The Online Community Of Christian Geek Central


    Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Share

    jsweeney

    Posts : 19
    Activity : 30
    Geek-Cred : 3
    Join date : 2013-10-19
    Age : 49
    Location : San Diego, CA

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  jsweeney on October 23rd 2013, 7:05 pm

    So @DNArignton, I checked out your fine podcast Helix Reviews. The first thing I listened to was your review of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Your analysis of the morality depicted in the story was spot on, and I could see how the early special effects and overall '70s look of the film could seem dated to modern viewers, and yet this is one of my favorite films of all time, so here's a different perspective on CE3K ;-)

    I first saw the film when it was released in 1977 and I made an immediate connection with it. I definitely experienced awe and wonder at the massive rolling cloud banks hiding the source of flashing lights in the sky. From the otherworldly clouds, to the mountain illuminated with alien light, to the "city" descending from the sky, there is actually quite a bit of "Biblical" imagery in the film. So I was able to relate on some level to Roy Neary's mania to discover the truth. I agree that his treatment of his wife and family was selfish and tragic at the narrative level, but my analysis is aimed at a deeper level and is more about spiritual hunger, hope and fulfillment. For example, I wouldn't characterize his meet up with Jillian as running off with another woman. Though he does kiss her, and I don't excuse that (again on the narrative level), I didn't read the kiss it as lustful or romantic. It feels like just part of his emotional reverie as he steps through a door that fulfills his great desire for the transcendence represented by the alien visitation.

    Spielberg does not consciously have any Christian metaphor in mind as he weaves this story, and I don't have any reason to believe in real aliens from other planets. But I do find some spiritual truth in this story that touches me and makes me reflect every time I see it. As humans we all have Roy's need for spiritual transcendence. We all sense that something bigger than us, even bigger than our imagination, is out there waiting to be discovered. We've had those experiences that give us a glimpse of our lost state, and a hope that it could be recovered. These moments are what C.S. Lewis defined as "joy". The basic message that I take from the movie is that you're not stupid to believe in these things and pursue them, in fact, here is a story where the objective truth of one man's desire, not only revealed itself, but came to get him and take him "home". Spielberg's fictional plot devices might be very different from our objective truth, but like ours, the object of Roy's desire reached out and drew him in. I had the real sense that the creatures who surrounded Roy, eager to touch him and lead him into the mothership, genuinely loved him. Roy abandoning his family seems reprehensible on one level, but in our lives, there are truths that sometimes cost us everything to uphold. In reality, God does not call people to leave their families and again, I don't want to excuse Roy the character, but as a spiritual metaphor, he can be seen as one who is willing to follow the call of God wherever it leads. As the mothership rises to John Williams' majestic score with the "When You Wish Upon A Star" motif, I can't help but imagine God's plan for someday ushering us into the Kingdom where "we will know even as we are known", and I'm left with a vague understanding of what that will be like. I don't expect everyone to react to the movie that way, but some of us do, and I'm sure "we are not alone"… Get it? :-P

    jsweeney

    Posts : 19
    Activity : 30
    Geek-Cred : 3
    Join date : 2013-10-19
    Age : 49
    Location : San Diego, CA

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  jsweeney on October 23rd 2013, 7:38 pm

    So on a whim, I just went to the Focus on the Family review site Plugged In to see if they had any comments about CE3K.  I'm not allowed to post links yet, but go to the Plugged In site, search for "Close Encounters" and look for the article called "A Father's Close Encounter".

    DNArington

    Posts : 547
    Activity : 731
    Geek-Cred : 28
    Join date : 2012-02-01

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  DNArington on October 23rd 2013, 11:32 pm

    That is an interesting perspective on the film and something I certainly didn't think of when I first saw the film. If I ever see the film again I will have to try and look at it from that angle. I believe Ben Avery said something similar to this once on the Strangers and Aliens Podcast (which I believe you've already said you listen to, but if not it is a great podcast!)

    This looks like the article you were refering to: http://community.focusonthefamily.com/b/pluggedin/archive/2011/06/17/a-father-39-s-close-encounter.aspx

    That's pretty cool that he is honest enough to say maybe that wasn't the best way to go.


    Thanks for giving my podcast a shot and I hope you enjoy!

    jsweeney

    Posts : 19
    Activity : 30
    Geek-Cred : 3
    Join date : 2013-10-19
    Age : 49
    Location : San Diego, CA

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  jsweeney on October 25th 2013, 3:12 pm

    I do listen to Strangers and Aliens, but I haven't heard Ben mention Close Encounters. Ben (or anyone), if you're reading and you can remember, send me the episode number so I can pull it up in iTunes.

    tmorrill

    Posts : 335
    Activity : 405
    Geek-Cred : 20
    Join date : 2012-02-04
    Age : 29
    Location : Portland, OR

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  tmorrill on October 25th 2013, 5:44 pm

    jsweeney wrote:I do listen to Strangers and Aliens, but I haven't heard Ben mention Close Encounters.  Ben (or anyone), if you're reading and you can remember, send me the episode number so I can pull it up in iTunes.
    I vaguely remember it. Looking at their episode list I think it was Episode 64. If it wasn't that one it was probably episode 50.

    If it's not that one, uh... pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?

    DNArington

    Posts : 547
    Activity : 731
    Geek-Cred : 28
    Join date : 2012-02-01

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  DNArington on October 26th 2013, 5:12 pm

    I'm pretty sure it is in episode 54. On it they discuss Steven Spielberg movies and I think that is where he mentions it.

    BenAvery

    Posts : 220
    Activity : 322
    Geek-Cred : 16
    Join date : 2012-03-20

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  BenAvery on November 2nd 2013, 12:22 pm

    Yes, it's this episode:

    http://strangersandaliens.com/2013/05/ep-64-directors-special-edition-steven-speilberg/

    We did NOT agree in this one!

    ~ Ben

    jsweeney

    Posts : 19
    Activity : 30
    Geek-Cred : 3
    Join date : 2013-10-19
    Age : 49
    Location : San Diego, CA

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  jsweeney on November 5th 2013, 12:26 am

    Ben! You totally get CE3K! And poor Steve; he doesn't Sad

    Sponsored content

    Re: Close Encounters of the Third Kind revisited

    Post  Sponsored content Today at 6:51 am


      Current date/time is December 11th 2016, 6:51 am