|Fig.1 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' Poster|
'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' (1977) is a technicolor dream. Director, Steven Spielberg, created a visionary piece of cinema that incorporates exciting camera work and an excessive use of electrifying lights that illuminate the film like an extraterrestrial bonfire night.
'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' is a well renowned film that holds it's own against the films of today, this makes for an easy watch filled with thrills and excitement from the get go.
|Fig.2 Film Still|
"LIGHTS, CAMERA...MORE LIGHTS, ACTION!", these must have been the words of Steven Spielberg during filming. 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' is full of extravagant lights that illuminate scenes throughout the movie 'The unidentified flying objects that both terrorise and enchant the citizens of Muncie, Indiana, early in the film, when the night sky is suddenly filled with blinking lights and several brilliantly coloured shapes, each of which looks like a Portuguese man-of-war, make up an extraordinary psychedelic light show.' (Candy, 1977) Not only is this use of light aesthetically pleasing, but it adds just that little more to the story by building a great amount of tension, flooding character's houses with hazardous, orange-red lights, it's as if the use of light within the film acts as a catalyst of what is to come, the lights representing the extraterrestrial beings hovering across the lands of Indiana, and the colours of orange and red, subliminally acting as a sign of danger or a warning to it's citizens.
|Fig.3 Film Still|
Richard Dreyfuss plays the part of Roy Neary within the film. Abandoned by his wife and kids, Roy embarks on an adventure to seek answers for his 'close encounter'. His somewhat Hallucinogenic state and irrational behaviour throughout the film make you feel a little more emotionally involved with him, he is un-wanted by his family and lost within the world until another close encounter (a little closer to home this time) puts him on a path with Jillian Guiler, played by Melina Dillon. The two lost souls comes together to find the answers they want and end up travelling to Wyoming to find what they're looking for. 'Watching Close Encounters is like an entertaining study guide to the filmmaker and his body of work. Not just a signature film, Close Encounters — the only one of his movies before A.I. written as well as directed by him — encompasses all the major themes, concerns and elements that recur throughout Spielberg's career.' (Ergo, 2000) Throughout many scenes in the film, Spielberg's classic camera work can be seen. Beautifully placed shots are quickly changed to capture a look of wonder or amazement. He does this by slowly zooming towards the character's face, or in some cases, more often than not, the camera is raised slowly into the air to showcase the monumental scenery that surrounds the characters, Roy and Jillian, this welcomes the audience into a new kind of world, a world of escapism and bewilderment.
This world that Steven Spielberg has created isn't terribly dystopian, it's terribly sympathetic and it's ending reflects that. Close Encounters' most iconic bits (the theme, the mashed-potato sculpture, etc.) have been so thoroughly absorbed into the culture that it's easy to forget that its treatment of aliens as peaceful beings rather than warmongering monsters was somewhat groundbreaking in 1977. (Rotten Tomatoes S.D) For once we aren't left with aliens taking over the world and annihilating the human race, instead we are given a beautifully apprehensive greeting between humans and typically grey skinned aliens. Also, a quick farewell for Roy as he enters the ship somewhat acts as closure, but the story itself feels open for even further development. Would Hollywood dare to produce a sequel to such a well loved movie? Probably.
Canby, V (1977) 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF1739E560BC4F52DFB767838C669EDE Accessed on: 16/02/2016
Errigo, A (2000) 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind Review' At: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/close-encounters-third-kind/review/ Accessed on: 16/02/2016
Rotten Tomatoes (S.D) 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' At: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/close_encounters_of_the_third_kind/ Accessed on: 16/02/2016
Figure.1 'Close Encounters of The Third Kind' [Poster] At: http://www.postersfromhell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind-Movie-Poster-Style-H-27x40-Inch-One-Sheet.jpg Accessed on: 16/02/2016
Figure.2 [Film Still] At:http://s3.amazonaws.com/auteurs_production/images/film/close-encounters-of-the-third-kind/w448/close-encounters-of-the-third-kind.jpg Accessed on: 16/02/2016
Figure.3 [Film Still] At: http://img.swanblog.tw/web_upload/2015-08-16-150054-84.jpg Accessed on: 16/02/2016