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Thoughts on Close Encounters of the Third Kind at The Great Digital Film Festival in Toronto

February 8, 2010

Today at the Scotiabank Theatre, as part of The Great Digital Film Festival, they

played an HD print of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The festival runs until Thursday, so if you haven’t caught a film already, you’ve still got time. Single tickets are only $5, so it’s an offer you can’t refuse.

Below are our thoughts on the special screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, held Monday, February 8th at 2:00 PM.

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When you think of classic films to re-visit on the big screen, something from Steven Spielberg is sure to cross your mind. And his classic 1977 science-fiction epic, Close Encounters of The Third Kind, with the spectacular special effects and beautiful John Williams score, made for an amazing theatre experience.

Though perhaps not quite as beloved as E.T.Close Encounters is a downright great movie that still holds up just as well today.

-John C.

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind is one of those films that holds up on -and off – the big screen 30-odd years later. It is far lower-key than perhaps a movie with the same premise would have been today, playing out more as a mystery as to what is happening than anything else. But it manages a good level of suspense throughout, and that’s what works.

But, I really enjoyed the quiet way that this film was made. I noticed a lot of cool editing techniques that aren’t seen as much today it seems. The acting is good, and a lot of the scenes are really fun, such as when Roy (Richard Dreyfuss) is insistent to build a huge sculpture in his house…

In particular about the film, I always liked the premise of communicating through music like they do in the film. It’s a neat idea, and universal too. This is a great film that hopefully a new generation will be interested in seeing. It was recognized in several Oscars categories, including a win for Cinematography and Special Achievement award for Sound Editing, and additional noms for Actress, Art Direction, Director, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Score, and Sound.

-Erin V.

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I don’t know why, but this is the first time I had seen this classic all the way through. That being said, I was blown away by this low-key classic. As a musician, I absolutely loved how the aliens communicated to people through music.Close Encounters of the Third Kind still holds up today. The aliens, while mysterious, are never creepy, and like in E.T., are oddly believable, as are the people in this film. Truly one of Spielberg’s best.

-Nicole

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I can’t believe I waited this long to check out this movie. Sure, I could have rented it but seeing it on the big screen was a real treat. Classic movies like this one really do work better in theatres. It’s great to see the work of Steven Spielberg and John Williams the way they were intended to be seen. Even though Close Encounters of the Third Kind is from 1977 and the technology in the movie looks a little dated, it still holds up as one of the classics.

-Maureen

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I first saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind about 25 years ago, but I may have slept through it because I hardly remembered how good it was. It still seems fresh despite the many changes in technology since 1977, which can be summarized as a wholesale shift from analog to digital. Now itself in a digital format, the film looks really good on the big screen.

-Tony

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