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So Very Close

November 23rd, 2013 § Leave a Comment

Again, another fast and quick week. You don’t need me to tell you you have to see CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, especially since we’ve got a new 35mm print.

Let me just tell you a little story about when I saw this director’s cut as a young boy: it was scary. Remember, the blockbuster film that put Spielberg on the map right before this film? JAWS. He doesn’t lose it with this film, and I still remember his 2005 WAR OF THE WORLDS as being pretty damn good (as far as I was concerned, minus a little too much screeching from Miss Fanning). Spielberg has long been giving us incredible sci-fi, and it all started here. Can’t have those incredible dramatic tensions in WORLDS without the lights outside and the whole house shaking in ENCOUNTERS. And it was just plain weird, making the Devil’s Tower in mashed potatoes. That was something a kid could relate to!

The thought of this scene never fails to make me hungry. What can I say, I grew up in Idaho.

The thought of this scene never fails to make me hungry. What can I say, I grew up in Idaho.

I think JAWS is incredible (and the little seen DUEL even better), but ENCOUNTERS is the film where Spielberg really starts to show himself as an auteur and preludes his criminally underappreciated sci-fi films of the last decade (A.I., WAR OF THE WORLDS, MINORITY REPORT). Yes, his immediate sci-fi success following ENCOUNTERS is E.T., and his sci-fi legacy is undoubted, but there is something very compelling about ENCOUNTERS. I need to see it again…guess I will, I’m slinging reels tomorrow night!

—ready for Malick, dan

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