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The Optimism of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”


In the 1970s, when Steven Spielberg was directing reported a UFO sighting in 1973 then in 1976, when he was running for President, he told reporters: "I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky."  Carter also promised that as President he would make government information about UFO’s available.  Spielberg, for one, was glad to hear it.

At a press preview for CE3K in New York Spielberg said, "One of his campaign promises was that he’d get right to the quick of the UFO story and that’s a promise we’re all very interested to see him keep." Carter didn’t make good on his promise but Spielberg continued to explore extra terrestrial life throughout his career, most obviously with E.T. and War of the Worlds .  These days politicians might be avoiding the topic but close encounters remain popular topics of conversation and so does the film.  Sony celebrated the movie’s 30th Anniversary by releasing the  "Ulimate Edition" for fans which includes three different versions.  In December, it was one of only 25 films chosen by The Library of Congress to be added to the National Film Registry. 

Speilberg says it captures a "blind optimism" he believes he himself lost.  That positive thinking is exactly what we need, isn’t it?  Rediscover it on AMC this afternoon Sunday, January 6 at 2:15 p.m. EST | 1:15C.

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