ET: An Unforgettable Journey, Celebrating the Enduring Magic of Spielberg's ET

Welcome to the last episode of Notes from a sketchbook for the Steven Spielberg Collection. Today we will be looking at his classic 80s film ET the extra terrestrial.

After the success of Raiders of the lost Ark, 

The movie starts with a spaceship landing on Earth and some aliens getting out of it. They are on a mission to collect plants and other specimens from our planet. However, when they are about to leave, they realize that one of their crew members, a little alien, is missing but with Government agents arriving they have no choice but to leave. The alien is left behind on Earth.

Our young hero Elliott discovers the stranded alien and takes him under his wing. What follows is an incredible bond that transcends space and time. The little alien, affectionately known as E.T., starts to demonstrate some amazing abilities, like healing and levitating objects.

As the movie progresses, E.T. becomes increasingly desperate to return home. But how? Well, that's where our intrepid group of kids comes in! With the help of Elliott's siblings and friends, they come up with a plan to help E.T. phone home - literally. They construct a device that would allow E.T to contact his home planet and start his journey back. With suspenseful twists and turns, heartwarming moments, and incredible displays of creativity.


This movie is a real treat for the senses. It's got everything you could want in a film - the innocence of childhood, the hope that comes with it, and enough feel-good vibes to make even the grumpiest among us crack a smile. With sharp humor and enough thrills to keep you on the edge of your seat. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed at any age. It's a touching story about the enduring power of love and friendship, complete with an alien in a bicycle basket.

Steven Spielberg's passion for science fiction and his desire to make a more family-friendly film after his intense and dark works, such as "Jaws" and "Close Encounters," were the driving forces behind "E.T." His goal was to create a movie that would entertain and connect with both children and adults. Growing up, Spielberg struggled with feeling disconnected from his parents and often found solace in his own imagination and passion for filmmaking. It was while filming Close Encounters of the Third Kind that he began to imagine what it would be like to make a genuine connection with an extraterrestrial being.


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a story about feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Both E.T. and Elliot are dealing with these emotions throughout the film. E.T. is stranded on Earth, separated from his own kind, and is desperately trying to find a way to contact his people to return home. He feels alone and isolated, struggling to survive in an unfamiliar world. Similarly, Elliot is dealing with the absence of his father, who has recently separated from the family, leaving a significant void in Elliot's life.

The parallel between E.T. and Elliot's feelings of abandonment is a central theme of the film. As they form a bond, they realize that they are not alone in their struggles. The two characters become close friends and find comfort in each other's company. This bond highlights the importance of connection and the power of friendship.

This is highlighted in the scene where E.T. is drinking beer at home while Elliot is at school highlights the special mental link that the two characters share. This link is not just a physical one, but rather an emotional and intellectual one that allows them to experience each other's feelings and thoughts.


Later when E.T. makes Elliot's bike fly, it is not just a magical moment of wonder, but a demonstration of the connection that they share. E.T. understands Elliot's need to escape, to feel free, and he uses his otherworldly abilities to help his friend experience that feeling. Similarly, when Elliot begins to feel the physical pain of E.T.'s illness, it is a reflection of the deep emotional connection they have developed. Elliot is not just a young boy who has befriended an alien; he is part of E.T.'s life force, and the bond they share is a testament to the power of true friendship. 

The acting in this movie is top-notch, with some truly outstanding performances that will tug at your heartstrings. Henry Thomas delivers a stunning performance as Elliott, capturing the essence of his character's childlike innocence and vulnerability with such depth and sincerity that you can't help but be moved. His chemistry with E.T. is palpable, creating a bond that is both believable and heartwarming. Drew Barrymore, who plays Elliott's little sister, also shines in her role. She brings a delightful mix of humor and charm to the screen, making her a memorable and lovable character in her own right, her scenes are especially entertaining.


One of the most striking things about "E.T." is the special effects used to bring the alien to life. The design of E.T. was done by Carlo Rambaldi, who also worked on the films "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". It was created using a combination of animatronics and puppetry. The result is a character that is both believable and (despite his strange appearance) is endearing.

When it comes to director Steven Spielberg's movies, John Williams' music has always been an essential component, and the memorable score of E.T. is no different. The audience is immediately immersed in the story from the outset with Williams' enchanting and breathtaking main theme. Williams' skillful use of leitmotif, a musical technique where a theme is linked to a particular character, object, or concept, is skillfully employed throughout the entirety of the E.T. score.

One of the most memorable leitmotifs in the film is the music associated with E.T. The theme is first introduced during the opening credits and is heard several times throughout the film. It is characterized by a haunting melody played on a solo French horn, which perfectly captures the gentle and curious nature of the alien. Williams' masterful use of the theme helps to reinforce the audience's emotional connection to E.T., and we cannot help but be moved by his plight. Another significant leitmotif in the film is the theme associated with the character of Elliot, which is played on the strings. The theme is first heard during the scene where Elliot lures E.T. into his room with a trail of Reese's Pieces, and it is used throughout the movie to reinforce Elliot's emotional journey. The theme helps to convey Elliot's innocence, vulnerability, and sense of wonder as he interacts with E.T. and experiences the ups and downs of their unique friendship.

Williams also uses leitmotifs to establish themes for other characters in the film, such as the government agents who are hunting for E.T. and the bikes that the children ride during the iconic chase scene. The use of these themes helps to create a cohesive and unified musical narrative, tying together the different elements of the film. Overall, Williams' use of leitmotif in E.T. is a significant factor in the score's emotional resonance and the film's lasting impact on audiences. By establishing themes for the key characters and objects in the story, Williams helps to bring the film to life and immerse the audience in the world of E.T. His masterful use of the technique makes the music of E.T. a memorable and integral part of the movie.

E.T. is a triumph of cinematic storytelling that still enchants viewers of all ages to this day. Under the masterful direction of Steven Spielberg, the youthful cast delivers exceptional performances. Admittedly the film's more sentimental moments may not resonate with everyone. But despite its imperfections, E.T. stands as a timeless classic that has endured the test of time, and continues to delight and inspire generations of moviegoers with its universal themes of love, friendship, and the boundless power of the human imagination.


This week's art work.....










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