Sunday, August 28, 2011

First-Viewing Thoughts: E.T.

Film: E.T.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Year: 1982

- It's amazing how much of this movie I didn't remember from when I'd been a kid.
- Still definitely prefer Last Crusade. ET seems clumsier in some of the setup, like when Elliot is explaining objects etc to ET; sure he's excited and everything but it felt a bit discombobulated.
- Telepathic link between ET and Elliot was interesting, but I completely missed the setup & so I was kind of confused when it started happening at all. Was it when ET made Elliot fall asleep in the house? I thought that was just ET trying to make his life a little easier. Maybe it'll be clearer if I watch a second time?
- The end bike sequence was a lot of fun. Must study later.
- Gags: Often involved a really early setup for a really late payoff. (eg the older brother backing out of the driveway once, early film; then, while needing to escape, "I've never driven forwards before!!")
- Was Spielberg involved with Star Wars or was that just a tip of the hat to Lucas? Either way, very funny.
- Got the impression that ET was just hibernating, not dead, especially given the "I'll be right here" repetition -- nice addition, though, since it is somewhat ambiguous whether he is just repeating something Elliot said in context or whether he is saying something. Only becomes clear he was actually saying something when he says it at the end.
- Interesting: Adults almost always faceless, cut-off screen, waist-only. Characterized the main scientist/hunter entirely through his keys. Makes adults less trustworthy. We only see scientists' faces when they are trying to save ET; otherwise they are masked in haz-mat suits or waist-only. We see mom's face because kids trust her. Also makes teacher more boring -- Charlie Brown style.
- Interesting to use flashlights to indicate humans, since usually bright lights etc are used for alien invaders / probes. Makes the bad guys scarier, too, but echoed with Elliot.