i just watched "contact" again. this movie blows me away. can't say enough good things about it; a total masterpiece. i put it right up there with "the shawshank redemption." one of my other favorite movies. for those that have seen it, i'd like to point out 3 things that i didn't realize the first time i saw it, years ago. 1) when humans construct the machine, the instructions did not say to put a chair inside the ball thing. the main character in the movie even pointed that out when she saw that the government added it for safety or something. when she was on the journey still attached to the chair, the ride was rough. when she removed herself from the chair, that didn't really belong anyway, the trip was peaceful. I LOVE THAT. 2) when she is on the beach and sees her father, i believe she is still in the ball. when she touches around her, the space around her is weird. i believe the aliens chose to communicate with her the way she WANTED. they probably showed her a pretty beach because that is what she wanted to see. they communicated to her as her father to make her feel comfortable. THIS IS GREAT. 3) I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS POINT. this goes back to what i've said in about 5 threads on ET; the subject of time and how it is relative. even in the movie they explain that time is relative, but unless you understand it, you might not realize its importance. when the ball dropped through the machine, to viewers on earth, the ball dropped straight down and the journey only lasted a few seconds. HOWEVER, to the person in the ball, her journey was like 18 hours. THIS IS GREAT! even at the very, very end, they revealed that her recorder recorded 18 hours of static--so she really did go on an 18 hour journey from her perspective! but the on earth perspective isn't wrong either! BOTH VIEWPOINTS ARE VALID!!!!! EDIT: i do have one remaining question. what was the real meaning of the smart guy that was on the space station; the old bald guy that was dying. he died right at the very end, too, after the main character completed her journey. i do not believe he faked the whole thing as it was hinted to. HOWEVER, he DID reveal the key to the aliens' information. was he an alien on earth? was he sent to earth to reveal the key since humans couldn't figure it out? what was that all about? was he just a smart guy that found the key and that's it?