CREDIT: Columbia

I saw the 40th anniversary remastered edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind last night. I am not sure if I had ever previously seen it straight through. If I had, it must have been at least 25 years ago. I certainly didn’t remember the parts in the beginning in the desert or with Dreyfuss chasing the lights around.

Anyway, I was struck by how expressionistic it was and how mysterious it remains to the end. It is never exactly clear what the aliens are up to, but everyone appears fairly confident that they will be friendly. Also, Jillian seems oddly certain that Barry will return soon enough. It’s almost like she’s read the script or something. And of course the age-old question: what’s the deal with the tall, skinny alien? Where’d he go?!

This is all to say, the whole thing adds up to a sense of uncanny wonder.