Sunday 1 December 2019

E.T. home for the holidays

Christmas 1982, director Steven Spielberg (Jaws) broke the collective hearts of millions of UK cinemagoers (myself included) with his story of an abandoned alien befriending a fatherless child.

The movie was, of course, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial: a life-affirming tale of friendship in the darkest of times, yet hope prevails in Hollywood composer, and longtime Spielberg collaborator, John Williams' supernatural soundtrack.

Spielberg's most autobiographical movie resonated deeply with my ten-year-old self - still coming to terms with a life-changing trauma and struggling to make sense of where I fitted into the fabric of the cosmos - a crippled child who looked to the night sky for escape but had to deal with the day-to-day reality of rehabilitation on terra firma. So much so, when a kindly friend of my late mum, who worked at the ABC Exeter, offered to let us watch the movie a second time (for free), I was too upset...

Fast forward to Christmas 2019, E.T. and Elliott (Henry Thomas) are reunited for the holiday season in a commercial for Xfinity. Peak nostalgia for children of the eighties in the wake of Stranger Things.

Speaking about the commercial, Thomas said:

"The audience is going to get everything they want out of a sequel without the messy bits that could destroy the beauty of the original and the special place it has in people’s minds and hearts. It’s really a win-win. ... Looking at the storyboards, I could see exactly why Steven (Spielberg) was really behind it, because the integrity of the story isn’t lost in this retelling."

Does this make you yearn for a full sequel to E.T the Extra-Terrestrial? Let me know in the comments below.

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