Forty years since its original theatrical bow, Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains one of director Steven Spielberg’s most highly regarded works. The film focuses on the life of Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfus), a suburban father whose life is completely overturned unpon encountering an unidentified flying object, rendering him obsessed with the presence of UFO’s. Similar to Spielberg’s later film E.T., Close Encounters created a sci-fi tale of wonder and fascination with extraterrestrial life, proving to critics and audiences that his directorial success was not going to stop at Jaws. In celebration of the film’s upcoming fortieth anniversary, Colombia Pictures released a new teaser on their YouTube page this Monday, which “coincidentally” happens to be World UFO Day.
Titled “This Means Something,” the teaser combines the imagery of a radar animation alongside audio cues from one of the film’s opening scenes, in which air traffic picks up one of their planes being targeted by a UFO. At the video’s end was the link to a website, www.WeAreStillNotAlone.com, which includes a sign-up form for viewers to receive future “updates on UFO sightings.” While audience speculation towards this campaign suggested a revival (i.e. reboot or sequel) of the 1977 film, it has been confirmed by Variety to be the promo for an upcoming re-release.
While its presence was slightly overshadowed by George Lucas’ Star Wars released months earlier, Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains an important entry in the science-fiction genre. Upon its release, the film received critical acclaim and was nominated for eight Oscars at the 50th Academy Awards. Of those eight, only one was won for Best Cinematography, although the film’s sound effects editor received a Special Achievement Award from the Academy. Despite its original release date being in November, Close Encounters’ theatrical re-release will begin on September 1st and last for a full week.