Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Mar 29

2022
with

Dr. Susan Lepselter

Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington

Close Encounters of the Third Kind— Closer Than We Think

Closer Than We Think: Social and Cultural Roots of UFO Conspiracy Theories

Indiana University Cinema Bloomington, IN

Tickets

Film Synopsis

After an encounter with UFOs, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical lineman who, while sent out on emergency repairs, witnesses an unidentified flying object. Neary's wife (Teri Garr) and children are at first skeptical, then concerned, and eventually fearful, as Roy refuses to accept a "logical" explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his job, his home, and his family to pursue the "truth" about UFOs. Neary's obsession eventually puts him in contact with others who've had close encounters with alien spacecraft, including Jillian (Melinda Dillon), a single mother whose son disappeared during her UFO experience, and Claude Lacombe (Fran├žois Truffaut), a French researcher who believes he can use a musical language to communicate with the alien visitors. Lacombe's theory is put to the test when a band of government researchers and underground UFO enthusiasts (including Neary) join for an exchange with alien visitors near Devil's Tower, Wyoming.



About the Speaker

Dr. Susan Lepselter is a cultural anthropologist whose work explores the poetics of both popular media and everyday life in contemporary American culture, focusing particularly on captivity narratives, themes of gender and class, and discourses of memory and trauma in American social life.