I just got back from the 4K restoration of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and WTF were they thinking putting a spoiler-filled DVD-featurette-quality talking head introduction in front of the movie explaining everything and why it matters? Do we really need to hear from Denis Villaneuve and JJ Abrams how much they love this film? Do we need to hear all the John Williams music in advance? We had friends who had never seen it before with us and the little featurette gave away so many important moments and the musical motif and everything.
This is, for me, the fundamental problem with Hollywood movies today. It’s why I prefer that my students avoid doing Q&A’s at their screenings. The studios in charge want everything explained and analyzed for the audience, and what audiences need (and what Spielberg understood) is to just sit for a few hours and fall under the spell of the movie. They need to feed their lizard brain, not their rational brain. They need some atmosphere, some poetry, not a freaking talking head spoon-feeding them the theme of the movie before the first frame even begins. Just let us fall under the spell and drive home pondering and we can talk about it with our friends after we’ve slept on it.
It’s especially insulting to do it in front of THIS movie, one of the most beautifully poetic, abstract, and dialogue-free films in mainstream cinema. I’m shocked Spielberg even agreed to put that intro in there.
The movie was great, BTW. I wish the studios were worthy of presenting it.
1977 ‧ Science fiction film/Drama film ‧ 2h 15m