Episode 5: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND with Scott Mantz
Steven Spielberg is one of America's most beloved and acclaimed movie directors, and, come on, rightfully so.
As a matter of fact -- no kidding -- as I type this, the weight of what Spielberg was able to accomplish so early in his directing career has just hit me: he wasn't even 30 years old when JAWS hit theaters and arguably created the summer blockbuster, which was followed was CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND also starring Richard Dreyfuss. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is visually dazzling and features an outstanding score, but I will admit, it is one of my least favorite Steven Spielberg offerings. Roy Neary is not the most likable of protagonists and yet the film still feels incredibly personal to the director we have all come to know and love. Throughout his entire career, the media and critics have been asking, "When will Steven Spielberg grow up?" and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS was obviously a major step in his evolution as a creator.
It's also one of Scott Mantz's (ACCESS HOLLYWOOD) favorite films and it was my great pleasure to welcome him to SENDING THE WOLFE to discuss. This episode is special to me for a lot of reasons: as you will hear, it's deeply candid and an example of the power that the movies have over us, especially for lifelong movie nerds like me and Scott (and I'm guessing maybe you too?). This episode is also the first one that I ever recorded, so you will notice little rookie mistakes like me forgetting to turn the AC off before we started recording, or forgetting to introduce my guest... Hey, it's all a work in progress!
I am typing this introduction on Christmas Day and I'll admit, it's a bit of a lonesome holiday this year. I didn't plan for this episode to be released the day after Christmas as the holiday season comes to a close and the New Year begins, but I suppose it is fitting that it did; sometimes the holidays can make us feel a little like Roy Nealy -- out of place and almost alien, but it's somewhat comforting to know that no matter what, we're not alone.
This Thursday's mini-episode is a conversation about answering that decades-old Steven Spielberg question: when, exactly, is he going to grow up? This is the mini that inspired them all and I learned a lot from, in addition to being, of course, one of my favorites. These episodes are available to $5+ monthly Patreon contributors and are well-worth the time, if I do say so myself!
Thanks so much for listening and here's wishing you a healthy and happy new year.