My boy and I like to pick out movies from the library to watch (they’re free and we get ’em for two weeks!) and this week’s picks included Contact, starring Jodie Foster, from 1997.

What an incredible film. I picked it up because I remembered liking it, but I’d forgotten just how great it really is. I couldn’t help but notice how a lot of the shots used transitions that I haven’t seen in a movie in quite some time. Really impressive stuff, probably because they used a lot of camera tricks, rather than graphics. I miss that in films today.

The story is phenomenal. I love an in-depth telling of a person’s life, from beginning to middle, to end, and after the end, and Contact is just that. I’ve never read Carl Sagan’s book that the movie is based on, but I’m so taken by the plot and characters that I’m tempted to tackle the novel. If you haven’t seen the film, or need a refresher, Contact stars Jodie Foster, a scientist that receives a signal from a planet 25 light years away. The signal turns out to be a schematic for building a kind of machine—whether it’s a weapon, transport, or communication device, no one is sure. Matthew McConaughey doubles as Jodie Foster’s love interest and a religious figure in the movie, who asks about the religious implications of finding life on other planets.

Not that you asked to know anything about movies I’ve been watching, but the story was too great to ignore. I should also point out that, while I enjoy reading science fiction (or speculative fiction), I don’t like being hit over the head with techno-babble and information. I’m after good stories.

After watching Contact and having recently read David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, I realized that I really like being surprised with sci-fi elements in a story. Something that sneaks it’s way in halfway through, but is crucial to the story and makes it even better. That’s what Contact did for me (and Cloud Atlas, too).

Bottom line: if you have to buy a VCR to watch it on cassette, just make sure you find a copy of Contact!

3 Responses to “CONTACT”
  1. Alice says:

    I’ve never seen it. Guess I need to check it out and watch it.

  2. Jess Smart Smiley says:

    Um…YEAH, you need to check it out! Provo Library, baby! 😛

  3. It’s funny: My wife and I checked the movie out from the Provo library at the beginning of the summer, because I hadn’t seen it for quite some time, and she had never seen it. Such a good one! And then I checked the book out. The book and the movie have quite a few differences (as adaptations generally do), but I feel like the story is really only complete after reading the book AND watching the movie, which was cool. The book is very scientific, but also very good. And all the spiritual/philosophical themes are present, without being heavy handed. I definitely recommend checking it out, if you have the time 😉

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