ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

Take me to your conductor

I took a class in college called “Sci Fi and Film,” and one of the films we watched was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. A classic. I hated it. (I have this thing about loyalty, and the main character was a jerk to his family. I do not forgive him.)

All the same, I did love this scene — when the humans make first contact with the aliens. Do they communicate with binary code? With advanced mathematics? With fancy translators? No, they do it with music. Mr. Williams, this is one point to you.

By the way, I had a hectic weekend and forgot to post reminders about voting in the Composer Cagematch! So I’ve extended the voting period to tomorrow at 9 pm — don’t miss the voting window.

About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


9 thoughts on “Take me to your conductor

  1. I saw this in the movies WAY back in the day, Jenn! Thanks for posting it!
    I don’t remember Dreyfuss’s character being a jerk, per se (I think he was just heavily distracted), but I remember how effective this scene was.

    Posted by Chris McGovern | August 22, 2011, 8:41 am
    • I’m sure you’re right — I’m just irrationally loyal sometimes. I’m still mad at Buzz Lightyear for usurping Woody’s place, to say nothing of Andy’s actions at the very end of Toy Story 3.

      Posted by Jenn | August 22, 2011, 9:42 am
  2. He definitely should have not let the Devil’s Island thing get between him and his family, I agree, but I don’t think he was ever intentionally bad to them (Maybe Dr. Phil should have stepped in haha)
    The scene with the communication, though, is classic, and I always loved that it was telling people music is even more than a universal language.
    I didn’t see TS3! 🙂 Please don’t say anything else to me yet, Jenn!

    Posted by Chris McGovern | August 22, 2011, 9:54 am
  3. I see what you’re saying. I think Spielberg’s movies often have this dark undercurrent beneath them of massive dissatisfaction with the ordinariness of suburban life, which I sympathize with … but there was a huge part of me that was like, “Yeah so you’re feeling trapped by your suburban life — pity you couldn’t realize that before you had kids, *sshole.”

    Posted by fireandair | August 22, 2011, 2:41 pm
  4. You know … an easy way to verbalize this is that that character would have been evil incarnate if he’d been female. A woman abandoning her kids and husband as the happy ending? No way — get out the pitchforks and torches. I mean, at risk of being roundfiled as shrill or whatever, that’s sort of what it boils down to in the end. Change the gender of the main character, and suddenly she’s evil.

    Posted by fireandair | August 22, 2011, 2:44 pm
    • Ooh, interesting — I’d never thought of it that way before; I only knew that I simply could not approve of the guy’s behavior. But you make a good point — if the main char had been a girl, she probably would’ve been ruined.

      Posted by Jenn | August 22, 2011, 3:11 pm
  5. The experience rendered him temporarily insane; cut him a break. The film is structured in a way to suggest this behavior was atypical, and prior to this he was indeed a satisfactory family man.

    I have similar reactions to otherwise good films, so I sympathize with your position. I need to try to think of some. And I think fireandAir’s comment gives me pause for thought as well.

    I know the real reason; perhaps you’re jealous that they used a synthesizer combo instead of a viola to contact the aliens?

    Posted by Michael | August 22, 2011, 4:13 pm

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