David Thompson


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July 30, 2009


Brian H

A wonderful film. Is it too soon to call it a classic?


I saw the director’s cut recently and it stands up really well. The “musical dialogue” in the final act is still one of my favourite scenes. Yes, I think it’s a classic.



Post title of the week?

The Thin Man

Thats a beautiful shot of the Milky Way - it made me think of two things....

"Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."

Eric Idle.

"To understand modern climate, we must understand ancient climate. And the biggest climate changes in the history of the Earth were during the Neoproterozoic some 750 to 635 Million years ago.

The fundamental question for the Neoproterozoic glaciation is: How did planet Earth become glaciated at sea level at the equator, then have a very hot interglacial period with a sea temerature of +40 degrees C?...

...During the Neoproterozoic glaciation, the solar system passed through the Sagittarius-Carina Arm of the Milky Way. This would have produced great variations in Solar System dust and variations in the input of cloud forming cosmic rays."

Ian Plimer - "Heaven and Earth"


Gorgeous. Is there a larger version of this somewhere?


Here: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090729.html


Great photo, great film. Maybe Spielberg's best after Jaws.


“Maybe Spielberg’s best after Jaws.”

Watching it again, I noticed some details I’d missed first time round. In one of the first lingering “sky” shots – with the night sky filling most of the frame – you can just spot one of the stars moving. Once you’ve spotted it, it’s hard to resist scanning each of the subsequent “sky” shots to see if it happens again. It’s a sly tease, and you have to wait until the final act for the payoff, when the visitors start to mimic constellations.

Chris S

What I always liked about Close Encounters was the international-ness of the science group. There were characters that barely spoke any english or were simply subtitled or translated by other characters.

It had more of an "Aliens come to Earth" feel as opposed to the modern "Aliens come to AMERICA" vibe. Yes, yes, I realise that it was mostly set in the US, but there was at least heavy acknowlegment that top experts might actually come from other countries.

James S

"He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him."

Horace Dunn


"Great photo, great film. Maybe Spielberg's best after Jaws."

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Many years ago I saw, on TV, an early Spielberg film called "Sugarland Express". I found it enchanting. I wonder why it no longer seems to have much of a reputation.


For the Ephemera.


Baltar's Beard

"It's the first day of school, fellas."



“It’s the first day of school, fellas.”

Some of the original recording (“Wild Signals”) didn’t make it into the film. The missing section sounds like John Williams is channelling Frank Zappa.

Elrond Hubbard

"Look ma, the sun's here!"

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