Also , the aliens in the film do have the tall skinny ones, and then the short stubby ones , like in Whitley Strieber’s Communion. Does Spielberg believe this is what aliens really look like and that aliens exist?
- Spielberg has been quoted as saying that NASA originally sent him a 20 page letter telling him to not make the film. That making this film would be too dangerous for the general public. What’s up with that???