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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Beneath the Stars (03 Sep) 30

By Open Air Theatre

Close Encounters

40 years since Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, entranced audiences, it will be shown at the Park on Sunday 3 September by The Luna Cinema.

Back on the big screen, watching this genre-defining film under the stars will be unforgettable: "Oh, the starry skies…I felt the sky was as important to the suspense and mystery of Close Encounters as the water was to Jaws…This film will only be successful if, when people see it, they come out of the theater looking up at the sky.” Steven Spielberg (The Rolling Stone, 1978)

Filmed on a budget of $20m, it went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the 1970s earning $337m worldwide since its release. Winning both an Oscar for Best Cinematography, and a BAFTA for Best Production Design, legendary author Ray Bradbury declared it the greatest science fiction film ever made.

Regarded as ground-breaking in its interpretation of aliens as being peaceful, Spielberg experimented with various ideas of how to depict the extra-terrestrials including one early concept which involved orangutans on roller skates, an idea soon dismissed as the primates found it too frightening!

Iconic film composer John Williams’ score was created before the film was edited and, unlike most blockbusters, Spielberg chose to edit the film to match the music. This editing process was lengthy and six ‘wrap parties’ were held before the film officially completed its production as Spielberg was continually revising the film! Williams’ orchestration ultimately gave the film its sense of wonderment and lyricism.

Check out this documentary to find out more about what inspired Spielberg:

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