This week on the Silver Emulsion Podcast, Stephen and I talk about Steven Spielberg’s science fiction classic: 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind! Watch the skies and enjoy! 🙂
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- Rumba Caliente – Papa Was A Rolling Stone
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What’s up Silver Scrotums! This is the one podcast where you and Stephen disagree, but I think you’re both right! I’ll start by saying that Will you probably know more than anyone how huge of a Spielberg fan I’ve been. He was one of my heroes throughout high school and I would’ve framed his foreskin. The dude had one of the greatest Greatest Hits of movies ever. He did Jaws, Close Encounters, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, in the span of just seven years! All #1 hits! He’s a fucking wizard at creating awe and wonder and he can make a commercial for fucking foot cream that will make you cry. He’s so fucking good at sucking emotions out of your balls and leaving you applauding in tears. Close Encounters is a great example. Will I totally agree that it makes you so full of wonder and amazement and joy. Like holy shit, aliens are coming to America and they play cute music! And the entire movie is a mysterious build-up to this amazing spectacle of lights and aliens. It’s basically the equivalent of seeing a Flaming Lips concert. And look! Richard Dreyfus is following his heart into a giant spaceship wonderland! Oh goody!
But here’s the thing…
Spielberg is almost too good. His strength is that he’s so good at sentimental emotion and wonder and making you feel it, that I think it actually becomes a weakness or a crutch. I noticed this first with AI. I thought it was the most amazing movie at first and I sobbed like an emotional pregnant lady the first time I saw it. But I remember revisiting it and I wanted to wipe my ass with the disc. I felt like I got emotionally manipulated the first time I watched it and I bought the dvd and soundtrack. But I started to feel like a jackass that ordered an amazing product from an infomercial that didn’t work like advertised. I won’t get into AI too much since Stephen hasn’t seen it, but Spielberg is a master at this emotional string-pulling, but it’s not always earned.
Stephen this is where I completely agree with you on not really knowing how to feel about Close Encounters. It’s full of neat things, potato sculptures, and light shows, but I don’t know if the root is strong enough. Dreyfus follows his heart, abandons his family, meets some MILF, and is obsessed with these mysterious doings. But that’s kind of it. The family shit doesn’t go anywhere, the MILF doesn’t add up to anything, so it’s just a bit empty. Admittedly is hard to even notice because everything is so spectacular. I think Spielberg was kind of young and naive when making Close Encounters. He was only 27 and was ambitious as fuck and I think that feeling is reflected in Close Encounters. But even he admits that he would’ve changed a lot now and he wouldn’t have Richard Dreyfus leave his family. I think Spielberg is a dogshit writer. He’s only written screenplays for AI and Close Encounters and he fumbles with certain aspects of story and character where it doesn’t make a solid movie and things are conflicting. But holy fuck does he make up for it with spectacle and masterfully crafted shit that it sometimes doesn’t matter. Grab your popcorn and cut a fart, it’s Spielberg time.
I still like Close Encounters, Spielberg is one of the most masterful movie makers ever, and whatever flaws his shit has it’s almost too hard to see them or care. But he’s also a master manipulator, for better or worse. His movies have been liquid turds for like the last 20 years, but there’s no denying that he was king of the mountain for a long ass time. But I’m taking down his framed foreskin and hiding it.
Hi-yo Silver away!
P.S. I think Kubrick, despite what he says, would’ve done AI much better. Spielberg just can’t help himself from being a sappy dud with everything he touches. And Stephen, I tried almost a dozen times to watch Blade Runner and fell asleep every single time. It was like Melatonin: The Movie. One day, I tried again, stayed awake, and really recommend trying to make it through. It’s worth it. Oh! And thanks again for the shout-out! xoxo 😀