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Cold War sci-fi from the Fifties; George Romero zombie flicks; Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind; the huge shadow archive of scratchy, homemade pictures created by cine-enthusiasts who dreamed of being of Romero and Spielberg: Super 8 is the sweetest film of 2011, an affectionate shout-out to amateurs everywhere.

The year is 1979, the setting small-town Ohio, and the mood one of anxiety.

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A sub-plot about Alice’s disreputable father is underwritten.

It has been said that, in terms of themes, narrative arc and even visual motifs, Super 8 is too much like a Spielberg film.

Super 8: Seven Magazine review, by Mike Mc Cahill Seven rating: * * * That part of our culture dedicated to regurgitating itself has moved on to the Eighties for sustenance, and JJ Abrams’s Super 8 – concerning a small-town teenage filmshoot interrupted by aliens – means to spark nostalgia from the off.

Even its title derives from an obsolete home-movie format.

Not being able to immediately upload or digitally edit the films you’ve shot may seem an abomination in an era that prizes instantaneity, but, as Abrams shows, it makes possible a drama of conjecture and speculation.