in about 100 words or less
US 137m, Colour
Director: Steven Spielberg; Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, CaryGuffey
Notwithstanding their historical abduction work, the tonally-inclined aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind are generally a cautiously timid and peaceful lot whose purpose in the film is not really explained. This science-fiction story is told from the character of Roy Neary and others like him who becomes obsessed with UFOs after having a personal experience with one. Even though little is explained about the aliens, such as why they held fighter pilots from WWII for 30 years, “Close Encounters” is a fascinating film based solely on the questions which it raises. From a cultural perspective, it can be argued that the film has also long stimulated popular debate about the possibility and nature of alien contact and how it might be handled, or mishandled by authorities (Klaus Ming November 2011).