Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Cutting Edges: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Figure 1- Film poster
Close Encounters of the third kind (1977) was directed by Steven Spielberg. The film genres are  science fiction, action, adventure, mystery & suspense and fantasy.  This film came in the same year as 'Star wars A New Hope' (1977) with also had special effects such as the bright colours such as the orange light of the UFO's, that still looks good  today.

The opening scene of the film is shown in total darkness, until the UFO appears with blinding flash lights to provide the viewer with a magical experience. It plays on the time of space travel, science  and cinema, which represents a celebration of technology. It is a film of overwhelming imagery along with a way of communication which was later further established with The Extra-Terrestrials (E.T.) (1982). Which is not through words but through a harmonious combination of music and signs.“Kubrick would have cracked the ET if he'd had another year,” Steven Spielberg said in an interview after the premiere of his “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, with its alien being that was not improbable, ridiculous or anticlimactic." (Ebert 1977).

"The memorable music is made up of five tones using major and minor scales and was composed by John Williams who also wrote the music for Jaws and ET".  (Ars-Nova software 2012)
Figure 2 - Still image

Figure 3 - The Projection Room

The Mother Ship (figure 3) is the main focus of the film because it diverts the attention of the viewer which connects while following the same music notes. "Spielberg' film not only matches it for technique landing of the Mother Ship being the cinema's most spectacular special effect since de Mille's parting of the Red Sea it surpasses it in its religious sense of awe." (Sinyard 1987:47-50)


Ars-Nova Software (2012) Where do the 5 tones with hand symbols in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" come from? http://www.ars-nova.com/Theory%20Q&A/Q35.html
(Accessed: 12 April 2016)

Ebert, R. (1977) Preview: Close encounters of the Third kind | Roger Ebert’s journal. Available at: http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/preview-close-encounters-of-the-third-kind (Accessed: 21 February 2016).

Sinyard, N. (1987) Films of Steven Spielberg, the (bison book S.). Twickenham, Middlesex: Hamlyn

Illustration List:

Figure 1- Film poster
http://coolspotters.com/files/wallpapers/67135/close-encounters-of-the-third-kind-mobile-wallpaper.jpg ( Accessed on 21 February 2016)

Figure 2- Still image
(Accessed on 21 February 2016)

 Figure 3- The Projection Room
http://screenmusings.org/movie/blu-ray/Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind/images/Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind-274.jpg  (Accessed on 21 February 2016)

1 comment:

  1. You are touching on some interesting ideas here Dinesh, for example when you describe the film as communicating '...not through words but through a harmonious combination of music and signs.' It might have been good to unpick this idea further, and explain the use of signs in greater detail. It will be this sort of in-depth thinking that will give your essays greater impact. :)