Film Score Friday: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

It’s been a minute since we’ve watched a Spielberg/Williams movie. Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is one of my favorites, and it fits in with the Halloween theme.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Music: John Williams

There are so many themes in this movie that make this timeless. There’s mystery. There’s terror. There’s wonder. Richard Dreyfuss’ character truly symbolizes the human need to connect. And Melinda Dillon’s character represents compassion. I love that Speilberg took the route of non-violent visitors. In fact, the human reactions to the encounter seem very accurate. (I could dive into a detailed social commentary, but that’s not what this blog is about!)

Note: My husband and I will reference the mashed potato scene EVERY TIME we eat mashed potatoes. Or build a sand castle. Or play with Play-Doh.

“This means something.”

I can’t choose a specific track to highlight, so I will just default to the main theme:

The music is slightly haunting with ethereal tones. Most of the score was written before filming began, so Spielberg set scenes to the music … instead of the other way around!

Apparently, John Williams wrote over 300 examples of the 5-note motif that the scientists use to communicate with the spaceship! Seriously, how do you pick something like that?! I have a hard time deciding on a pen to write with! Spielberg has said that the 5-note motif is like a doorbell. And Williams has said that the final note leaves you hanging as if you were waiting for a response. Clever. Very clever.

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