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CST Throwback Thursday- Film of the Week

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E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial

by Ralph Linardic

In honor of the re-release of “Close Encounters of The Third Kind”, I feel that talking about a film similar in style and tone is appropriate. The films also share the same director in Steven Spielberg and falls in the science-fiction genre. Films like this don’t come around often, so it’s worth talking about this all-time great.

I believe that “E.T.” is an all-time great because of how it has affected cinema. There have been many knockoffs and spoofs of E.T, which means it transcends the genre, and film itself. From “Mac and Me”, to “Earth to Echo”, many spinoffs have tried to capture the magic.  Also, it has helped make the science-fiction genre what it is today. The overall style has been copied many times, most recently from the show “Stranger Things”.

What cannot be copied is John Williams magical score. His work on this film is, in my opinion, one of the greatest musical pieces ever created. I make this point a lot in my reviews and on my podcast The Knowbodies Podcast, but musical is one of the most important elements in film. A great score can make a good movie great, and a bad one good. It affects how the audience views a scene and can emotionally manipulate you. My personal favorite song from the score is the bicycle chase music. It’s simply beautiful and captures the innocence of childhood while also being exhilarating.

Steven Spielberg captured the childhood of Elliot and company perfectly here. Since “E.T.” is a coming-of-age film, hitting on the kid characters is crucial, and Spielberg captured the innocence of Elliot splendidly. I also liked his brother Greg and what he had to do. Brothers in films sometimes get pushed to the side, but Greg’s storyline worked nicely with Elliot’s. It was a nice companion piece.

Spielberg is famously known for using practical effects in “Jurassic Park”, and this film does it just as well. The puppet for E.T. is life-like, and his movements seemed very natural. What specifically impressed me, was his eyes. When he is interacting with Elliot, his eyes make the whole puppet realistic, and made his relationship with Elliot more heartwarming.

“E.T” is a classic and is crafted perfectly by Steven Spielberg. The music is divine, the acting is top notch, and the way practical effects are used here are life-like. If you have not checked out this classic, I implore you to take two hours and treat yourself. “E.T.” is a magical, divine experience.