Author’s Note – Please see this post for the explanation of the prompt!
I wasn’t a huge science fiction fan when I first watched Close Encounters Of The Third Kind with my father, but afterward, I had a new appreciation of the genre and Stephen Spielberg’s creativity. I remember feeling creeped out by the first half of the movie where all kinds of unexplained phenomena occur as the aliens attempt to communicate with us. Through a series of vignettes including the appearance of the S.S. Cotapaxi in the Gobi Desert and the return of the missing Flight 19 squadron, we see strange things happening, but have no clear idea of the aliens’ motives until the end of the movie. My favorite scene has always been the one where air traffic controllers frantically try to divert two airplanes that are on a collision course with one of the alien craft. Once the crisis is averted, they ask the pilots if they want to file a report on what happened, to which one of them shakily replies – “I wouldn’t know what kind of report to file.” My father’s favorite scene occurs after the aliens have imprinted the image of Devil’s Tower, Wyoming onto Ron Neary, a lineman in Muncie, Indiana who’s responding to alien-induced power outages the night of his first encounter. After the aliens hover over his truck, he is plagued by visions of this mountain, and in his frantic attempts to understand why, he sculpts a replica of it out of mashed potatoes at the dinner table. I loved the idea of aliens communicating with music and the way the suspense moved the plot forward made the movie both creepy and awe-inspiring. I own the 25th anniversary Director’s Cut DVD, and I watch this movie whenever I need an uplifting, inspirational boost.