Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Unheimliche Begegnung der dritten Art

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Roy Neary works as an electrical lineman in a small town in Indiana. While carrying out repairs during a power outage, he is burned by a mysterious light phenomenon. Single mother Jillian Guiler experiences the same phenomenon and shortly thereafter, her son Barry disappears. Not long after this first night-time contact with UFOs, the two become obsessed with visions of a mountain. This turns out to be the site where a team of the military and scientists, under the leadership of French researcher Claude Lacombe, have gathered to give the extraterrestrials an official welcome ... A case of onscreen détente. With his film of “conciliation”, Steven Spielberg undertook a fundamental re-working of the genre fantasies marked by the Cold War. Instead of promoting xenophobia and hate, his dreamlike and magical lightplay carried the message “don’t be afraid”. Indeed, with the overexposed images created by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, and the bright, glittering optical effects of science fiction whiz Douglas Trumbull, the film owes much to the ideals of the Enlightenment.

Steven Spielberg

USA 1977


135’ · Colour · 35 mm

Directorʼs Cut

Rating R12


Richard Dreyfuss
François Truffaut
Teri Garr
Melinda Dillon
Cary Guffey
Bob Balaban
Roberts Blossom
Merrill Connally


Written and Directed by
Steven Spielberg
Vilmos Zsigmond
Michael Kahn
John Williams
Gene Cantamesa
Production Design
Joe Alves, Dan Lomino
Special Effects
Douglas Trumbull, Steven Spielberg
Jim Linn
Bob Westmoreland
Julia Phillips, Michael Phillips

Produced by

Columbia Pictures Corp.

Copy: Park Circus, Glasgow