Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Director’s Cut

USA 1977. Dir: Steven Spielberg. 137 min. 35mm

ALL AGES WELCOME! ► We “launch” Sci-Fi Cinema Sunday with a granddaddy of a classic (on 35mm!) by the Hollywood maestro of family SF, Steven Spielberg — presented here in the director’s favoured version. Released the same year as compadre George Lucas’s game-changing Star Wars — which carried (if not detonated) the “blockbuster” torch first ignited by Spielberg’s own Jaws two years earlier — Close Encounters was the antithesis to Lucas’s franchise-building space opera: a decidedly down-to-earth take on the visitors-from-space film that looked with wonderment to the stars rather than traversing them at lightspeed. Richard Dreyfuss plays unhinged Indiana suburbanite Roy Neary, witness to a UFO that’s got him carving mysterious mountains out of his mashed potatoes. Spielberg’s film-school idol, François Truffaut, is the sky-watching scientist; Paul Schrader had an uncredited hand on the script. “The greatest science-fiction film ever made” (Ray Bradbury).


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Cinema Sunday films are introduced by Vancouver film history teacher, critic, and intergalactic space pirate Michael van den Bos. In-theatre giveaways courtesy of Cinema Sunday community sponsors Videomatica SalesGolden Age Collectables, and Kidsbooks.



★★★★ "One of the great moviegoing experiences."

Roger Ebert | full review

"The best — the most elaborate — 1950's science fiction movie ever made, a work that borrows its narrative shape and its concerns from those earlier films, but enhances them with what looks like the latest developments in movie and space technology."

New York Times | full review

"The first film in years to give its audiences a tingle of shocked emotion that is not entirely based either on fear or on suspense."

Time Out | full review