Steven Spielberg could see it all from the picture window of his house high up in Hollywood’s Coldwater Canyon. The purple smog was at low tide, thick, noxious air resting like a horse blanket on the hills and the city. In the clearness above it, a fine blue sky turned dark. A thin slice of moon appeared just over the hills. Short, wiry and easily amused, the director wore jeans and a beat-up sweat shirt with a Jaws logo on the back. He was suffering the week’s wait before his new movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, would go public and set new attendance records, before the phrase “close encounters” would become a new catchword in the funny papers and monologues, as “jaws” had in 1975. Close Encounters itself was about, well, it’s like that story of a tree so tall it took two men to see the top of it. Unidentified Flying Objects, let’s say, on the street where you live. Spielberg had watched his movie forty-eight complete times, shot new footage and recut some scenes right up to the last minute before he allowed the studio to lay hands on his film canisters. His nails looked like… Read full this story
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