John Landis on

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Released 1977
Distributor Columbia

About Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Steven Spielberg was playing with house money after the enormous success of  Jaws and he struck pay dirt again with this epic sci-fi fantasy chock-full of brilliantly composed panoramas and cracker-jack suspense scenes. Filming largely on the biggest indoor set ever constructed (inside a gigantic World War II dirigible hangar in Mobile, Alabama), CT3K races through its 137 minutes without breaking a sweat, arriving at a climax at Wyoming’s Devils Tower that is one of the most ecstatic moments in movie history. Vilmos Zsigmond’s Oscar winning cinematography helps make that sequence and the rest of Close Encounters a memorably visionary experience.

About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal HouseThe Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In LondonTrading PlacesComing To America, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the recent Burke and Hare for Ealing Studios,  among many other films and television shows. His documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO and won an Emmy for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Special.  He is also the subject of noted film critic Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan’s recent book “John Landis” and his own book “Monsters in the Movies’ was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2012.