RetroClassics | Carolina Theatre | Special Events | Indy Week

Special Events


When: Fri., Aug. 2, 7 p.m. 2013

It wasn't unusual for a movie to get a re-release in those pre-DVD days—hell, major films were still being re-shown on the big screen well into the 1980s, when VHS was king—but Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind helped usher in the age of "Special Editions" with its 1980 re-release. A few more minutes of footage took us inside the alien spaceship. (SPOILER: You don't see that much.) As we take a moment to bitterly contemplate the rash of 3-D conversions and CGI-"enhanced" re-releases that came in its wake, let us be thankful that this is the original 1977 version screening at RetroClassics, the one that confirmed Spielberg as king of the blockbusters and launched a new wave of skywatching. (We pretty much owe The X-Files to this baby.) Much imitated and parodied, it's still a damn fine piece of filmmaking, with a genuine sense of suspense and wonder as Richard Dreyfuss is compelled to track down the UFO he briefly encountered. The spaceship at the end remains one of the most spectacular effects in cinema, in part because of its less-is-more appearance—it's mostly lights and shadow, but it haunts your dreams. It's paired with Michael Crichton's Westworld, the original "amusement park gone bad" film, in which Richard Benjamin and James Brolin discover that a life of cybernetic gunfights and robo-prostitutes isn't as much fun when Yul Brynner's gunslinger-bot decides to malfunction. —Zack Smith

Price: $9

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