Friday, September 2, 2011

Close Encounters of the Third Kind




Here it is: our first episode recorded on location in Los Angeles, CA with composer/cinematographer/producer/the list goes on and on…
Mr.  W. Scott Prestwood.
Please listen in for fun insights on the significance of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and its connections with George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

Special thanks to Scott for not only being our guest, but allowing us to record in his studio, providing all the fine music in this episode and completing the final mix.
Two corrections to note:
In this episode, I incorrectly referenced Jaws being shot on location in Nantucket. I meant to say Martha’s Vineyard. I’m sure the folks on Martha's Vineyard that had to put up the shenanigans of Spielberg and his crew would want credit for doing so.
Secondly, I said the release date of the original Nosferatu is 1928. Actually, it is 1922. Must have been the jet lag talking. At any rate, hope you can overlook these two errors and enjoy DSW episode #10!

4 comments:

  1. I've only listened once--usually I hear these twice before I comment--but I just wanted to make a couple of quick points.

    First, in regard to the pace of CE3K as opposed to TPM: to my mind, the former is deliberate, while the latter is just poorly executed. There is a tense undercurrent in CE3K--whether it is the search for Barry, the gradual mental and familial breakdown of Roy Neary, or the unknown intention of the alien visitors. I disagree slightly that TPM's pace is intended for children because, from what I've observed, it moves far too slow to maintain their interest. It might make the general plot arc easier to grasp, but they only seem to attend during the pod race and Anakin's attack in the Naboo starfighter. AotC, if memory serves, rectified this a bit but my overall impression--again, mostly from my memory here--is that filmed dragged too much as well. You've drawn interesting parallels between it and CE3K, though, so I'll look forward to watching both again soon.

    In 1977 the pace of CE3K was the antithesis to the (then) fast-moving ANH, but I love that about it. It breathes. Those of us older to remember the first cut in theaters were a little puzzled by the inclusion of some scenes in the re-release that were better left out, but that aside, you always feel the film is moving toward an inexorable moment--you just weren't sure if it would be positive or catastrophic. (I know that sounds hard to believe now, but it was true.) And then, with the re-cut ending, I know I what I thought happened, but most folks don't agree with me (Neary turned into an alien).

    Secondly, John Williams's score. This is actually one of my favorites of his because it doesn't sound like all the others. I love the guy's work, but especially in the Star Wars universe, a lot of it blends together. Some will see that as a positive. Certainly he succeeded with the leitmotifs of the main characters. To me, though, his CE3K score really achieves an etheral, other-worldly quality. Yes, the "language" of music (I hate that term) bit is a bit hokey, but to me it accelerated into mathematics and that made the conversation a little more plausible.

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  2. First off, thanks to PBF for your comment. I think few people will argue that TPM is NOT slow. It is a slow pix, for sure. AOTC moves at a pretty good rate, thanks to the intercutting of two storylines that are relatively interesting. ROTS (which I just viewed on Blu-Ray, compliments of PBF). moves faster. Not lightning fast. Just faster than Ep. 1 & 2.

    In regards to the score - it's all debatable. I like both. The interesting thing to note is how the math angle of the song made it more plausible to you. As someone still struggling with the need for midichlorians in the mix - since it killed any romantic/spiritual element the Force had in the original trilogy, I rather rely on music's intangibleness rather that the math of it all. Aliens, like music, is often a subject of fascination without understanding. "I like it." is good enough for some people. Take in mind, this is coming from a guy who rips apart the details of Star Wars movies as a hobby.

    At any rate, thanks for the post!

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  3. Here are some comments from the realm of Facebook in regards to this episode:

    Michael Gleason posted to W. Scott Prestwood
    Finally listened to Chris Mich's Digging Star Wars podcast with you as the guest speaker. Awesome stuff. Your radio voice sounds so cool it makes me nervous to do the next episode.
    September 16 at 9:17pm

    Ellen: It was our Lake Placid soundtrack. You can say anything when you sound like W.Scott.
    September 16 at 9:31pm

    Michael Gleason: I like that he begins a podcast discussing two movies by admitting he hadn't even watched one of them.
    September 16 at 9:33pm

    Ellen: Agreed.
    September 16 at 9:51pm

    W. Scott Prestwood: Don't worry. Nosferatu vs Revenge Of The Sith will be the Citizen Kane of Digging Star Wars blog posts. You will kill it and I can't wait!
    September 20 at 11:36pm via mobile

    Z: Listened to the whole podcast while editing one night in LA. Really enjoyed it.
    September 21 at 6:44am

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