• The best arts and entertainment during self-isolation
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is Steven Spielberg’s family-sized late-70s UFO drama, starring Richard Dreyfuss as a midwestern Joe Schmoe who sees coloured lights in the sky and starts sculpting his mashed-potato into the shape of Devils Tower in Wyoming. It was, at the time, Columbia Pictures’ highest-grossing blockbuster, and it proved the director of Jaws was no flash in the pan. Close Encounters was fantastical and mystical and sometimes borderline hysterical. And it was, for a few years, my absolute favourite movie.
Pauline Kael described it as “a kid’s film in the best sense”, and she was absolutely right. Except, the first time I saw it, aged eight or so, it seemed impossibly sophisticated,