|Was the best part of Close Encounters of the Third Kind the ending?|
A couple of nights ago I had an enjoyable and enlightening telephone conversation with an old friend of mine. We do these updates every couple of months or so. And they are always fun.
Something of interest came out of this most recent talk: I mentioned to my friend that my brother and I had a conversation of our own, recently. It went like this...
Guess what movie I just saw again for the first time in many years... Close Encounters (of the Third Kind).
What'd you think?
Man, it's not very good.
Really? It's been a long time since I've seen it.
I spoke about the issue of "looking back" before, as recently as a few days ago, concerning my seeing Star Trek: The Next Generation again after many years (here).
Controversial Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner had a favourite saying in regards to Who fans looking again at something that they have fond memories of: "The memory cheats."
While I don't necessarily agree with JN-T's all too easily dispensed wisdom in regards to some Doctor Who "stories", he is most correct in a general sense. The passage of time changes things; the heart grows fonder. Not much can possibly compete with the malleable and often inaccurate human memory, especially one governed or influenced by warm nostalgia. This isn't meant to suggest that movies or television programs from our earlier years are somehow intrinsically decrepit -- many are -- but times change, we change, including our expectations.
Movies of note, of late, which someday will more than likely generate howls of "the memory cheats", are: Titanic; Star Wars - The Phantom Menace; Forrest Gump; The Shawshank Redemption; and more than a few more.
Some television series' promoting exhortations of "I remember it being better than this", may include: E.R; Beverly Hills 90210; Game of Thrones; Lost; and many more.
It's almost inevitable.
(Gilligan's Island never cheats me.)
Yes, the memory does cheat. If not now, it will later.
(Even though I don't consider myself a fan of The X-Files or Seinfeld, they are examples of television shows that will travel well through the years, I think.)
I must watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind again to see how unfaithful my memories have been. Wait a minute; I never thought that that movie was very good in 1977!
Oh, my friend disagrees with my original assessment.